Nimbin and Numb Bum

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Apr 22, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ballina Central Holiday Park
Nimbin Tourist Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday 13th October 2010

Our journey to the legendary hippy town of Nimbin, took us over some bumpy unkept roads up into the hills of the Rainbow region. Nimbin is the spiritual home of Aquarius, the 1973 festival held by the Australian Union of Students that lasted ten days.  Many decided to stay on after the festival and set up new lifestyles, consisting of free love and Marijuana.  It was a struggling community at the time but is now vibrant and colourful village which is visited by people from all over the world. 

We drove passed Nimbin Rocks on the way in a large rock formation used by the past aborigines who lived there as an initiation ground for young boys.   Driving through the town was an eye opener, all the building were painted with bright, loud colours, musicians sit on benches strumming guitars or in little groups jamming.  Wild wacky clothes are on sale and on the locals.  It's cool!

Distance 49km
Accommodation                   $25
Weather                              Dry - 20 degrees

The campsite was very basic, we parked up and then jumped on our bikes to go explore the town. Once there we secured the bikes and went for a walk about.  The Nimbin Museum is a must do, it sort of told you the history of Nimbin in a crazy 'I’ve definitely had too many drugs’ kind of way.  One room was just full of egg whisks???  We left $3 in the donations bin at the museum exit and walked over to the hotel for a drink outside on their sundeck.  We only had one drink before heading back to the bikes, we didn’t like to leave them or the van for too long.

Thursday 14th October 2010

We only spent one night in Nimbin, far too many of the great unwashed for my liking, with hippies and free love go’s the lack of deodorant.  Our next stop is Ballina, back on the coast and the next big town before Byron Bay.  On the way to Ballina we stopped in a town called Lismore and wandered round the shopping centre, for a bit of a break and also to grab some lunch.

Distance                               64km
Accommodation                    $37
Weather                               Rain and Sun - 22 degrees

  We have found a lovely campsite in Ballina, right on the side of the river, it is very small but really friendly.  Ballina has over 30km of beaches but is also on the mouth of the Richmond River, it has a large high street and an excellent cycle track that stretches for 25km round the town, over the river and along the seafront.  Our campsite is opposite the cycle track and a five minute walk from the town, most people at this site are retired Australians travelling round and all of them have been incredibly chatty, one even gave us some oranges, which was nice.

We had originally checked in for two nights but the weather was forecast to be sunny over the weekend and we really wanted to check out the cycle track, so we booked in for two more nights. We booked into the campsite and then turned round and drove out again.  We wanted to get some silicone to mend the leak and the nearest Bunning’s (B&Q) was 6km away.  When we got back I unpacked the van while Gary crammed a tube of silicone into the gutter above our leak.  That night we cooked the steaks we had bought at Casino, they were so delicious, just melted in your mouth.

Friday 15th October 2010

The weather forecast had promised rain but so far it had just been overcast but dry, so we jumped on our bikes for a short trip along the bike track to see where it went.  I had planned to do some cooking so we needed to buy a few items in town as well.  The bike route only went so far along the river before coming to an end so we rode round some of the streets looking at houses, it still fascinates us the normal streets here are all detached, most single storey and made of wood.  On the way back we stopped in a bought a few essentials like Avocados, which we are still addicted cheap here but only while the season lasts.

The rain came down in a light drizzle and I started to cook a caramel slice (Gary’s favourite) and a bacon quiche. The rain eased off in the evening but the wind got up and everyone pulled their awnings in, including us.  By night fall we ate our delicious quiche in the van with roof down to stop it rocking in the wind.  All night the wind howled and the rain pelted down, the van rocked as it was hit with bigger and bigger gusts....really glad we weren’t in a tent? 

Saturday 16th October 2010

We woke up to blue sky’s not a cloud to be seen, we had survived the night without any mishaps and without a drop of water venturing inside the van... the leak has gone.  The wind was still about but not as strong as it had been over night.  We walked to the high street to check out the shops and pick something up for tea that night.  It was a chilly morning but warm if you where in the sun and sheltered from the wind.  We got back at lunch time and found that the van acted as great protection from the wind leaving a sun drenched area for us to sit, chill and read our books.  And what goes well with sitting in the sun on a Saturday (or Cider in my case).  We ended the evening playing backgammon and drinking cheap wine.

Sunday 17th October 2010

We started the day on bacon sandwiches before getting the bikes together for the big ride along the cycle track.  The weather conditions were prefect, warm and sunny with blue sky’s all round.  We started out along the river and soon ended up over the bridge and out to the east beaches of Ballina.  The track was a little hard to follow as it stopped and started and often we lost it so used the roads.  Some tracks when down to the beach, others out through the bush, we even stopped at a cemetery that had a fantastic view.   The good weather and the fact it was Sunday had brought everyone out, bikers, walkers, sailors, all enjoying the break from the rain.  We were out for four hours before heading back to the campsite for another afternoon reading in the sun and topping up our much faded tans....oh and a couple more beers!!
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