Monday, 27 May 2013

Agnes Waters

I had a couple of days to relax and regroup in Agnes Waters. I got the bus from Rainbow Beach, and sat next to Marco who was also going to Agnes. It was my first Greyhound that arrived in a new place in the dark (6.30pm) luckily my hostel shuttle bus was already waiting for me. I stayed in Southern Cross Tourist Retreat, which sounds really posh but it's just a normal hostel. However, it does have free internet access, a gnome garden and each hostel room is named after a country - I staying in England.

On my first day in Agnes, I explored the hostel grounds, ate my breakfast next to a little lake and then went to meet Marco at the beach (he was staying at Cool Bananas). At the beach I saw some people I met at the Noosa Everglades and I am starting to think it's now impossible for me to go somewhere and not bump into someone I already know!

On my second day, at 2pm I was picked up at my hostel for the Scooteroo experience. You were given a leather jacket (choice of black or bright pink), given a flaming helmet and allowed to apply water tattoos if you wanted to. So of course I got three!

Getting my tattoo

Once everybody was ready, we were all told to go and pick a bike that we wanted to ride, I chose a shiny blue one and sat down, feeling pretty nervous about it all. You need a drivers license to do this experience, but provisional licenses are also accepted. I have a provisional, but I've never had a driving lesson or anything so this was the first time for me at the wheel of something with an engine, on real roads.

Scooteroo bikes
Posing like a biker chick
(not my bike)
Listening to the instructions on how to drive the bike
After a couple of minutes driving around the practice circle, one by one we were lined up facing the road. It is illegal in Australia for two motorbikes to ride side by side, so we were riding single file, in one big line the whole time. Suddenly we were off and I was on the road for the first time. It was incredibly exhilerating, especially when at one point there was a massive gap between me and the bike in front, which meant that I could go extra fast to catch up! Wahoo ;)

After about an hours drive, including several views of wild Kangaroos (which I find are WAY bigger than the zoo ones I have seen!) we stopped for a break. During this break, I was chosen to be the "model" for the photo below, to show everyone how to take a picture, where the bike looks really big. After that we drove for another hour before stopping off by a little restaurant where we got potato wedges with various sauces for $5. Usually this is the point where you ooh and aah at the sunset, however, we had a very grey, cloudy sky that day, so there was no sunset.

Instead we drove back to the Scooteroo headquarters (the drive back was over way too fast in my opinion) and got a good look at the professional photos of us that were taken at one point along the route. The great thing is that one photo is included in your package price, so there's no extra hidden costs for anything!

Again, not my bike
That night, female Sam from Gagaju and Dutch Laura and Stephi arrived at Southern Cross, so that was nice to see them again and to have some company in the evening. We also met two other English guys - Elliot and Dan - who we spent the evening with. Agnes Waters is extremely small, there is no club or bar in town, the only socializing you can do is usually in the actual hostel and the bar closes at 10pm because it doubles up as reception as well.

The next day was my last day, and I had a surfing lesson in the morning. My lesson was with "Reef to Beach" and my instructor was called JD. He was a real cool guy but he said "guys", "love" and "mate" at least once a sentence!

Waiting at the hostel for the surf shuttle bus

I've had one lesson before in my life, but I was 11 and it was in Devon. The waves in Agnes Waters were a hell of a lot calmer than those in Byron Bay, which made it a lot easier to get back out, if you caught a wave. Overall, I had a much better time surfing here than I did in Byron Bay.

I actually managed to catch quiet a few waves, probably because of JD's helpful hand and the use of the easy-boards.

I even managed to catch a wave from the beginning, right to the shore, so I am really proud of myself for that! The lesson was 3 hours long, and after it finished, I lazed around on the beach with Laura, Stephi, Rens and Dylan.

That night I got the 10 hour night bus from Agnes Waters to Airlie Beach. I was on the same bus as Rens and Dylan, and we were even staying in the same hostel (Beaches) and hostel room in Airlie.

More information on my stay in Airlie will be on my next blog post,
Till next time - Lucy xxo

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