Saturday, October 26, 2013

Byron Bay and Nimbin

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
                   -Chinese Proverb

This past weekend I ventured to Byron Bay to de-stress from the many papers and presentations I had. Accompanied by two of my friends, Miles and Maarit, we hopped on a Greyhound bus and were ready for a relaxing weekend.

We arrived in Byron Bay in the late afternoon and decided to walk around town and check out the beach. The town consisted of basically two main streets where there was an array of shops, food, and Australian culture. People walked around barefoot with surfboards and were really chill. We ended the day by relaxing on our hostel porch with two awesome Phillip and Oscar (from Germany and the other from Sweden).

The next day we woke up to a rainy gloomy day. Since we couldn't hang glide like we had plan, due to the weather, we roamed the town and did a bit of shopping. We spent some time just walking down the beach, and even though the rain cleared up towards the afternoon, we were informed that we would not be able to hang glide because conditions were still not okay. Nevertheless, we played some games in the hostel lobby and had a great time relaxing.

Our final day in Byron we decided to venture to Nimbin. Famously known as a hippie community,  Nimbin is home to some amazing Australian culture! We hopped onto The Happy Coach, accompanied by John, our driver. He was so down to earth and a genuine individual. As we listened to Jack Johnson on our ride there, John stopped at a few places along the way to Nimbin to enrich us in Australian culture. Our first stop was at a lookout of Byron was breathtaking!

Next we ventured up the hills to a hidden waterfall. Since the group was so large, we were not able to go to the bottom, however, it was still a neat thing to see. Our next stop was a local pub and it just so happened that it was located next to a Christmas shop...for those of you who know my love for Christmas, I had to give my wallet to Maarit so I wouldn't buy anything. We went back to the pub, grabbed a drink, and were on our way again. About 45 minutes later, we arrived in Nimbin. Since the town was extremely small, we walked the colourful main street in search of souvenirs.

In addition to shopping, we went to the Nimbin Museum. It was incredible to see all of the artifacts collected throughout time in such a small space. John had told us some history of how Nimbin came to be...Nimbin started out as a successful thriving farming community. Eventually, due to cooperations and factories, the farmers moved out of the area. As farmers moved out, individuals could purchase the land for cheap. It was discovered that the land was suitable to grow grasses and thus Nimbin came to be. After about an hour roaming the town, we headed down to the local bowling club where John treated us to an amazing barbecue (I think this was the best burger I have tasted since I've been in Australia!).

Once we arrived back in Byron Bay, with only a few hours of daylight left, we hiked to the Byron Bay lighthouse. We were told that it would take us about twenty minutes to reach the lighthouse, instead it took us about two hours. We eventually realised that we took the longer way, around the coast to get to the lighthouse. On our way, we stopped at the most easterly point of Australia.

As we reached the lighthouse, the sun was was breathtaking! With just a hint of sunlight left, we decided that we needed to head back to town. We walked down a winding road in pitch black with only a light from Miles' phone and to our surprise, it started to rain...and I mean POUR! We walked a few meters and a car had pulled up next to us. A lady had asked us if we needed a ride into town...without hesitation we said YES! It was so kind of her to stop and offer us a America I would probably be scared and wouldn't accept the ride, but here in Australia it's different.

People here are genuine and kind...we definitely saw this while we were in Byron. I'm so glad I made the decision to go to Byron Bay; it finally felt like I was in Australia. I don't think I've been as relaxed as I was for quite some time and it was nice to sit back and not worry about life. Despite the bad weather and not being able to go hang gliding, I think I had the most fun I've had while in Australia.

Here are a few more pictures from my trip:


:-: Katie :-:


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