Don’t get me wrong, because Pablo was an excellent performer, I really enjoyed him playing. But when I saw him playing at the Beach Hotel at Byron Bay Beach Hotel yesterday, I giggled a little.
Here was a bloke called Pablo with a beard and a bun, playing folk music with a flute and then later a trumpet at a pub in Byron, where I was drinking an overpriced 13-dollar schooner of Coopers Green.
“Can you get any more Byron than that?”, I said to a group of friends who grew up in the area, who remembered when Byron wasn’t quite the place it has become.
I remember when the same group of us visited Byron a decade ago in the midst of the summer holiday. It was overcrowded and expensive, and we hated it, remembering the quieter times of our youth.
“It’s Bondi with crystals”, a friend of mine once observed.
But if you go during the middle of the week outside those peak times of the year, it’s still a wonderful place to visit.
And for me, it’s extremely convenient. It’s about 50 minutes on the bus, compared to 45 minutes by car. For ten dollars you can catch an unlimited travel return trip from Lismore to Byron, including, if you want to, taking buses within Byron Shire.
The last time I visited Byron was about 12 months ago, in the midst of COVID. I was keen to go back again this week, to see how it was looking. Definitely busier than 12 months ago, but not so busy that it was unbearable.
It’s much much longer since I last visited nearby King’s Beach.
A friend and I recalled yesterday the excitement we felt going there as teenagers because it was a “nude beach”.
There weren’t many people at the beach yesterday, but that’s just as I’d hoped.
There was, however, a lot of wildlife to be found with a goanna, some birdlife, and some gorgeous coastal forest.