Mum arrived just before my Easter break. After a trip down to relatives on the south coast, with a day of luck at the Nowra races, we decided to head up the coast to Byron Bay. I have a soft spot for this beach town, recommended to me by my Dad, but Mum had missed it on her travels back in the 70s.
We stayed in a cute wigwam in the Arts Factory, a hippy hangout that I’ve visited several times now. Good music, lounge cinema and a generally chilled out atmosphere make it an ideal place to come for a break. Mum and I were referred to as “the girls” and made to feel very welcome.
One day we walked up to the lighthouse and watched a pod of dolphins frolicking in the waves. It was lovely just to have the time to pause and observe them for as long as we wanted to, our trip was taken at a very leisurely pace. We just went with the flow of what we needed day to day. When we got hungry, we would wander along to a cafe; when our feet were tired, we got foot massages; when it poured with rain, we just hid away with our numerous books.
The highlight was the hang gliding from the lighthouse over the beach. It has been on Mum’s wish list for years, so was great to be able to organise that for her. I was quite nervous, but seeing her go for it so enthusiastically meant I really had no reason to not go for it myself!
So glad I did. After the initial running off the cliff, which was nerve wracking, it was the most amazing feeling and the closest to actually flying you can get. I have skydived, bungeed and flown a small plane before- all fun experiences in the air, but hang gliding topped them all. An experienced guy was holding the bar next to me, which I was very glad of as the smallest deviation in the wind made a big difference. It was so peaceful, bobbing up and down with the air currents floating over beach, trees, beautiful landscapes, which looked even better in the bright sunshine. We soared up and swooped down like big birds, avoiding one inexperienced guy who was disrupting the currents (he looked too far away to have an effect on us, but again I was thankful to have someone with me who knew what to look out for-we just went up higher than the others to stay out of the way!) We were really lucky that day with the wind and clear skies, as we had some big downpours afterwards.
We had a lot of fun and laughs. Including on a trip to Nimbin with a great guide Anthony-I’ll add his tour company on here when I can track it down.
It is always nice to hang out with Mum, but this trip was particularly special because I was showing her a place that I regard as my personal retreat.