7.49pm - New Amsterdam

Trip Start Feb 09, 2009
Trip End Mar 25, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday 26 February, 7.49pm, Nimbin Rox YHA
Okay. When Noj called me bourgeouis for wanting wireless in hostels, perhaps he had a point. (I still think it's a perfectly reasonable request, but I guess it's understandable that not every hostel will have it.) But when a place can't even offer basic hygiene... sorry, but for there to be a dead wasp and spider nestling merrily in its web on the shower curtain (the curtain itself, like, if you brushed against it, you'd be naked with a spider on you), that's pretty damn gross. I was bitten twice by bedbugs in NZ, one bite apiece in two different places. Here, I got bit no less than twelve times in one night, and two of those are on my sunburn, so I am seriously hacked off, because scratching them is v painful. I am dreading going to bed tonight. I was seriously contemplating checking out a night early - I did Nimbin in a day yesterday afternoon (fun, but it felt like an Amsterdam knock-off, and since I've been to the real deal several times, I don't have any time for faux hippie nonsense - and only one guy tried to sell me drugs, I felt so insulted) so there's not much point in hanging around much longer. The people are nice enough, so there's that at least.
Byron Bay was lush, though. Gorgeous beaches, with clear green water, good pubs, met a few nice people, all was well. I headed up to the lighthouse, which had some beautiful views, naturally. It was built in 1901, the year Australia was federated, so it's one of the earliest buildings built in a united Australia. I also headed down to the easternmost point in Australia for a look. I squinted, but I still couldn't see New Zealand.

On the way to Nimbin, I found a place I had no idea was there, but which in my humble opinion is one of the nicest places in Australia, and certainly one of my favourite things that I've done so far. It reached the giddy heights of Kiwi excellence! It was the Open Air Cathedral, in Bexhill, and was truly spectacular. It wasn't fancy, just a few tree trunk pews and a stone pulpit, but it was beautiful, and I really enjoyed wandering around the nearby cemetery too.
Tomorrow I head for Surfers Paradise. My stupid satnav has stopped working (you have to put in a PIN, and they've given me the wrong PIN, and the phone system at Avis just goes round and round back to the options over and over again and my God in Heaven the ridiculousness of a satnav with a PIN code to begin with) so am gonna wing it. I managed to find my way to Nimbin alright, the guy at the Byron YHA gave me some directions that were easy as pie to follow, and Nimbin is very small so it didn't take long to locate the right street. Surfers Paradise is significantly larger, so it probably won't be quite so easy, but hopefully I'll be able to locate it on the map once I get there. I spent most of my day today driving around the local areas, stopping at various attractions (and pubs, obviously), and it is really well signposted around here (probably because Aussies spend so much time driving across this big ass country of theirs), so I should be okay.
One of the places I stopped today was Mount Warning National Park, which was fun. I believe the mountain is called Warning because this area proved problematic to Captain Cook and his men when they came here, but I can't remember where I read that so I can't double check. I should be keeping a far more detailed bibliography to go along with this blog! Additional reading for those who want it! Anyway, I did the shorter walking track (it was about 3pm when I got there, and the summit walk takes about five hours, so I didn't much fancy it) but I didn't hear a lyrebird, which disappointed me - I was watching some  Attenborough thing a while back and they showed that the lyrebird mimics other birds' calls to attract a mate. And due to mankind encroaching on their territory, they've now started mimicking us, too - this particular animal could make sounds like a logger's chainsaw, a mobile phone ringtone, and the sound of a camera shutter (with and without zoom). No lyrebirds for me, though, so I retraced my steps to the car and headed back to the hostel, to play with the wildlife lurking under my covers instead. (That's not a euphemism for someone's penis, by the way.)
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rokrchik on

Uhm. Ew?

suzloua on

By the time they all came through, I had 88. I counted them.

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