· By Maria Nilsson
C'est parti.... by Anouk Corolleur
I got to my friend Maddie's at night. She told me that I was lucky to get here now because they had been waiting all summer for some descent swell and it only got here a few days ago with the Southerly winds. I had always liked the idea of travelling with the winds, it sounded a bit magical and it was the perfect intention to set for my trip. Maddie took me to my room, a small space with a large bed and with more windows then walls. I checked under the blankets for any spiders, snakes or other deadly bugs; hated myself a little for having become such a city girl, and finally passed out of exhaustion. 7am. The sounds and smells of breakfast woke me up. I hadn’t had anything since the fake plane food and my belly was cramping. I got up to the kitchen to find Maddie’s boyfriend, Riki cooking breakfast. Riki is a talented musician from NZ who moved to Byron a couple years ago. Maddie and Riki fell in love with each other, moved in together, got a few chooks, a couple more boards and a fertile land to grow.
I devoured the best eggs on toast; we loaded up the car and drove down to The Pass.
- Byron Bay - I love it here. Yes, it’s crowded, yes it’s hectic, and yes some people run over you, and forget to say sorry, but I love it here. I love the people. The hellos and the yews, the party waves, the grommies, the beared men, the oldies, and of course the hundreds of female surfing in the most stylish surf wear of the planet. It’s chaotic, it’s intense and everyone is high, either on life, coffee or some other substances.
Surfing The Pass teaches us a lot of things. One of them is the Art of Sharing. We learn to be ok with other people dropping in or “party waving”, we learn to move gracefully with other humans and to hold a friend’s hand who’s on the same wave than us. It teaches us the Art of Caring and to look at our neighbour who has been waiting for 30mn to get a wave and to say: “Oh, I think this one is for you”. It teaches us to be kind, to care for others, and to inspire others to do the same. My little French heart gets real moved by these acts of kindness in the surf. Anyway, you know who you are Byron Bay, thank you again
A week of Byron-ing* had gone already, and on Saturday morning our alarms rang early. * The term Byron-ing here refers to: Yoga at Creature Yoga, Coffee at Mc Tavish, surf and pot lucks.
- Noosa -
It had become tradition between the Gurfs and I. Every time I came to Australia, they’d take a week off and we’d all go to Noosa. Sleeping arrangements were never planned, cars were never fixed, but somehow we always managed to get ourselves up there and to have an epic time.
The transition from Byron Bay to Noosa is an overwhelming experience when you are a little surf rat. Noosa feels very proper and that got us in a little bit of a chock at first. Boys were freshly clean cut off the barber, girls were perfectly beached blond with a glowing, unified tan, and elder women’s boobs looked better than our mid 20’s ones. So we got to our Airbnb, plucked our eyebrows, shaved our underarms, and headed off for the National Park.
Noosa during the Festival of Surfing can be a pretty intense experience. And, unless your parents or your sponsor can afford a rent at Little Cove, you’ll most likely hassle everyone susceptible of leaving their car park with a mildly polite “Are you guys going?” Knowing that this would happen, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the first day (which wasn’t easy) to get a premium spot that we kept the entire week. Chef Maddie, rewarded us with some delicious breaky wraps before we walked out to Tea Tree.
The Surf unsurprisingly, was packed. The crowd was def counting more males then females. The female community in Noosa, although growing rapidly, is still relatively small compared to its Byron sister. At Tea Tree, gurfers were hassling their way into the line up, trying to look a little tougher, in hope to catch the long crystal magic ride.