Byron Bay to Surfers Paradise, Australia

Distance: 71 miles
Time on bikes: 2.5 hours

Poor Béné has got stiff arms from the previous day when we went on the dolphin spotting kayak trip in the Bay. She even had to take pain killers to help her get some sleep as her joints and muscles were so sore. It must have been the paddling to catch the waves.

During breakfast we use up our daily internet allowance of 50MB to get some updates added to the website, before getting packed away. Carl had some stickers placed on his bike the other night and when packing up a nice couple from the Isle of Man came over to say that they had left them. Of course Carl was very proud to show them his Isle of Man TT t-shirt and we had a good chat about the trip we’ve done.

After leaving Byron Bay, somewhere we think is one of the best places we’ve seen on the East Coast so far, we head for the town of Coolangata which is currently hosting the World Surfing Championships. After parking the bikes on a patch of grass we pull out a picnic and sit on a bench overlooking a bay where some of the competitors are practicing. These guys were amazing to watch as they pulled off 360s, huge jumps and some pretty neat tricks. Maybe because it was practice time that they were pulling the big moves, as just around the corner where the actual competition was the tricks didn’t look so impressive.

We wander around to see the competition – two surfers for half an hour trying to impress the judges. We timed it well however, as ten times World Champion Kelly Slater is one of the guys in the water. We only watch for about five minutes as it was a bit dull after watching the guys practicing around the corner, so then wander through a few of the nearby stands.

One of the highlights is seeing a commemorative structure erected in 1970 which marked 200 years since the discovery of the East Coast of Australia by Captain Cook. It also marks the border between New South Wales and Queensland. Part of the structure was built using iron ballast cast into sea by Cook’s ship.

There are loads of people about and there’s a great atmosphere about the place. Maybe we could have stayed longer, but after a huge ice cream we decide to get on our way and ride up the coast to aim for Surfers Paradise. It’s not too long a ride and with the tent set up we take a wander along the very long beach. We would have gone for a swim, but the sea just looks stirred up and lumpy and the beach is lined with dead blue-bottle jellyfish which is slightly off putting. Instead we set down the beach mat and relax while watching a couple of kite surfers.

After summoning the energy to get back up we take a walk through town. The weather seems to be taking a turn for the worst again, so we duck into a pizzeria for dinner before making our way back to the tent. Thankfully there was no rain for the walk back, but the air was certainly fresh.

Jour 323 – Lundi 7 Mars 2011. De Byron Bay à Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Australie.

Distance: 114 km – Temps à moto: 2.5 heures

J’ai très mal dormi cette nuit, bizarement après nos 3 heures de kayak, mes bras m’ont fait mal cette nuit et je n’arrivais pas à m’endormir et j’ai même dû prendre un anti-inflammatoire pour pouvoir m’endormir, et ce matin j’ai de grosses courbatures. Heureusement, après une bonne douche et un bon massage au ‘Tiger balm’, ça va mieux. On range nos affaires et on reprend la route. On passe à Coolangata où on s’arrête un bon moment.

Il y a le championat du monde de surf, on en profite donc pour regarder les surfeurs, ceux qui sont en competition sont d’un côté et les autres s’échauffent de l’autre. Il y a pas mal de monde qui regarde, on s’installe sur un banc pour y manger un morceau en profitant de la vue et du spectacle. On passe aussi au Cook mémorial, une grande sculpture qui a été construite en 1970 pour comémorer les 200 ans depuis la découverte de l’Australie par le capitaine Cook. Ce monument marque aussi la limite entre les deux états de ‘New South Whales’ et Queensland et une partie de la structure est construite avec le métal du bateau de Capitaine Cook.

On passe ensuite un peu plus près de là où sont les foules qui observent les surfeurs avant d’aller manger une glace et de reprendre les motos.

On arrive assez tôt au camping de Surfers Paradise, où on plante notre tente. On prend nos affaires de plage dans l’espoir de nous y baigner, mais il y a pas mal de vent et il fait un peu frais, on s’installe un moment sur la plage a observer les kite-surfeurs qui font de grands bons sur les vagues puis on va se promener le long de la plage vers le centre ville.

On passe dans quelques magasins puis on va manger une pizza, c’est une drôle de ville, il y a pas mal de batiments, mais pas beaucoup de monde, on pense qu’il doit y avoir plus de monde pendant le week-end, ou quand il fait beau. En marchant sur la plage on voit plein de méduses bouteille bleue, qui sont comme un petit ballon d’air bleu avec un cordon, ce sont des méduses qui piquent, et quand on marche dessus, elles claquent comme des ballons, heureusement ca ne pique pas, peut-etre par-ce que celles qui sont sur la plage doivent être mortes.

On a de la chance, et à peine de retours dans la tente il se remet à pleuvoir.