Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kicking back in Byron

For our last week in Australia we decided it would be nice to stay put relax somewhere rather than moving from place to place as we've been doing pretty much the whole trip so far.  We loved Byron Bay so we decided to go back and spend the week on the beach.  We stayed at a great place called Belongil Beachhouse (  Belongil is located right on the beach slightly out of the main town - a perfect spot to kick back for a week.

We were pleased to discover that Belongil offer extended stay rates for guests staying more than 3 days so we got a great rate on a private room (only the second time on the whole trip we've not had to share a room with a bunch of strangers!)  The outdoor spaces around the beachouse were great, we had dinner outside most nights under the thatched roof huts, listenting to live music from the little cafe next door.

Unfortunately it rained almost constantly for 2-3 days so we didn't get as much beach time as we had hoped.  Instead we ended up relaxing at the beachouse, doing a lot of reading and recharging our batteries for the next leg of our trip, Thailand.

The rain didn't stop us taking surfing lessons though.  We weren't too worried about getting wet as we knew we'd be spending plenty of time in the water anyway.  We took lessons with a company called Kool Katz ( whose owner is apparently known as "the Steve Irwin of Learn to Surf" - he was definitely quite a character.  The lessons were the cheapest in Byron Bay too at $49 for four hours - perfect for our budget.  We were both able to stand up and ride a few waves (as promised by the company's flyer) and, other than Lee almost crippling the Steve Irwin of Learn to Surf, we both returned from our first surfinf experience in one piece.

Besides the rain there was one other unfortunate experience during our stay at Belongil...bed bugs!  Courtney was practically eaten alive by them.  We didn't discover them until the third day, after they had had a good munch on Courtney's skin (for some reason they didn't really like Lee) and the bites are soooo itchy (they get worse before they get better as Courtney later discovered).  The staff at Belongil were great about it though and couldn't stop apologizing.  They immediately moved us to a new room, payed for us to wash all our clothes to make sure there were no stowaway bugs and refunded us a night's stay for the inconvenience.  Our new room was fine with no trace of bugs so it was probably an isolated case.

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