Goodbye NSW (...for now!)

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, October 1, 2007

We said farewell to Sydney, leaving our beach side resort in Manly and trucked our way along by the ocean heading back up to Brisbane.  Our intention was to shoot on up along the Pacific highway which runs along by the sea and be half way there by the end of our first day of travel.  As it turned out, this portion of the pacific highway was a two-laned road that involved a fair amount of traffic lights and well, traffic too.  It was well into the afternoon by the time we had made our way out of Sydney and were traveling quite quickly again.
We decided to hole up for the night in the lovely seaside town of Forster. We ate at the 'good' fish and chip shop, which seemed to have a lot of people eating there, whereas no one, for some reason, was at its competitor across the street. As darkness fell, we walked around the pleasant town which was not quite as picturesque as Glenn Innes had been, but I guess that this place is by the seaside which must count for something.
We made good progress on the second day, arriving at our next stop by mid afternoon. This was despite Colin's efforts to get completely sidetracked in driving madly towards a sign referring to the 'Forest of Serenity cafe'.  After traveling forever along a dusty road, this cafe offered the now hungry adventurers little more than tea and biscuits.
Our lodgings for the night involved driving just past Coffs Harbour to Santa Fe Bed & Breakfast along by Sapphire Beach. This turned out to be paradise (with more than enough serenity for everyone). Our private cabin had a balcony with a view of a lagoon below filled with lilies and there was natural beauty everywhere.  The music that they played was really great (smooth, soulful and serene) and we were completely secluded from everyone else that was staying there.
Unfortunately, as soon as we had finished our scrumptious breakfast the next morning, we regrettably had to leave this natural paradise. So we made our way further north, again on the Pacific highway, right up to Byron Bay.  Now today was the beginning of the NSW school holidays and that meant that Byron Bay was completely packed with young revelers.  They had hit the beach and were trying desperately to forget all that valuable information that they had just been taught in the past school term.
Byron Bay is nothing like Surfer's Paradise and most people will tell you that that's just as well.  It is a fairly simple town which is a little bit touristy, filled with coffee shops and surf equipment stores and right in its very epicenter:  Paul Hogan's Pub. Well actually he doesn't own it anymore, as he sold it quite recently, but this is the venue that everyone who isn't on the beach ends up at, coz 'When you leave here, you're going nowhere...' (Or so the sign says).  Well when the Australian rules footy game was over, we did leave there and headed for the Balcony Restaurant, which, given that this was Saturday night, we weren't sure that we'd get in. However, the Maître de, shaking his head as he looked over his list of reservations (which he assured us went well into Monday) said that we were in fact in luck. He did have a 'small table out the back'.  So he then took us out to a table that suited us superbly, with a fine view of the road below. So the moral of the story is: you should never book ahead when going out to eat in Byron Bay.
We had one last stop in New South Wales before heading to our final destination of Brisbane and that was to visit a town located in the 'Rainbow Region' called Nimbin.
Nimbin is well known as the hippie and alternative lifestyle community - It's Australia's version of San Francisco's Haight and Ashbury district. The town is very colorful with the shops made up in an artistic bohemian fashion. While you are walking around the place, you will be asked again and again: "Hey Bro, Want some chronic Hydro?"
Next up: Back we go in time, to catch up with Eumundi Market's, The Spirit House and Colin's Mum's Birthday!
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