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First days in Byron Bay

From railway station to bush, from bush to house, our first days in Byron Bay unfold slowly

After the inglorious night at the railway station we moved to a much fancier place: the bush.
Byron Bay is a small town and so just a few hundred meters from its center is the “bush”, but in reality it is a proper forest, just Australians call all forests “bush”. One of our friends Mehdi, professional survivor, showed us a place in the bush where he and some other people were staying and it was a very funky place. Few tents were surrounding a tree-house-like structure and it seemed like a mini community of forest dwellers, which it actually was. We pitched our tent there and stayed for 2 nights and after we moved to house of Georgia and Alex from HelpX. HelpX, similarly as WWOOF, is an organization/web-site which allows its members to offer and look for an accommodation and food in exchange of few hours of work a day. Georgia and Alex are building a studio on their property and they needed some help with clean up and general maintenance, and so for 5 days that we stayed - in exchange of accommodation and food for breakfast and lunch we worked 3 hours a day. First day we cleaned all the windows in the house and for the rest of the days we were mostly working in the garden, weeding, pruning, replanting, cleaning and so on. One of the days they asked me to make “rabbit-proofing” of their fence, because they had 2 pet rabbits which were kept in a small enclosure and the fence around the house was above the ground so they wanted me to fix a chicken wire mesh under the fence so that the rabbits could run freely in the garden without chance to escape to the street or neighbors. Funny enough, approximately 2 hours after I did the rabbit proofing of the fence the rabbits managed to escape from their enclosure by digging a tunnel and thanks to the new mesh they couldn’t run away from the garden. Heheh, I think this was the project with fastest economic turnover period in my life :-) On the other side I felt bit bad for staying between the rabbits and their way to freedom, kind of like a jailhouse builder.

The day after we arrived to Byron Bay and slept at the railway station, Irene’s cousin Olga, who had been here with Irene when I met her here those months ago, came from Spain and so we were back to threesome life :-)

After the work at Georgia’s and Alex’s place Irene would usually go the town and look for a job, but it is not easy these days. I did not look for the job yet, because first of all I was lazy and second, I knew that Irene’s and Olga’s chances of finding a job were much bigger than mine, because they had both worked here before and have much more experience and that kind of job that one might get here, so I wanted to see how it goes for them and then decide. Well, it did not look very promising to be honest.

In my “free time” I started to go to local library and study some stuff about maritime exploration during Age of Sail, aka 15th to 19th century. The ocean is still too cold for swimming so we stayed clear of it.

And above all, we were slowly re-starting our Byron Bay life, visiting familiar places, drinking familiar kalimotxo, and simply doing familiar things.

Georgia’s and Alex’s 8 years old son Leo is learning how to play bass guitar, and he could more or less play the riff from Smoke on The Water by Deep Purple and as he seemed to have solid knowledge of Classic Rock for an 8 year old, I taught him how to play the riff from Ironman by Black Sabbath and he was exhilarated. Share some love people, teach the kids how to play Black Sabbath :-)

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak