Two Days In Happy Hippie Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a city in New South Wales, Australia. Even though it officially has only around 5000 inhabitants, there are so many people traveling to this little Paradise.
Today I will tell you why!

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View from the viewpoint
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View from the viewpoint

We arrived around eleven in the morning and were desperately looking for an affordable campground. To be honest, Byron Bay is not inexpensive, which is why we had to search for cheaper options, instead of paying 60$ for one night. Our first try was the so called „Arts Factory Lodge„, a budget accommodation with a hippie campground for tents in collaboration with Nomads Hostel. Unfortunately, they have a waiting list for the campground and in order to get on the list, you have to stay at least one night in the hostel. We would have loved to stay there, but we neither had the time, nor the money.

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Anyway, we kept looking and eventually went to the „Belongil Fields“ campground and paid 80$ for two people for two nights on the unpowered site – still expensive in comparison to the camping fees in Australia’s national parks.
Yet we were very happy we decided to stay, since we met some cool Australian guys who took us to the city and spent the two days with us.

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the beach
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Surfboard hire for 18$ for 0,5 days

On our first day we went to the city and had a Salted Caramel Milkshake at a bar next to the vodaphone shop at Johnson St (sorry I forgot the name) – it was the best milkshake I have ever had! I would have preferred a plant based one to be honest, since I normally do not really like the taste of milk, though this one was just amazing!
Later we drove to the Beach next to the view point and spent our afternoon jumping into the waves and getting sunburned. For lunch we returned to the campground and Lina and I did (not) enjoy our canned beans based salad. Since we were running a bit out of money, we bought a lot of canned foods and beans and soups of all kinds. It was not as delicious as expected… Ironically, we spent a lot of money on food in Byron Bay 😀
We went back to the city around eight and hung out at the beach, watching the stars.

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The next day we planned to go Surfing. I was so excited since it has been three months since I had surfed in Bali. Well, it was better than expected! I got lots of waves, even green ones! I was really happy, even though we rented a 7.6 softboard which is HUGE, since the waves are quite small and weak in comparison to Bali. I realized that I simply love surfing. I love to paddle as hard as I can in order to catch the wave, to jump up and balance in order to ride the wave as long as possible. I will miss surfing a lot!

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In the evening we decided to go to the „Cape Byron Light“ Lighthouse which I have already mentioned in my last Byron Bay post. During sunset the lighthouse area is quite crowded, however I did my best to get some nice shots of this pretty building. We also did the lighthouse circuit/walk/whatever and went to the easternmost point of Australia, it was really beautiful.

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Byron Bay at night

Anyway, we had dinner at Guzman&Gomez, a Mexican fast food restaurant and had burritos with a lot of Guacamole (I love everything with avocados in it). Additionally Lina and I had the best spiced french fries in our entire life!
On top of that, we went to an ice cream place called Baskin&Robbins“ and I got peanut butter and chocolate ice cream which was freaking delicious, probably the best ice cream I had during my travels.
I ended these exciting two days in hippie paradise watching the stars, I had a good time and Byron Bay is probably one of my favourite places in Australia!

Make sure you will check out Byron if you are planning a trip to beautiful Down Under!

 

Five Reasons I would love to go back to Bali

If someone gave me a flight ticket and asked: „Wanna fly to Bali?“, I would scream „Yes of course!“ and directly take a cab to the airport. No doubt.
To be honest, I do not really know what I love most about this island.
Even though the island is almost surfeited with hotels and tourists, I still know five reasons why I would love to go back immediately.

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1. The people

One of the greatest advantages of our Surf Camp in Bali (besides learning to surf) was that we met so many locals in camp. Some of the surf guides were from Sumatra, others from Java and some were Balinese. During my travels in Thailand I found it quite hard to get in touch with locals, since I do not count talking to receptionists as local contact.
But in camp, we spent our days with the Indonesians, played the guitar together, went surfing and talked a lot. I learned so much about Indonesian culture and their beliefs.
The people from Indonesia are also very helpful and open.
One day our car broke down during rush hour and our surf guide just asked three people on the street for help and they immediately stopped working and pushed our car so that we were fortunately able to drive back to camp.

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2. Catch good waves all year long

Bali is a surfer’s paradise, the whole island is about surfing. Surf shops everywhere, surfers everywhere.
For me, the conditions in Bali are perfect, there are beaches for every level.
No matter if you are a beginner, an intermediate or a pro, you will (almost) always find some nice waves.

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3. Bali’s boutiques

Actually, I would advise you not to bring too many clothes, you will be overwhelmed by Bali’s small boutiques and the beautiful and unique clothes.
If you are interested in good quality and boutiques, make sure to go shopping in Seminyak and Canggu.
Many Indonesians are also selling clothes on markets or in small shops on the street. You will find some cute cotton beach dresses, sarongs and baggy elephant pants in their stores and everything is extremely cheap. Additionally, the more you buy, the cheaper it will be. Do not forget to negotiate, if they want to have 200.000 Rupiah, ask for 100.000 and try to make a good deal. Do not worry, they will still benefit from your purchase.

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4. The weather

Some people may say the air is quite humid and it is too hot, but I think the climate is pretty perfect. You can wear shorts, skirts, beach dresses and all the gorgeous clothes Bali’s cute boutiques have to offer. Yes, it can get very hot but it is not as bad as in the big capitals in Southeast Asia where you will be running from one air conditioned store to another.

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5. Bali has a big variety of experiences to offer

You can go shopping in the Kuta area, go scuba diving on the east coast, go surfing at the beaches of the Bukit Peninsula, visit beautiful temples everywhere, do Yoga in Ubud, climb one of the volcanos and enjoy the sunrise, or explore the beautiful nature in the north of the island with its waterfalls and rice terraces.
There are so many things to do and places to see in Bali, it is impossible to see everything at once. People come to Bali ten years in a row and they still have not explored the whole island yet. Bali is an everlasting adventure and I would love to come back as soon as possible!

 

I hope you enjoyed my Bali posts, I know that I may be a little bit overexcited about this island, but I simply fell in love with it.
Fly to Bali and get an own idea of what it is like!
These pictures were taken at Balangan Beach by the way 🙂

Have a good week,

Sophie

Learn To Surf with Kima – My experience

Four weeks in Indonesia are already over and I am now ready to talk about my experience with Kima Surf. They are providing „Surfaris“ since 1995 and I can say that I really enjoyed my time in the camp. We stayed in the Surf Camp in Seminyak, which is in the Kuta area. However, they also have Camps in Canggu and on the Bukit Peninsula.

As you know from my Surf Preparation blogpost, I’ve been dreaming of learning to surf since I was a child. This dream came true in Bali.
They picked us up from the airport (airport pick-up will be included if you stay longer than five nights) and drove us to the camp. The traffic in Bali is hell, almost all Balinese/Indonesian people drive a scooter and there are lots of them on the streets.
After having arrived, a surf guide gave us an introduction and showed us the camp. The camp has two pools, one pool bar, a restaurant, a surf shop and a jacuzzi.

 

You can decide whether you want to sleep in dorms or in a private room. Just check their website, they have multiple room categories available!
Breakfast is included in your room package, but you can also upgrade your meals and have „Deluxe Breakfast“ and dinner. We just went for the normal breakfast which was really sufficient. You will be able to choose kind of a fruit appetizer (fruit platter, fruit salad, pancake with fruit or even yoghurt), a fresh juice, a main dish (things like Nasi Goreng, eggs or even Coconut Risotto), toast and jam or butter. It was simply delicious! My favourite was the Coconut Risotto, which is similar to Mango Sticky Rice.

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On the regular menu, there is also a variety of western and asian dishes provided! We often had dinner and lunch outside, since the restaurant is not very cheap, however the dishes were freaking good! Additionally, all the dishes are really healthy, prepared with fresh vegetables, not fatty at all and many whole wheat products are used. My favourites were Pad Thai (see the picture below) and Whole Wheat Burritos.
Nevertheless I do not want to much about the food, since I am planing a separate post about food in Indonesia/Bali.

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The Surf Guiding is included, which means that you can sign up for two surf sessions per day (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) or you can sign up for a day trip (also two sessions, but you are not returning to the camp between the sessions).
If you do not have a board you can rent one, they have all sizes and shapes of boards which is really cool. Make sure to book Board Insurance as well, it is easier than expected to break a board, or lose a fin. The boards they provide are quite good I think, for me they were perfect!

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Additionally, the surf guides and the staff in the camp are very friendly. I already miss fooling around with the surf guides, they are really cool and also great teachers!
They know how to read the water and the waves, additionally they will always give their best to pass their knowledge down to you and teach you how to protect yourself.
Knowledge is power and when you paddled behind the waves, waiting for the perfect green wave, it is crucial to know how to read the waves and also to have respect. The water can be really dangerous but if you follow the rules and stay aware of your surroundings, it will be unlikely that something really bad happens.

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Nonetheless, injuries can happen and it is likely that you will hurt yourself if you are surfing a lot. Sometimes the waves are unpredictable and even experienced surfers can be overwhelmed by the water. On my last day, a two to three meter wave broke right in front of me, pushed me under the water and threw me around and my fin cut my leg. The cut was a little deep, but I survived :)!
Accidents happen, so be careful and listen to your guides!

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As a beginner and even as a pro surfer it is normal to „get laundry“ sometimes. This means that you are stuck in the wave which „rolls“ to the beach with you in it, sounds worse than it is. Just remember: Don’t be afraid, just have respect.

You can’t control the waves, but you can learn to surf!

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All in all, surfing was a great experience! There is nothing better than paddling so hard to get behind the waves and then finally taking the perfect wave and surfing in the green water. Your arms and shoulders will be exhausted, your ribs will hurt but you will feel so great in the end!

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I became obsessed with surfing and I cannot wait to go on my next Surfari!
I hope you liked this little „Surf Camp Review“ and let me know if you have ever surfed and what you think about it!

Have a nice weekend,
Sophie

Surf Camp Preparation & Travel related DIYs #2

When I was 7, I watched a movie about surfing. Since then, I always wanted to learn to surf. I already got my Wind-Surfing-License and went surfing in Turkey for two weeks twice. The header picture was taken in 2015 when I went to Turkey during the summer holidays.
However, my main goal was and still is to learn Surfriding without any sails or kites. Just me my board and the wave. This dream will come true in October, since I will spend a month in Indonesia, a three week Surf Camp will be included.

Today, I would like to talk about my Surf Camp preparation and also share with you my second Travel related DIY.
First of all, I pondered over a plan where every muscle will be trained effectively, in order to be in great shape when I will start surfing.
No, it is not about getting that „perfectly shaped bikini body“, it is about strength and endurance.
Consequently, I combined outdoor cardio with strength training at the gym.
I decided to give myself the opportunity to choose between swimming and running and I also split the training at the gym into „leg day“ and „upper body.“
Very simple but I got the most out of it.

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Since it is commonly known that anticipation is half the fun, I also followed this workout plan because it made me feel like I am already travelling at some point.
Of course the weight and the repetitions always depend on my physical condition but I always tell myself: „You already made it to the gym, now don’t waste the time – ROCK THIS WORKOUT!“

One week plan may look like this:

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This plan is my personal plan so you can adjust the weight and the reps. What I love about this plan that I do not have to go to the gym too often and do the same things. I also love switching between different types of cardio. Additionally, I can highly recommend to go swimming the day after an intense workout. Swimming relaxes my muscles and simply feels good!

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Anyway, you may have noticed that I included „Balance Board Training“ which leads me to my second Travel related DIY: A Balance Board for -you won’t believe it- balance training. Many surfers use this tool to be able to improve their balance and buy expensive Balance Boards. I really wanted to try this type of training but I did not want to spend over 100€ for it so I bought some stuff to craft my own board.

For the DIY Balance Board you need:

  • a piece of (birch-)wood 90x60x2,5-3cm (I prefer birchwood since it is solid wood)
  • two pieces of to support the board and to edge the area where the pipe rolls
  • a robust pipe with a diameter of ca. 10,5cm
  • an over-knee sock where you can put in the pipe in order to prevent the pipe from slipping
  • wood glue
  • a jigsaw
  • a normal saw
  • 10 screws that are not longer than 4,5cm (if your wood is 2,5cm thick)
  • a drill
  • a pencil
  • a tape measure
  • a yoga mat (optional)

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1. Decide what shape your board shall have and paint it on the wooden panel. I chose a fish board shape.

2. Use the jigsaw (CAREFULLY!! And read the instructions first!) to cut out the board. You can also use a normal saw but a jigsaw will save you a lot of time

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3. Measure the width of your board, is 50cm wide. Now you cut your pipe with a normal saw, it should be as long as the width of your board.

4. You can now put the pipe into your over-knee sock.

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5. Now you want to make sure that the board does not slip away when you step on the complete balance board. Consequently, we now cut two 5-7cm pieces of wood that are as long as the width of our board. (I hope you know what I mean, just scroll down to see what I mean)

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6. If you are happy with your wood pieces and your board you can use wood glue to glue the wood pieces to the underneath of your board. This step will make your construction more secure and robust.

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7. After the glue is dry, you can use a drill to fix your little „pipe barriers“. Make sure that the length of your screws is not longer than the thickness of your barriers and the board.

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If you want to, you can sandpaper the edges of your board in order to prevent scratches etc.. I would also recommend using a yoga mat and a bare or a chair to support yourself if you step on your board the first time. Please make sure that your muscles are warmed up to prevent injuries.
I am not a professional, I do not take any responsibility for your Balance Boards if you try this.
This DIY works for me, I am just sharing my ideas here. Please be careful if you try this, sine it can be very dangerous if you do not pay attention.

Although it may be a little hard at the beginning, Balance Board Training is very effective and you really get a surf feeling at some point.
It is also easy to use because at first it is just about standing on the board and preventing it from touching he ground, which is harder than it may seem.

Hopefully, you like this post and maybe you can incorporate parts of the workout into your workout routine. Please let me know what you think about this DIY and tell me if you have ever taken part in a Surf Camp.

Have a wonderful week,
Sophie

 

 

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