Not such a great start to the day. Ken woke at 4am and even though he didn’t need to go to the loo he thought he would go anyway since he was awake. Then, when he came back from the loo he didn’t really feel like a cup of tea, but he thought given he was awake anyway he might as well make one while he was up. Now let me tell you Ken has absolutely no idea how to be quiet – not even at 4am when I am trying to sleep. By the time he climbed back into bed (after having only one mouthful of his tea because, as he told me later, he hadn’t really wanted it in the first place) he snuggled down and went back to sleep and I was wide-awake! I lay there for ages trying to sleep but to no avail. So out came my torch and I read for about 2 hours – still wide-awake. By this time I gave up on the idea of sleep and finally crawled out of bed bleary eyed while Ken slumbered away until about 7.00 am.
7.15 my phone rang to say the whale watch trip was cancelled due to the heavy rain – rescheduled to tomorrow. I crawled back into bed and finally managed to catch a ½ hour snooze. When I awoke it was pouring with rain but we decided to brave it and packed up a picnic lunch to head out on a drive with Nimbin being our main destination. First stop was a little town called Bangalow where the brochures told us there would be many antique and collectable shops to browse in. Wrong! There were shops but they really were just gift shops so not very exciting really. Some beautiful old buildings though so it was still an enjoyable place to meander. We had a nice coffee (they do make great coffee here) and headed off again. We passed through Clune, had a good drive around Lismore (town about the size of Bunbury) and then out to Nimbin.
Nimbin is a small quiet country village, which lies in beautiful countryside, surrounded by hills, forests and trees and watched over by the sacred Rocks of Nimbin. In 1973 it played host to the Aquarius Music Festival and after the Festival many fell in love with the beauty of the area and stayed to set up communes. It became well known as a place of tolerance, where people could get away with possessing and even selling marijuana. Unfortunately over the years harder drugs also became part of the scene and the ambience has changed somewhat, but there is still a feel for what once was as you stroll through the town. The area surrounding Nimbim is part of the 'Rainbow Region' (thus all the rainbow coloured attire available for sale!) and is also culturally important to the Bundjalung Aboriginals as the resting place of Warrajum, the Rainbow Serpent, and as a place of healing.
When we arrived at Nimbin we were slowly cruising through the main street when we were approached and asked us if we wanted to buy some pot! Once we had parked the car (declining his very kind offer) we discovered that were we that way inclined there were many and varied bongs for sale to smoke the said the weed! We were then invited into the Nimbin museum to view the ‘amazing’ artwork and – if we felt it was worth it – could choose to make a donation on the way out (we did). We continued to wander down the street browsing the amazing array of rainbow coloured attire some very impressive hats.
After lunch we went to visit the Nimbin Candle making factory. This was first established in 1973 when the founder set about to make a non-toxic, smokeless candle which could be burnt in confined conditions such as tents, tepees, caravans and huts. All the candles are hand-crafted using the traditional method of dipping the wicks continuously to produce a perfect candle every time. When we entered the Factory the owner very enthusiastically showed us the process used in making both the dipped candles and the triangular molded ones. A very cool place to visit.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon driving along very winding roads with amazing scenery on either side of us. A drive through the Nightcap National Park proved to be a very bumpy, potholed road which we wished we hadn’t taken but the view of the Minyan falls was definitely impressive. Finally arrived back at the van again after what ended up being a very enjoyable day and feeling optimistic about the weather tomorrow as the rains seems to have finally stopped.