MardiGrass in Nimbin
Nimbin Travel Blog› entry 24 of 78 › view all entries
By the time we cleaned up the flat and said goodbye to our wonderful hosts it was pretty late afternoon. We were hoping to reach Nimbin in the morning because apparently the camping site gets pretty packed and Lars was worried that we might not find a space next to his mates.
Now, I’ve never heard of Nimbin before I came to Australia. All I knee was that it is a very small town built up around a community of hippies. Little did I know that the MardiGrass in Nimbin is the biggest Australian celebration in favour of reforming the laws for the use of Cannabis, and ironically I don’t even smoke!
I thought there was something fishy when we told Brone and Brian that we were off to the event and they squeezed out a force smile, followed by a few sarcastic remarks.
Over the next few days, I’ve never seen a better display of colourful Kombi vans; smelly bare footed hippies; un-healthy looking and tangled up dreadlocks; tie-dye and torn t-shirts with provocative messages; alcohol and rolled up cigarettes (ok joints); buskers with djembes, congas and badly tuned guitars; live music of all kinds on and off stage; improvised fire jugglers and the odd hippie on fire! organic food, veggie food and plain grubby junk food; Green gnomes, corrupted officers and ganja fairies with spaced out looks and painted smiles; and the all time festival favourite, compost toilets. It was brilliant!!
Unfortunately the festival is not free, as soon as we got there we realised that we had to pay $50 to get a gold wrist band, which covered the cost of camping and admission to the main events.
We met up with Lars’s friends and parked Bella right next to them, where they had kindly saved us a spot. Whilst Else was busy forging her way into the festival I attempted to cook some pasta in the dark, and produced a filling but not-so-tasteful pasta dish with tuna, peppers and grass, real grass not the smoking stuff! Then we joined the others for a night to be remembered.
There’s a drink every proper backpacker knows about, it’s cheap, nasty and they call it Goon. I’ve heard of it but never tried it, until this night. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, Goon is the cheapest fruity/acidic wine in a cask, and for $9-12 you can get 4 litres of undrinkable filthy, with a guaranteed spewing coupon and memory loss. I must admit, it’s not as bad as paint stripper and if you’re on a budget, you can easily convince your self that you are drinking a fine wine, yeah right! We bought one between the three of us and we got a second one later in the night.
Funny enough, the word ‘goon’ is also an English term for someone who is classed as an idiot or a half-wit!
For the next few days I stuck to the familiar taste of beer and enjoyed the festival in a much sober state.
One song will always remind me of this festival, I heard it over and over and I think it was coming from a car stereo in our group.
This festival was great, like a smaller version of Glastonbury but with more drugs than you can shake a stick at, or a magic wand to be on the subject. If anyone is passing this way on the first week of May, make sure you stop by, but bring you own beers and plenty of cash, because there’s only one bottle bank and one ATM! Oh yeah, steer clear of Goon too!