Trying (and failing) and stand up!
26.06.2015 20 °C
I've had lots of firsts on my travels and this was another to add to the list. Well, two actually - my first time paddleboarding and my first jellyfish sting.
My French friend Micka and I decided to hop on a bus to Collaroy in Sydney's Northern Beaches area and we were pretty lucky with the winter weather as the sunshine came out to play. Hurrah! (The L90 goes from Wynyrd, if you fancy this yourself. The same bus also goes to Palm Beach where they film Home and Away).
We went on the Queen's Birthday, which means NOTHING in England, but in Australia it is an excuse for a day off.
So off we went, and arrived to an almost empty beach. Which I was grateful for for two reasons - so I didn't take anyone out while carrying the board and the fewer people to laugh at me, the better.
I went on first while Micka played shoreline photographer.
The man in the surf shop told me it was easier to kneel - so this was what I did for the first 20 minutes.
The sea was relatively calm, but even so, getting my balance right was quite difficult.
The next ten minutes were spent standing up and then falling straight into the water. Although my photography assistant managed to make the pictures look like I was doing okay.....
Eventually, I worked out you can't stand on it like a surfboard, with one foot behind the other. You have to place both feet in the centre facing forward.
Once I figured this out, I managed to stay up for quite a long time. Hurrah!
Then, when my thighs were starting to ache, I swam inland.
So next up was paddleboarding-pro Micka!
I'm not sure whether she was just a natural, or I played the guinea pig, but Micka stood up almost straight away. (I wanted to hate her, but she is actually a really good friend!)
She went out so far at one point, I genuinely thought she wasn't coming back.
We then spent the remainder of our time on the board (we rented it for two hours, but I'd suggest just one if you're on your own) taking it in turns to be taxi driver.
Afterwards, we were very tired and soggy, but we had an amazing time. I'm so happy Micka suggested the idea as it was loads of fun.
In some ways, it is better than surfing as you get more time to appreciate your surroundings.
Afterwards, we were treated to beautiful pink and purple skies over the water - a perfect end to our mini-adventure.
Sadly, the only downside to the adventure was getting stung by a jellyfish. I have no idea what sort it was, as I didn't see it, but I felt a definite sharp pain on my wrist.
I knew what it was instantly, but tried to put it to one side.
However, the swelling when I got out was pretty bad. I still have a scar now - a lasting memory of Australia to keep forever!