Nimbin. The land of dreadlocks, weed and rainbows.
As the story goes, many moons ago a bunch of hippies were tired of living with the rest of society. They wanted their own space to do with what they wanted. This was a group of highly creative and relaxed individuals. What happened next was they founded a small mountain community and called it Nimbin, which means "little man who lives on a mountain."
The result is one awesome little town full of hippies who live by their own rules. Everyone is peaceful and laid back and no one tries to upset this.
Our first taste of Nimbin was checking into our hostel. The hostel was at the end of a long dirt road on top of a hill that overlooked the most beautiful valley I'd ever seen.
True to the city around it, our hostel was the best we'd stayed at. There were no room keys. No wifi password. Essentially the only rule was to chill and be chill. This was such a change from the party-all-night attitude at Byron Bay and Surfer's Paradise.
There was a small number of people staying in the hostel and most of them had been there for a week or more already which made the experience feel more like a house stay than a hostel visit. Still, our beds were comfy and the crowd was friendly. The next morning I enjoyed meeting the long-term stays while drinking tea and discussing American conspiracy theories. One guy told me he had checked in for a two-night stay and now has been here for four months. I could totally see why. I couldn't help but think what a writing oasis this place could have been for me if I had the chance to stay longer.
Before we knew it it was already 10:30. The Nimbin time slip was already happening to us. We had been warned that it would happen but I didn't expect it to begin immediately. After packing our bags and telling our new friends goodbye, we drove the short distance into town.
It was awesome.
Nimbin reminded me of a smaller, ampted-up version of Eureka Springs. I loved it. I could have spent the remainder of my trip there and I would have been happy. Everyone was so friendly. The shops were painted all colors of the rainbow and everyone had dreadlocks and peace signs. There was definitely a heavy pot culture. Lots of people on the street asked if we wanted pot. We simply explained we would be in a plane tomorrow and in a car this afternoon.
For those of you wondering, marijuana is still illegal in Australia. I was told that certain states allow the growth of up to two personal plants on private property but these plants are not to be smoked in public.
While we were in Australia we were pulled over several times for RBT's (Random Breath Test) this means that the law enforcement will do a random road block, pulling drivers out of their cars and swabbing their mouth. The mouth swab not only indicates blood alcohol level, but it can also detect if marijuana has been in your system any time over the past 30 days. If they find anything, you're immediately fined. Needless to say, we passed on pot.
After I got my full on hippie shops full of tie dye, toe rings and headwraps, we stopped for lunch. We talked Matthew into getting his palm read by a tarot lady. That ended up a 45 minute adventure that Patricia and I were excused from. Instead we wandered through the shops we had previously missed. When we finished we picked Matthew up and the lady asked me if I formerly did aerobics or gymnastics, I said yes and she told me my tendons wouldn't be fully formed until 28. Mine were overly stretchy and I needed to hold off on sports. The three of us laughed because Matthew and Patricia and I had discussed this very thing just two days earlier. They told me I needed to seek professional help and this lady now confirmed it. I have always worried about the many creeks and cracks of my very young body but I ignored them out of convenience. Now here were two blatant signs that I needed to start taking better care of myself.
While the lady was talking to me I couldn't help but hold back giggled. It seemed as though I was experiencing the Nimbin high. My head was light and tingly and the world was wavy around me. Only I hadn't smoked anything. This was a different high. I had taken a quarter Dramamine immediately after lunch because I thought we were leaving. It had now been one hour and the effects of the medicine were in full force. It was time for my nap to take me to a happy place.