Laid Back Agnes Waters, DVD frenzy, Surf Lessons, Choppy Water, Wiping out, Twee Town Of 1770
We hadn't planned to stop off at Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 (they are seaprate places but are usually lumped together!) but after a skype chat with my brother, he recommended checking it out for its laid back vibe. We arrived in the morning, the night bus hadn't been too bad and we were picked up in the hostel and driven up the road to the Cool Bananas Hostel, which is in Agnes Water. This hostel is everything a hostel should be- clean, chilled out, good sized dorms, plenty of showers, good staff and of course- an amazing DVD collection! The communal areas, with indoor and outdoor were great for lounging around in, and it was all very chilled. After checking in, we went down to the supermarket and picked up some supplies, head some breakfast and then had a shower (first proper shower in 2 days!) and slept for a few hours-it was needed.
After lunch we wandered down to the beach and took some surf in action pics, and then booked a surf lesson for the following day. The rest of the day was spent soaking up the chilled vibe of the town and watching a couple of DVDS before heading to bed.
We were up the next day, and headed off to our surf lesson after breakfast. I had surfed a bit in NZ a few years ago, but hadn't surfed since then, and it was Ajay's first ever lesson. Apparenntly it had been calm for days-but today the wind had picked up- it was a bit rough and the waves were breaking on the shore. But, we went for it anyway! After getting on our rash vests and going through the technique quickly, we began trying to put the technique into action. The waves were pretty gnarly, and I was wiping out a fair bit, but soon it was getting easier and I was standing up, and staying up too! Ajay seemed to be enjoying himself, it was difficult to have a first ever lesson in, but he managed to stand up a couple of times too. After a morning of surfing it was time to call it quits.
After lunch and showering up we decided to walk down to the Town of 1770 (founded in, 1770 of course, around the time James Cook graced the shores). It was a good 6 km walk, and we took some lovely pictures of the harbour. The town is very twee and even more chilled out than Agnes Water. It's also where a lot of locals come to spend their holidays, so was cool to check out the local scene. We walked back to the hostel along the beach after dinner watched a couple more DVDS.
Insert Town of 1770 pics
On the recommendation of Am's brother (big up Raj!) who had travelled Oz a few years ago we decided on a short stopover in Agnes Water, a small chilled out surf town with a population of 1700 and firmly off the beaten track. It served as a good point to break up our journey south and also provided us with an opportunity to get our surf on.
We arrived early in the morning after the overnight journey from Airlie Beach and headed to our hostel, the funky Cool Bananas. We spent most of the morning getting some sleep and in the afternoon we went for a walk around the beach. In the evening we got in on some DVD action in the lounge before getting an early night in preparation for our surf lesson the following day.
Surfing is ingrained in the culture of Australia and Agnes Water is noted for its gentle long break, which is supposedly ideal for beginners and amateurs. In the morning we both signed up to a 4 hour lesson at the Reef 2 Beach Surf School shop - it was my first time surfing and although Am had surfed before in New Zealand it was a long time ago.
After being kitted out with a rash vest and surfboard each, we ventured down to the beach with the rest of the group. It was a sunny day and the waves were bigger than normal. We were given a demonstration on the beach of how to swim out on the board, turn and then wait for an incoming swell before paddling and then pushing ourselves up to stand on the board. On the beach it all looked pretty straightforward; in the water it was an entirely different story. For the first couple of hours the group was split into two and ventured out alternately into the water to practice; for the last hour and a half everybody was in the water and it was surfboard crazy as you tried to surf while avoiding being crashed into.
The first task was getting to a reasonable spot in the water and this was made difficult by the relentless oncoming waves. It was hard work trying to hold on to our surfboards and either ducking beneath the waves or jumping over them. Once we were turned and ready to catch a wave it was all about timing. We didn't need to paddle as much as the waves were pretty strong but the difficulty was pushing your whole body up from a front-facing lying down position and then springing into a feet apart sideways position on the board whilst retaining your balance to ride the wave. Needless to say I was wiping out (i.e. falling off the board) all the time. Once you had wiped out, it was simply a matter of heading back out and starting again. It was hard work and punishing at times - due to my atrocious balance I was constantly falling and smacking the water and then having to re-start - but it was also quite fun in a sadistic type of way. Surfing, as I discovered, requires a lot of agility and strength. It's no wonder that all of these surfer dudes (and dudesses?) have amazingly toned bodies. Definitely a good work out. Regardless of the wiping out, we both had a great time surfing the waves in the morning. I managed to stand up and ride a wave for a few seconds on a couple of occasions (when you do the feeling is awesome!); Am fared better and stood up more often.
After our morning surfing odyssey, we showered up, ate some well deserved lunch and then, in the afternoon, walked to the Town of 1770 which is situated 5km north of Agnes Water. This delightful town which is twinned with Agnes Waters, has a population of just over 50 and is even more laid back (if that were even possible) than its compatriot. We had a walk around the pretty marina area and indulged in some ice cream before heading back to Cool Bananas for some more late evening DVD action. All in all we had a very chilled time here. Next stop Fraser Island.