We chuckled as we passed the Byron Bay town sign which included the slogan ‘Cheer Up Slow Down Chill Out’. As the town must support such an eclectic addition to their welcome sign we thought we would enjoy a visit here as we’d expect to fit right in, and how right we were. Trendy, surfing, laid-back, party central, loud, cool, young and beautiful this was certainly a town for me. Straight away, though, I figured my Blue Harbour M&S buttoned blue stripped shirt, linen shorts (a little grubby this far into the trip) and dusty deck shoes weren’t going to cut it on the streets for breakfast, and neither, I’m sorry to report, was the attire of my lovely wife in this town full of minimally-clad surf chicks and beach babes. So, the first thing we did was dash to the local Billabong surf shop to buy me a grey, distressed, low arm cut tank top, colourful but faded board shorts, a pair of pre-used black thongs (no, I know what you’re thinking but ‘thongs’ are Ozzie for ‘flip-flops’), a peaked hat and black plastic sunglasses. Next, I needed an impressive snake and skull tattoo, around my right breast, carrying on up and over my shoulder and down my right arm to the elbow. Whilst I was getting this done Paula went shopping for a new black string bikini, where the bottoms are the Brazilian between-the-cheeks type, and high-cut denim shorts. With her already blond hair, bare feet and her slip-over aqua shirt-dress her look would be complete. My hair would also need to change so I nipped into a local barber and asked him to shave it really close, so the skull indentations from my operation are clearly visible and actually look like a healing shark bite. Perfect! Next we needed surfboards! And a car to carry them on! Our rented Toyota RAV4 wasn’t a bad start but a VW Camper would have been better, still, a roof rack would have to do!

I hope a few of my photos from today, attached below, make this come alive for you…

I bet you’d hardly recognise us now!


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