Monday 22 October beginning of week 4! Do we know what is under our nose???
As always excuse any typos, spelling etc sometimes I think faster than I can type!
I am calling this post: The Sand Between My Toes - Why? This is how it felt!
Day: Perfect weather 5 Smiles
Trip: Great roads now from the Goldy as well as Brissy took 30 mins to get to Kingscliff. Both the tourist drives and highways were great not alot of traffic - just how I like it.
Cost: 4 smiles (overnight accommodation wasnt on the agenda but worth it)
Breakfast: $40 at Chouxbox Cafe
Wine and Lemon Lime & Bitters (with real limes): $11 Bryon Pub (dont know the name but right off the beach)
Petrol: $30 in total
Dinner: la Cucina di Vino $52 (more about that later)
Accommodation: Ramada Ballina: $150 - great room, spa, veranda overlooking the harbour
2 great days for under $300 - 5 smiles
You know we thought about where we might like to head to as we continue on the journey of where to go next and then we said hey its been years since we just headed down the coast to the northern NSW beaches area (I personally had never been to Byron).
So we headed off about 8.30am and first stop was Kingscliff - a total of 30 mins driving on great highway. So started with a walk along the beach and then back up to get some breaky - my silly NINKER mind had forgotten it was day light savings and said to Derek, look people are having fish and chips for breakfast only in NSW lol. Then remembered it was 11 o'clock.
We stopped and had a great Breakfast at Chouxbox Cafe - 5 BIG SMILES - the service was so good, the food delicious and all overlooking the beach. http://www.agfg.com.au/guide/nsw/northern-rivers/tweed-area/kingscliff/restaurants-dining/choux-box - will definately put something on trip advisor for this place. I will say we did have a breakfast there a few years ago and either its under new management or its because generally it was family holidayers with under school age kids or NINKERS - but everything was perfect all the girls working yesterday, friendly, helpful and more importantly SMILING!
High recommend the watermellon, pineapple and mint freshly squeezed juice for $5.50 - beeeeautiful!
After breakfast we went to Casurina Beach - yep did something we have not done in a long long time - just parked, with only a towel (and yes of course the mobile and camera) went swimming/surfing in unpatrolled waters, and sunbaked for a few hours (yep not a bottle of water or anything to be seen) Derek said he felt like he was 18 again, you remember what it was like when you just did things on impluse - nothing more - you didnt need to think you just did and I had to agree - there we were doing a bit of surfing - no one in sight and just laying on the beach without a care in the world - no where to be, nothing to do, no one asking for food BLISS! We stayed here for a good few hours and it was just glorious.
As I was laying there sunbaking I looked up and noticed the cobwebs on the tree we were under - so beautiful. Thats what I love about photography, it just makes you look at things.
But sun, surf and sand sure makes your thirsty so eventually we did have to get up and go - because I really needed to have a drink - but this is what NINKERing is about remembering what it was like to be anywhere you wanted to be at any time and happy to get up and go because there were no timelines needed, no deadlines, no we cant stay here because we have to be at x place in 2 hours.
We made a couple of little coffee , nibbly and swim in rock pools stops along the way to Bryon.
Headed to Byron Bay - as I said earlier I have never really been there and I have to say it was lovely, much better than I had always imagined - I dont know why but I had always thought it was full of dope smoking hippies but it definately wasn't. Again walked up the beach and felt the sand between the toes again (I suppose that is one of the things I love the sand between the toes) and headed to the pub, again th NINKER mind forget we were in NSW and I said - looks like you can have a drink and smoke and then remembered NSW (bliss) I have to wonder looking around the pub at all the people having a smoke how much tourism Qld has lost by its rules of no smoking anywhere - and I know for all the anti smokers its great but just like when we were in Vanuatu I am always amazed that non smokers can seem to put up with it without the snooty looks and comments when they are in places where its allowed. Anyway enough about my rant - had a drink, soaked up the atmosphere and headed for the lighthouse.
WOW is all I can say great views, great experience - you know I thought to myself we travel all around the world to see great things - we get on plains, trains and automobiles and yet alot of what we see overseas we can see here - in fact this place just reminded me of Sorrento in Italy and Santorini in Greece (with the lighthouse being the white and blue colors highly used there).
By now its getting on to 5 oclock NSW time and we were looking for the air conditioning of the car but the weather was still great so said to hell with it, lets head to Ballina for the night. Australian summers what can you say - heat all day and in come the afternoon storms, before we hit Ballina in came the winds 80 km per hour and storms.
Checked into the Ramada at Ballina http://www.ramadaballinabyron.com.au/ that was lovely and reasonably priced and again great service. In a lovely spot that overlooked a harbour, had a nice walk and overlooked the old court house, restuarants, bars where in the precinct so a greal locale if the weather had of changed but it didnt. Had a lovely spa bath and a bit of a relax before heading for dinner. The room was new, modern and really nice. The staff all friendly and very nice - a refreshing change.
Had dinner a la Cucina di Vino - http://www.agfg.com.au/guide/nsw/northern-rivers/ballina-area/ballina/restaurants-dining/la-cucina-di-vino and again enjoyed fantastic service, good food and great atmosphere. Being NINKERS we obviouisly can't afford to eat out all day everyday so we have started to look at ways we can continue to enjoy good dining without paying a fortune and to be honest I wasnt all that hungry after that huge breaky at 11am so we decided to do some NINERing and we ordered:
Garlic and Herb Bread: 4 big slices so good value at $8
Olives and Fetta: came with bread sticks (yes the carbs are important when dining on a small budget) but these with the bread filled a big hole and had heaps of great and yummy tastes $8
Followed by a Pizza - not the worlds largest pizza but tasty $16
Wash this all down with a few nice house wines each (not NZ ones as is standard so this was a welcomed releif)
Service was great: 5 smiles
Food: 5 smiles
Value for money: 5 smiles
Ambiance: 5 smiles
Went back to the Ranada bar called the Point and had coffee and yes another wine all paid for in small change so good value.
Unfortunately the winds and rain didn't stop overnight and so we headed home early, but I know if it had of been a nice day we would have spent the morning walking around this precinct and overall it would have been lovely.
For the full album of the day/s click here https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos?tab=mq#photos/102691573744221315434/albums/5802391862534220017