Friday, January 15, 2010

Surfers Paradise

I departed Byron Bay at 12, an hour delayed bus, and got into Surfer's around 230.  The change from Byron Bay to Surfer's Paradise was not a welcomed one by me.  A far more mainstream, commercialized town I was not about it.  I had 2 days here and it was plenty. One night I wish I could forget but more on that later.

Day 1

Getting into town there was not much of the day left.  I checked into my hostel, Surf N Sun backpackers.  It was another great selection by me.  My dorm room had 2 guys from Sweden, 1 Scottish Guy and a brother and sister from Taiwan.

After gettin situated I headed out to the city center.  It is basically one large strip mall that ends up at the beach.  Huge Hungry Jacks, Burger Kings and a Hard Rock Cafe engulf the beachside strip.  I read that Surfers is either a place that you embrace, or escape.  The crowds, shopping center is something I wanted to escape.  So with that, after milking McDonalds for its free internet access, I headed to the beach.  It was getting late and I was not in the mood to plunge into the somewhat dangerous surf...a lot of rips. So i took a little rest on the beach.

From there I went back to the hostel and interacted with people out on the pool deck. Decided to stay the night in as not too many people were going out and was not really feeling up to it.

Day 2

Having already explored the entire city center and not wanting to go to many of the tourist trap nearby theme parks, I dedicated an entire day to walking alongside the beach and swimming in the ocean.

The water was definitely the warmest I have felt in Australia.  Very soothing.  The beaches at Surfers are far from Paradise with the skyrises in the background, but when looking out just into sea they are not that bad. The sand was great and the waves were the biggest I've ran into so far.  I took the biggest pummeling in body surfing that I might have ever had. I blame it only on my inexperience to correctly learn and ride the wave.  Even trying to avoid the waves and diving under them I managed to tumble around on the ocean floor. It was all good fun.

Taking advantage yet again of my great travel planning, I headed to Montezuma's Mexican Restaurant. They offered half priced lunch and it was definitely worth the effort of locating the restaurant. Mexican food is not too common here in Oz so was happy to discover some.  I had the taco platter and salad, it was very good.

After going back into the water and taking a nap on the beach I went along the beachfront to the Wednesday night markets.  Too bad I live out of a backpack, there were some nice souvenirs and novelties I would like to take home.

After the markets I stumbled upon a set of pull up/chin up bars. This was much to my delight as I greatly miss my in door chin up bar where I exercised daily on.  Definitely have lost some muscle since travelling, that is not a good thing but expected.  Walking and carrying a 20kg bag on my back is the only exercise I get.

Well night time hit and it was finally time to test out Surfers Paradise's renowned nightclubs.  Wednesday nights was Backpackers Big Night Out, it is a huge pub crawl of 100+ backpackers where you go into 4 clubs, get 4 free drinks and entry. It costed 30 dollars, the most expensive pub crawl I paid for, but included a beach towel...woo woo.

Now I don't really like to go into detail regarding my nights out, but will do it this time. Please know that this trip is not one old drunken time, I travel hard, I've worked hard, and now have earned my party time. Anyhow the big night out ended up being the most miserable night of the trip. I am sorry if it gets a bit graphic, but this blog will be a great memory for me down the road., and even tho I would like to forget this night, it happened.

All was going great, I bought goon and was around a table drinking with 2 Swedish girls, my scottish dorm mate Rob, and a guy named Baz .  Anyhow we headed for club number 1 after boarding the bus with 100s of backpackers, when I got into the club I felt sick. Having been drinking goon for the last 3 months, I know my tolerance and found it abnormal how drunk I was feeling.  Well, I couldnt even drink my free beer at the club and made a quick trip to the restroom and thought I would feel better. Well things just spiraled downward from there.  I had to get out, the night was not going to continue like this, so as I went outside I bought a kebab to try to sober me up.  Kebabs are my favorite late night food here and I couldnt even eat half of it I was so sick.  I made it safely back home to the hostel and sat next to a trashbag outside only in my boxers. Did not care at all at any girl or guy walking past me, it was all about me and trying to feel better.  It was the sickest I felt in all of Australia, and maybe second most in my entire life...after my 21st.

Anyhow i eventually went to bed and was able to wake up by 830 to catch my 9 oclock bus (real early right?)  Feeling just as bad in the morning, I made it to the greyhound stop just in time, but my bus was running 40 minutes late anyway. This gave me sometime to find a restroom and try to rid the body of the virus.  Something from the previous night was not right, it just did not make sense how I got so sick.  And then I remembered. There was one shot I took with the group before we went out. It was a strawberry shot.  I remember looking at the bottle and it saying 29% alch vol.  It had to been it. That one small small shot took me completely out.

The night had so much to look forward to, and I didnt even make it past the 1st bar. It is a shame that the 30 dollars was lost and the one kebab was not enjoyed.  I am positive it was that one damn strawberry shot, its the only thing it could have been. I may have been drugged who knows. I never  got to speak with the other people that took the shot with but for some reason I could not take it.

No water, orange juice or cold shower could cure me that morning. The bus ride to Brisbane was one of the worst.  Ill remember that night unfortunately.  Stuff happens right. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  I have been sober for 2 days, feels great.  If anything, I see it as a fresh start to my newly cleansed body. Time to keep on rollin with the good times

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