What a change of pace from hotel hopping and planned time in our Asia leg of the journey to our first homestay in Australia. We had three days in the Gold Coast to enjoy ‘the beach’ – which here is actually many beaches that run together for more than 40kms.
You never plan on rain when you are planning to be at the beach… but that is exactly what we had on our first day! So off we went – not to the beach but to Nimbin – a place everyone we had mentioned it to had said ‘don’t go there’. It is a small village where those looking to take time off the grid congregate – amidst hostels, unique shops, herbal remedies, “medicinal cannabis” and the Rainbow Power Company.
Our stop at the Rainbow Power Company was very interesting and we learned a great deal about the evolution of residential solar power. The company started some 30 years ago providing ‘hippies’ with the chance to be off the grid (helps when there is lots of sun in the area). Today they provide larger solutions for families with more electricity demands than your single person living ‘over the hill.’ The cost of connecting to the grid in New South Wales makes solar a viable alternative.
Although no beach on day one, we did make it to Surfers Paradise on the second day – it is
no wonder people come to the Gold Coast for the beach! There were swimmers (between the flags set up close together by the lifeguards) and surfers trying to catch the perfect wave. We had a great time on the beach and wandering the town – and even with several doses of 30 sunscreen, the sun was just too much after just a couple of hours. A few of us looked a bit like lobsters after this outing. A quick dip at the pool when we returned to the “Black Shack” (as our home is known) let our core temperature return to a more manageable level.
We have been enjoying some home cooked meals and picnics on our days here – trying to save some spending money for ice cream. Today’s treat at our second beach – Byron Bay – was salted caramel with a shot of hot coffee poured overtop. This second beach was smaller than Surfers Paradise but we liked the vibe of the smaller town and beach very much. Given our lobsters needed some shade today, we found a tree at the edge of the beach and then Jonah and I hit the surf for some wave hopping, body surfing and general messing around in the surf. Water was warm and the beach was beautiful.
We feel blessed to have started our time here in a home that feels so welcoming and that made a great home base for us. Nothing like being able to eat under a glass roof that keeps the rain off, or to snooze before dinner outdoors on one of several couches or bean bag chairs. We certainly like the weather here that allows us to enjoy the outdoors as much as we have – rain or shine.
And here is a quick video created by Jonah…