Tag Archives: hippies

Byron Bay… Setting My Rainbow Feet Free.

Although I wouldn’t describe myself as stuffy, there’s something in the air at Byron Bay that makes me so relaxed that I almost fall apart. It’s the most fabulous feeling that I wish I could pump it into the air and make everyone all over the world feel that magic.

If you know Byron Bay at all, even just by reputation, you could cynically agree that there’s definitely something in the air. Something that you smoke. That’s why Byron Bay has that unique ambiance. However, I didn’t even sense a whiff of the stuff. I’m  talking about its natural beauty and how the sun, sky and sea gradually become white, powdery sand, green palms, jungle, green pastures dotted with cows or perhaps macadamia and coffee plantations until the earth meets the sky via those jagged blue hills.

The magic of Byron Bay is more than just going to the beach. Having a swim. This is something I actually take for granted and I live right near a beach and walk my dogs along the beach most mornings.

No, there’s something else. Something special which I don’t think anyone can truly name or understand which makes Byron Bay so special.

It just is.

Although I’ve shared some beautiful photos of Byron Bay, I thought this series of photos of my feet at the beach really captures how Byron Bay set me free. Indeed, as I relaxed I felt so liberated. That the layers of stress just peeled away, liberating the butterfly from her stiff and stuffy chrysalis to finally spread her wings and fly towards the sun.

The new arrival...shoes still on.

The new arrival…shoes still on.

What you won’t appreciate simply by looking at this photo is that these shoes have practically been glued to my feet since I broke my foot last December. I had to wear a boot for about 3 months and then the physio told me it was joggers and I certainly haven’t worn any heels. Just the of pair of boots and now that Summer’s almost here, a pair of sandals. You could say I’ve been playing it safe but my feet have appreciated the extra support.

So my journey starts off with my feet in laced-up joggers…a bit over-dressed for the beach.

Especially when you don’t want to get your shoes wet.

Feet in the sand.

Feet in the sand.

Now that you’ve actually seen my feet, I trust you’ve noticed and admired my rainbow nail polish….thanks to my daughter. It’s become a bit of a holiday thing where she paints our nails rainbow colours. That’s been my choice more than hers. Seeing my rainbow toe nails makes me smile and when I had my foot in the boot, I caught quite a few people smiling at them. I’d just smile at them and say: “My daughter did it”. Oh how they sighed!

Mother & Daughter Feet: Not big feet and little feet anymore!

Mother & Daughter Feet: Not big feet and little feet anymore! Her feet are definitely catching up!

Rainbow Toes

Getting my feet wet.

Rainbow feet scudding through white powder.

Rainbow feet scudding through white powder.

As you can see, the shoes came off. I rolled up my cuffs and at least got my feet wet. While there were people swimming, it was still a bit cold for us. I managed to brave getting my feet wet and that was about it. Yet, I still have fun!

Have you ever been to Byron Bay? Any stories to share?

Take care and I hope you’re having a great week!

xx Rowena

PS: I just strayed across this excellent post about existence versus truly living, which contrasts free-range and battery hens. A great read: http://betterlifecoachingblog.com/2015/10/16/free-range-hens-a-story-about-existing-or-living/

Byron Bay: Australia’s Alternative Paradise.

As  soon as you exit the Pacific Highway and take the Byron Bay exit, throw your watch out the window and prepare to slow down. You’re now on Byron Bay time. Not only that, you’re about to enter another world where it’s more or less assumed that you’re at least somewhat lateral, alternative, creatively inspired or just plain mad. Well, not quite everyone. Byron Bay is no longer the hippy mecca it once was but despite the yuppie blow-ins, it’s retained much of it’s original character. You might just need to look further afield to find it.

Byron is all about taking the road less traveled...the alternative route. Check out my kids exploring the grass off the well-beaten track.

Byron is all about taking the road less traveled…the alternative route. Check out my kids exploring the grass off the well-beaten track.

Dolphins viewed from Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Dolphins viewed from Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Whale Spout near Julian Rocks, Byron Bay.

Whale Spout near Julian Rocks, Byron Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

As we have family living in the Byron Bay hinterland, we tend to head up to Byron at least once a year and Cape Byron Lighthouse has become something of a yardstick of our kids’ growth over the years as I force them through another round of photos against it’s glowing white fascade. You really do need a good pair of sunnies out there.

Family Photo 2nd July 2010 outside Byron Bay Lighthouse

Family Photo 2nd July 2010 outside Byron Bay Lighthouse

Determination!

Determination!

We always stop for an ice cream at the lighthouse and it's always a race to see whether the kids can finish it before it melts.

We always stop for an ice cream at the lighthouse and it’s always a race to see whether the kids can finish it before it melts.

 

Of

Byron Bay looking North to Mt Warning.

Byron Bay looking North to Mt Warning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of  course, Byron i also renowned for it’s many gorgeous beaches and great surf. However, rather than giving you a picture postcard view of Byron Bay, in keeping with the spirit of Byron, I thought I’d share some of the ephemeral sights we’ve uncovered over the years. You see, when it comes to Byron Bay, anything is possible and you certainly don’t need a permit to be a little different.

Starting off at the beach, we came across a sand sculptor who was building the most amazing creations in the sand. He created this fire breathing dragon, which I’ve photographed here. You’ll notice he’s having a cup of tea and that’s my Royal Albert teacup which I photographed around Byron Bay on a few visits. I’m not ashamed of stepping out beyon dthe flow myself.

 

We met a guy who is a world class sandcastle builder and I offered his dragon a cup of tea.

We met a guy who is a world class sandcastle builder and I offered his dragon a cup of tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also stumbled across this medley of musos and dancers who met up around sunset each evening just as the Rainbow Lorrikeets were churping away in the Norfolk Pine Trees beside the beach.  They sure showed me you’re never too old to boogie!

We stumbled across this random group of whatsy-me-call-its: dancers, musos and hangers on which meets around sunset at the Northern end of the beach. They sure showed me you're never too old to boogie!

Musicians and dancers, Byron Bay at sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

Crepes at the Beach: January, 2011.

Crepes at the Beach: January, 2011.

In January 2011, we had a wonderful surprise when a  group of French backpackers set themselves up just off the beach doing a roaring trade selling crepes…just like you’d see on a footpath in Paris. We felt absolutely spoilt indulging in scrumptious Nutella crepes or lemon and sugar after emerging from the surf. As you could imagine, this thriving little enterprise was operating without Council approval or any form of insurance. That is Byron Bay.

As much as we love the beach, the sun demands respect and so we stay off the beach much of the day. One of our other favourite hangouts in Byron Bay is the park beside the railway. This park has the most fabulous climbing tree, which is a type of fig. It got damaged in a storm I believe and it’s fallen over and now grows along the ground like a caterpillar. This makes for fabulous climbing, especially for really little kids who can reach the branches.

This tree has become something of a magic wishing tree and every time we go there, somebody has stuck something different in the branches and we can’t wait to see what’s there. We’re only talking about simple things like ribbons tied in the branches, a milk crate suspended by a rope but on one visit we came across a very touching artistic tribute by a grieving mother whose son had died in the park and she wants to help young people feel good about htemselves and help all of us feel more love.

Mister in our climbing tree in the Railway Park. Every time we go there, something else is hanging there or decorating the tree. It seems like a magic wishing tree although there's a rough side to the park here with drinking etc. We need to choose our moments wisely when we take the kids.

Mister in our climbing tree in the Railway Park. Every time we go there, something else is hanging there or decorating the tree. It seems like a magic wishing tree although there’s a rough side to the park here with drinking etc. We need to choose our moments wisely when we take the kids.

She decorated the climbing tree with bright yellow flowers and painted the park benches with all sorts of messgaes and graphics. I was still wandering around with my tea cup and photographed it wioth her artworks.

 

Tea Cup in the Railway Park, 2011.

Tea Cup in the Railway Park, 2011.

A heart broken mother whose son died in this park wrote these messages on the park benches.

 

Unfortunately, even paradise has it’s underbelly and Byron Bay is no exception. Unfortunately, our beloved park attracts some heavy drinkers who can get quite narky and obviously, this isn’t a suitable environment for the kids. I’ve also heard that there are quite a few rapes.

Thje photo below was taken at the old railway station where I’ve sure homeless people must doss down. Sadly, Byron Bay isn’t just all beautiful beaches, peace, love and serenity.

Sadly, Byron Bay isn't just all beautiful beaches, peace, love and serenity.

On a more poitive note, of course, no tour of Byron Bay is complete without going Kombi spotting. Back in the day, Kombis were all lined up prked along the beachfront with boards on their backs. You can still spot Kombis around town these days but they are obviously thinning out. Here’s one I spotted by the railway station:

In it's heyday, Byron Bay was Kombi paradise with rows of Kombis parked beside the each with boards on top.

In it’s heyday, Byron Bay was Kombi paradise with rows of Kombis parked beside the each with boards on top.

This is by no means a comprehenive tour of Byron Bay. I haven’t evn covered Byron Bay’s famous markets, which sell the very best chocolate donuts that ever walked this planet. They’re more of a cross between a jam donut and a chocolate croissant and just thinking about them is making me feel like getting in the car and driving  North.

While it’s a bit of a thing to climb Mt Warning or to the lighthouse to watch the sunrise, we are better equiped for watching the sunset and this is the prfect way to exit Byron Bay.

The Sun Set Byron Bay

The Sun Set Byron Bay

This is my second contribution to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Bis for Byron Bay.

xx Rowena

I am participating in the A-Z Challenge.

I am participating in the A-Z Challenge.