A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


Without wanting to further bore any of you stay at home types with yet another beach, our next destination for a good old root around (oops do not use the word root – it means naughty things in Oz), was to be what proved to be a hugely popular destination for the travelling masses with many folks rumoured to be staying here for months on end.

I am of course talking about a strange old town where things just didn’t seem to add up. And by that, I mean it has not been like anywhere else I have seen in Australia to date, for starters it was a lot busier than the majority of other places. It was also a lot more built up and seemed outwardly less picturesque. It was a place called Byron Bay, oh and yes, it also has a beach or two (cough, cough).

With slight traces of the drug/hippie/beach bum scene, Byron is mainly a place for water sporters to go get wet at, shoppers to go get skint at, and twenty-somethings to go get jiggy with each other's beautiful bodies and bumping uglies at (hopefully after the sun goes down and in private). What more can I say? It is a typical holiday destination where people go for all kinds of holidayish sorts of things and having said that, the general populous here seems to be a little on the younger side too.

Byron Bay Album here
There are however shops and markets galore, along with fine restaurants and plentiful eateries. Bars and beaches abound by the bucketful, and festivals appear to take place on every corner and just like in most other successful holiday destinations around the world, there is also a constant stream of people busily doing nothing in particular, flowing up and down along the main streets. Hell, there's even an Olympic size or looking, outdoor swimming pool right next to the beach, God knows what they would want that for.

But that was just the first, smack you in the face impressions I got. Below the surface, the place benefits from the same old overall cleanliness as the rest of Oz, the same friendly faces of the locals, and the same old glut of instant photography opportunities with the same old mix of different building styles, etc... etc... etc... Oh and then there’s also the dreaded crop circles that appear every morning on the pristine beaches… Now that's got to be scary if not worthy of note...

Is it art or is it a way of life? Nah, bet it's them aliens again.
Further down the road from the main centre of Byron stands the Byron Bay lighthouse and all the associated water, rocks and, need I say, more of the same old stunning scenery I am very quickly becoming accustomed to. The lighthouse is open to the general public with an accompanying museum and stands proud at the top of a purpose built walkway which includes lookouts over the coastline, seating and picnicking areas, and some rather splendid flora and fauna to look into along the way.

Check out the lighthouse trek album here
Little did I know though, the walkway went on for what seemed like miles (it had hairpin bends doubling back on itself too), taking us over to the eastern most point of the Australian mainland. And as you stand at the sign actually telling you so, you can see the small final peninsular of land jutting out into the ocean while making the tantalisingly wrong assumption that it is only a hundred or so yards away from you and therefore merits your further inspection.

Downhill all the way, the gentle seaside amble soon turned out to be more of a trek of what seemed to be astronomical proportions but without the aid of Zulu or Spock, I eventually made it to the end, waved at what should be south America way, way, way ahead of me, took some pics so as to prove it happened and then presently turned round and shit my self.

You see it suddenly dawned on me, that my journey so far had been downhill all the way. And in order to continue in any kind of direction at all, I would now have to begin to go… UP those very same hills… Eeek.

Now having learned quite a lot about hills through where I live back in the Penines of Blighty, I knew this was not going to be an easy task by any means. But with the putt-putt patiently waiting for me at the top, I had no choice but to proceed with my undoubtedly life threatening return.

The aching legs were among the first of the symptoms to hit me as I ascended my way back. Then came the breathing difficulties... Happy people with smiling faces brushed passed me while I was audibly gasping for what seemed the very last drop of oxygen on the planet. Jogging old aged pensioners were looking my way like nothing was amiss while wondering what the hell could possibly be wrong with me as they scratched at their foreheads. Others looked on with sheer concern as volunteers stepped forward to offer the man with a crimson red face, pained expressions and flared nostrils some aid in the guise of isotonic drinks, space blankets and full sleeping facilities for the rest of the month. Sweat poured from every inch of my body and my hair was bleeding water down my face…


I had made the first quarter of the return trip home.

Never mind the hiking, this should have been me !
I remembered on my way down how I was thinking ‘I hope this is all worth it’ along the way and ‘I’ll kick myself later if I didn’t do it’, but now all I could think was, ‘what the hell was I actually thinking?’ or ‘no it was notbloodyworthit’. But it really was a trip that had to be made and now, with the benefit of hindsight, CPR, gorgeous nurses that I was too unfit to play with and defibulators (Honestly - the things I have to go through for you guys), I really am glad I did it and yes it really was worth it.

Don't even think about it, this is less than
a tenth of the steps en-route
And having finally made my way back to the top of this monolithically tall headland just in time to see the light on the lighthouse shining its way across the crystal clear Pacific, that seemed as good a time as any for me to whisper (having been rendered unable to talk) a very fond farewell to the scenic pleasures of Byron Bay. Will you guys ever forgive me for being so slack? To be honest, I don't really care. My feet hurt, I have stitches in my sides and stomach, my heartbeat is racing and to top it all, I need a wee but the nearest toilet is down a spiral track of about another bzillion kilometres and it will just have to wait.


Oh Byron Bay, you are a lovely town with lovely beaches and beautiful rocky backdrops wherever needed but please, oh please, oh please, can you not put up some warning signs for when I or any other like minded but physically challenged mortals like me should ever return to your welcoming shores?



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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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