There are a lot of things that you expect to see when you’re travelling, but some experiences are completed unexpected.
You expect to see white guys with dreadlocks and hippie campers in Byron, but you don’t expect to see a live horse breeding in a ranch in Nana Glen. Luckily no real nanas were involved in the process, it’s just the name of the village.
It all started with a message from a couple of guys on couchsurfing offering me a place to stay when I expressed an interest to visit Coffs Harbour, a beautiful coastal town about 2 hours south of Byron.
Kev and Barry have been hosting couchsurfers for years and when I saw the glowing references from other surfers, I was convinced this was the best place to start my experience using the website.
Yesterday when I arrived they took me for a tour of Coffs Harbour and a dog beach that would have 90% of the women I know in tears watching these pups run around. Their dog, Susie wouldn’t get too far into the choppy water, but the guys were trusting enough to let me walk her as far as she would go.
It was a great start to the trip, and I got to know the guys really well- how they met, who they’d hosted and where they’d travelled. When people ask me why I couchsurf and what hosts get out of the deal, it’s as simple as people wanting to know people. Sharing experiences and stories, making new friends and paying it forward in case you need a good host in future for your own travels.
I want to go back to sharing experiences and my initial paragraph on this post. The best thing about hanging out with locals is that they know the area and more importantly, the people. They took me to a friend’s house up in the hills which was a horse-breeding ranch.
While they were only initially there to pick up Susie’s cone, we stayed for the show. It was fascinating watching how they manipulated the breeding process, letting the stallion and the mare get to know each other before putting them in the same space to let them get jiggy with it.
The featured photo of this blog is called the “teasing” where they’re basically putting the mare in a tight dress and high heels and she’s all like “you ain’t getting none of this.” Before she’s like “just kidding, go at it.”
At first the stallion was more interested in eating her shit off the floor than getting his end away, but it soon changed when he remembered all he needed to do was eat, fuck and sleep and he’d live in luxury- THAT’S the dream.
After about 15 seconds of feeling extremely inadequate, I felt a smugness when I discovered the creature that’s hung like itself was just a one-pump shotgun. The look on the mare’s face was a far too familiar look of disappointment and shame, while the stallion was just about ready for a game of FIFA with the lads and a long sleep.
It was great to witness, if just a little bit disgusting (especially when you have to avoid treading in horse jizz), but that is what travel is about. You learn and you experience, and jokes aside, I’m genuinely very thankful for how much I learned and that I got to see nature at work.
After the act, me and the guys went to the lookout at Coffs Harbour to oversee the town. This place really does have a bit of everything, a vibrant modern centre, beautiful beaches and natural pools, a harbour (of course) and green countryside.
The views were incredible, 2nd only to Mount Warning, and the bike ride we took afterwards to the wall just off shore compounded its awesomeness in both scope and detail.
It was well worth riding into the wind to get there and this picture doesn’t do justice to how shimmering the water was!
After an eventful day, the Aussies did what they do best and put some steaks on the barbie. I want to thank Kev and Baz for letting me into their home and for being fantastic, welcoming and knowledgeable hosts! I feel like I’ve made two good friends in such a short space of time, and will definitely be back next time I travel down!
Tomorrow, I travel to Newcastle for a brief stopover before I visit Sydney and my first stay in a major Australian city. This one could get messy…
Thanks for reading!