Tuesday, November 27, 2012


One of the "activities" in Byron Bay is a day trip to Nimbin. Mic and I were quite looking forward to our cultural excursion, to see another part of Australia and especially because it was a kinda rainy day. We were excited, until we got on the bus and the bus driver introduced himself and said the first stop would be to the bottle shop. Mic and I just looked at each other and rolled our eyes. What were we really expecting on a day trip to "Australia's cannabis capital"? Two English kids on the bus already had cups of red goon, which I actually didn't believe could be goon at 10 in the morning, but slowly came to the harsh realisation that yes it was indeed. (and having seen these two guys again in Rainbow Beach and Airlie Beach since, goon at 10am is really no big surprise from them anymore) So, we followed suit, and bought a couple beers, not really sure what we had gotten into.
Our first, or well, second stop, was to Brunswick Heads to take a look at the beach in the drizzling rain.
The water ran inland towards the national park...

Really? This is a ridiculous day.

Then we got back on the bus after a horror-movie worthy park bathroom stop. The bus probably held about 20-30 people and was completely full. I couldn't stop laughing and everyone was looking at me like I had already smoked all the weed in Nimbin. After driving for a bit, we stopped at some sort of retreat with a lake to have a bbq. 

another odd bathroom break...
We drove on and on, over hills and through rain forests of cedars and banana trees. The bus was a bit dinky and every time it turned a corner or a went around a bend in the road, I honestly thought it was going to roll over. I was holding on and bracing myself feeling utterly unsafe and way to familiarly reminiscent of my May '11 car accident. There was even road works along the way and we were driving along bumpy red dirt. It was not a pleasant trip, but we survived.
When we finally got to Nimbin, we had about 2 hours to wonder around the one main street that goes through the small town in the middle of the mountains. It felt as though we had gone back in time. Along with the alternative sub-culture vibe it gets from the immense presence of marijuana, the town is incredibly earth conscious with organic food stores, meetings for all grass-root and social movements, and flyers promoting all sorts of sustainable farming practices, permaculture, and alternative energy.

There were all sorts of paraphernalia available to buy....all sorts.  
It's definitely a colourful place. Stuffed animals on the roof of the sidewalk? Why not?
There were people walking around not-quite-so-inconspicuously asking if you wanted to buy cookies, since cannabis is actually illegal in Australia, you can't go into a cafe like in Amsterdam to buy drugs. Instead, people bake it into cookies or brownies and you can buy about 3 for $20 or so. Chocolate chip. With sprinkles. Big ones. Little ones. The whole place was a bit bizarre. I'm not really sure how people get away with it if it is illegal, and it is known that's what goes on here. The police station was just down the road. There is a MardiGrass party every year apparently....
Then there was the Nimbin Museum. It was absolutely covered with drug-related history and oddities. Newspaper clippings were pasted onto the wall, quotes were everywhere...it was a lot to look at and a lot to take in.

No Expectations. No Disappointment. I like that. Even though it's spelt wrong. 
WWOOF. I'm not sure if this is real/serious or not. 
Human teeth wanted. Anyone?
There was a guy at a cafe where we were waiting to get back onto the bus and he had heaps of weed stuffed in his gums and in between his teeth.....
 After Nimbin, we were told we were going to a waterfall, but it was actually just a cliff. With some water drizzling down the side. Kind of a mean place to take people after they may or may not have eaten some cookies, with the sheer drop below freaking them out....don't look down.
Yeah so it was a curious sort of day to say the least. 

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