december 1st

1 minute read

Up relatively early, but no free breakfast up at this hostel, so I wander up to the local Starbucks. Very healthy. To make up for this, I decide to hire a bike for the day to make my exploration of the North Shore that much quicker and, in my second bit of good luck in two days, I find out that they are running a surfing competition that day up at Sunset Beach.

So I head up there to find an absolutely gorgeous beach, waves and more beach ‘babes’ and surf ‘dudes’ than the eye can take. Mmmmm, beach babes!

The competition was the Ripcurl/Roxy women’s pro surfing, with people that I had heard of! Surfing is a strange sport, and I couldn’t really work out how they were being scored, longer is better is as far as I got. I ended up watching all the heats and the final (with Keala Kennelly – Hawaii; Layne Beachley, Melanie Redman and Lynette Mackenzie – all Australia) but this meant that by the time I got out of the sun, I had burnt my back to a crisp lobster red colour. Oh well, I guess it will turn brown tomorrow…

On my way back from Sunset Beach I stopped at the Banzai Pipeline (big waves), Sharks Cove (tidal swimming pool), Three Tables Beach (with three volcanic platforms a little way out) and Foodland (for doughnuts). My back feels worse.

With a couple of hours daylight left I decide to cycle the six miles to Haleiwa, the nearest thing to a town on the North Shore – nothing much there, apart from surf shops. Cycle back.

The hostel had an all-you-can-eat night with BBQ chicken, salad and pineapple(?), and as I can’t be bothered to cook, head over (knowing that all-I-can-eat is not very much). Eat with some aussies. Feel strangely at home. Then the Wedding Singer was on – twice! You gotta love American TV…