Saturday 13th June
On Thursday, we were taken on a trip to the land of Nimbin, a bizarre oasis out in the hinterland country. Our guide for this trip was Jim, an old hippie in a paisley shirt, and our vessel of transport a rickety old bus painted in rainbow stripes. One of Jim's specialities was to provide us with a soundtrack to our adventure consisting of music from the 70s and 80s, blues, soul and various drug-related sound clips. The driver was awesome, he peppered our journey with anecdotes of his years spent ferrying stoned backpackers to-and-from Nimbin, with a few useful warnings such as "go easy on the hallucinogenics, the bus can seem very small and confined on the trip home". We stopped at a little village pub, in Eltham, for morning tea(beer/cider) and a chance to crack some macademia nuts (nuts are expensive, free nuts=make the most of it!!.. they are very hard to crack) then back on the road to Nimbin.
Drugs were a talking-point from the moment we set off, and before he set us free in the village itself, Jim had a few words of advice "what you can buy", "where to buy it" and "how much you can expect to pay" along with another warning about cameras in the main high street, which bored cops sometimes sit and watch, before swooping to confiscate recently-purchased pot from unwary backpackers. We meandered up the main street, and popped into the Nimbin museum (more iterprative than informative!), then set about the most important business of purchasing cookies, which was achieved behind the museum, at a price of $20 for three, from a long, silver-haired hippie.
We adjourned to the Nimbin Cafe, where we bought mugs of coffee and sat around a table in the sun, drinking coffee, eating hash-cookies (which were chocolate flavour, with MandMs on them) and smoking spliffs, all very surreal to be doing in the middle of Australia. Things were about to get a million times better, when a rasta, who called himself "Nimbin's Bob Marley" came and sat down with us, played on a little guitar and sang in the most beautiful husky, soulful voice, bob marley songs. The spliffage kicked in and we were all "aaaaaahhhhhhhh" sitting there in the sun, SOO chilled out, it was wonderful.
Back on the bus and most people had indulged, the bus ride got better and better as digestion did it's thing and the cookies started to kick in... Jim drove us on arollarcoaster ride, up and down and round bends that had us sliding off the seats and collapsing in hysterical laughter on the floor. Pockets of people pissing themselves giggling all over the bus, laughing randomly at nothing. Vera sat next to me, thought horses grazing in the field were actually dead ones, suspended on barbed wire and I pointed out to her a badger with glowing eyes at the side of the road, that actually turned out to be a wheelie bin.
Bizarre and surreal stop-off at a hippie plant-collecter's house, where more was smoked and saw some weird and wonderful plants. The entire trip, rhythmic, throbbing musical soundtrack on the bus and all, was geared towards giving stoned backpackers the most bizarre and amusing experience, it was great!!
Back at the Backpackers Holiday Village, munchies kicked in, and my roommates were in stitches as I ate a bag of chips, half a pizza and a bar of caramelo, then wrapped up in a blanket and sat on the bedroom floor for three hours in some kind of stupor, giving amusing and confused answers to their questions. Hilarious! I thought that was it for me for the night, but changed (jeans ---> leggings, that will do!) and back off out to cheeky monkeys, where I was perfectly alive again, with a few vodka, lemon, lime &bitters inside of me. Had the dubious pleasure of watching a wet T-shirt competition, where five of the eight competing girls were english *ahem*. A very amusing day. Everybody should indulge in a trip to Nimbin, it's very good for the soul!