Our holiday park in Byron Bay
Getting to Byron Bay would involve my very first trip on one of the famous 'Greyhound Australia' buses, due to a lack of rail links from the southern tip of Queensland and the northern coast of New South Wales. Again, I'm not to sure why this idea had been daunting to me, though I did have a feeling that I would be sharing the bus with 40 odd other travellers; when I say travellers what I really mean is piss-head Brits on a 'shag bus' pissing me off for several hours (god, how old do I sound?!). I was just praying that the journey would be a peaceful one, one where I could longingly stare out the window at the scenary and listen happily to Ferry Corsten on my MP3 player.
Views on the way up to the lighthouse
It really wasnt the time for nutters. And miraculously my prayers were answered; myself and Kat took two seats each, allowing us both a window seat, sharing the bus with only a handful of 'mature' travellers. It was, infact, a fantastic form of transport - with air-conditioning, comfy seats and even a decent toilet onboard.... I was sorted!!
I hadnt even gotten off the 'Greyhound' before I had fallen in love with Byron. The main street was the ultimate in sterotypical 'surf-beach central'. People in jandals and boardies everywhere, amongst the colourful shops and cafes. I was instanly blown over by this intensive atmosphere of total relaxation. I really was a million miles away from the rat-race of London town! Our tourist park was centrally located at the top end of the main street with beach access.
..a mere 3 minute walk away from our lodge.... and what a beach! It remains to be my favourite through my time in Australia.... I'm not sure if it was the abundance of hot surfers, or the green of the water, the perfect white sand... or even the back-drop of mountains in the distance, but something about this place made me want to stay forever.
The following morning I had planned a tour for us to go on - a trip to nearby 'Nimbin'. Nimbin is a tiny village and hour or so inland from Byron, and is mainly famous as being the 'Alternative' capital of Australia. Again, this is basically code for 'Home of Copious amounts of Dope Smoking hippies'. I had read up on the place before I had left the UK, and had an image of the tiny town being a mini australian Amsterdam.
The Sleeping Giants....
...without all the tits in shop windows of course. I was pretty much right. There is of course immense amounts of natural beauty in this area; The Sleeping Giants for example are a fasinating group of rock formations just outside the town, with equally fasinating Aborigini tales to go with them. However, it would be a total, huge and obvious lie for me to pretend that this beautiful landscape was my reason for visiting. I had gone for the ganja! So when in Rome, as they say, I did what tourists in Nimbin do and sought out a sample of their famous green. I am very aware that this was a breach of the law, but I had looked and wondered about this palce for far too long to not get throughly immersed in the 'culture'. Well that was my excuse anyway.
funky little park in Nimbin, where a lazy hour or was happly spent!!
Getting some was no real issue, and afterwards myself, Kat, two British girls, and two Iraeli guys we had befriended on the trip, headed to the park to enjoy a taste of Nimbin. You can imagine what happened; of course everyone wanted to roll thier own, and before we knew it, 5 joints were being passed round and around. It was a fantastic afternoon, sitting in the sun, enjoying the ambiance of this gloriously colourful town whilst puffing away at some of the nicest weed i'd ever smoked. Problem was, it was also probably the strongest Id ever smoked, and within half hour, the 6 of us resembled zombies, zombies on a mission for munchies. Luckily we found a quaint public house with a terrace overlooking the moutains, and enjoyed yet another portion of sour cream coated wedges! Yum yum!! All in all, Nimbin was a brillaint destination; the local people were friendly and inviting, smiley and laughing, the shops and houses of unforgetable colour and design, all located in a sub-tropical landscape.... hell I could have stayed all week! But onwards we went, and back to the bus to return us to Byron, where me and Kat would enoy our final night before our trip back up north to the Sunshine coast aboard the Greyhound one final time.