I mentioned before that I did not enjoy Byron Bay. Let me tell you why.
We arrived in Byron Bay on a Friday night and checked into a very busy hostel. The only beds available were in separate rooms which was totally ok with us. (You need a little break from each other sometimes.) I set up my bed in the female dorm and Mike set up his bed in the male dorm. (By “set up” I mean, I put my backpack on the floor resting against the bed, dropped the still folded sheets on the bed, and messed up the comforter. The bed was not fully made, but it was clearly taken.)
We went out to check out the beach and explore town. No real complaints about either of those except the town seemed to be full of Aussie bro gangs taking up the sidewalks.
Back at the hostel, Mike and I went to check on our things and both reported an annoying problem. Our beds had been “stolen.” Other travelers had decided to move our belongings aside and set themselves up in our bunks. Luckily for me, the girl was very apologetic and moved her things elsewhere. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Mike but that comes later.
As Mike was cooking dinner, I relaxed by reading a book in the common area. Not a big deal, right? Well, apparently so. Two guy’s walked past me and the one said to the other, “See that lady right there? She’s a loser.”
One, that’s just mean*. Two, lady? I guess my age is showing. Turns out those throngs of Aussie bros walking around town were also staying at our hostel. Nice.
After debating spending a night out, Mike and I returned to the hostel early and watched movies with a few other travelers. One thing you learn right away when you travel long term, weekends mean nothing. Every night is a weekend night. It’s not a big deal to stay in on a Friday night.
However, those Aussie bros I keep mentioning, they thought otherwise. Our movie was interrupted by loud pounding on the windows, rude judgements, and drunken lewd propositions. If only I could quote them for you, but it’s far too dirty to share here.
At that point it was time for sleep but the drama wasn’t over. Remember how someone took Mike’s bed? Well, Mike made the reasonable assumption that the person moved his sheets to the top bunk so he slept there. Guess not. A third traveler woke Mike at 3am to tell him that Mike took his bed. When Mike tried to explain the situation the original bed thief got involved. Apparently he had been in a fight the night before and someone else had prepared his (Mike’s) bed for him? Mike says the guy seemed fairly aggressive and then went back to snoring and farting the night away. (Yay for female only dorms!)
So. I did not like Byron Bay. You can see why I was ready to leave.
But…I do believe in second chances. A few months later it was able to redeem itself. Story to follow.
*It felt particularly mean because a few days before another Australian was quite insulting when he found out I’m American. It’s never polite to tell someone their country is “going down the shitter” and that you “couldn’t wait to get out of there” to cite a few examples. Yeah, thanks jerk.