Do you remember I said “…we still had several thousand kilometres to go, and just ten days to do it in (at the time).” Well, today was the day we woke up and realised that driving 1877km in 6.5 days (288km a day, or 3.15 hours driving, for those of you trying to do the math) was not going to be a lot of fun, especially if we wanted to stop for a day here and there to enjoy the view. So we called up the rental company and extended our rental by another four days. It wasn’t much, but it did give us a little breathing space; enough to stop and smell the roses at any rate.
We’d already planned on spending the day in Byron Bay anyway, and with views like this can you blame us?
We also had a yoga class to go to in the evening, but that will get it’s own post coming next. In Byron we were pretty much only going to do three things; shop, chill and eat (not necessarily in that order).
We did start with the shopping though. We’d been on a dress mission for Lena since she’d got here, but so far with no luck. Same with finding her a hat that suited. So we strolled up and down the high street seeing what we could find.
Didn’t take long for me to get distracted though, and pretty soon I was in the bookshop seeing what I could find for myself. I’d grown tired of plodding through Richard Feynman’s ‘simple’ explanation of physics and quantum mechanics ‘Six Easy Pieces‘, and needed something less brain busting to get my teeth into.
Tell you what though, books in Oz are expensive! You’re talking $20AUD for a paperback (that’s £13.35 / €15.75 / $20.75USD). Now I don’t know about the rest of the world, but that’s twice or even three times what you would pay in the UK for a paperback novel. And Lord knows why they’re so expensive either? I asked the lady in the shop but she didn’t know. It’s just what the publishers/stockists charge, she said.
I did manage to pick up some bargains though (3 for $15), so with that victory under my belt it was time for some lunch.
Being a hippy town we didn’t have to look for to find a nice healthy veggie burger. The toasted bun was rock hard and the lentil patty simply oozed out everywhere, but it was full of good nutritious stuff so I’ll look the other way on the terrible execution.
After that we shopped a bit more, then finished our little trip out with some sorbet and a nice stroll along the beach.
As I mentioned earlier, the evening was spent doing yoga, but I’ll come back to that another time.
After an excellent yoga class the night before (it’s amazing the difference a really good teacher makes) Lena and I arose keen to do some more. We had been doing yoga in the various parks and things along the way, but this was our first chance to do some on the beach. Lena went first, as she is an early riser. I, being well lazy, went much later.
It was hotter when I got there, but still I found a nice, firm, flat spot to practice in, with a nice view to enjoy too.
Asanas done, and a bit of brekky later, and we were off! With the extended rental we were going to spend another day round Byron Bay area. But before we looked for somewhere to camp we decided to go check out the lighthouse, if only for the views (and so I could do another headstand shot).
It was cute, kind of a mini castle, and the views were excellent.
That done we were then on the hunt for a good bit of wild camping. The local authorities are very anti-camper it seems, so finding somewhere legal and free to park up is nigh on impossible. But someone had recommended the end of a long track from Arrowhead that led up to the middle of Seven Mile Beach (pictured above) so we thought we’d give it a go.
Two minutes up the worst mud track I’ve ever been on, heavily pot-holed and washed out after the rains, in a vehicle that found it tough going on tarmac, we quickly abandoned that idea in favour of something less hazardous.
Someone else we know had recommended Nimbin as an interesting destination, so off we set with our unreliable maps to try and find some free camping there.
After an interesting, but not always direct, drive through the hills we made it there, arriving two minutes after the Travel Information Centre closed. But the lovely man who worked there took pity on us, let us in, and gave us a map to a couple local campsites.
But we were on a wild camping mission, so we set out into the middle of nowhere to try and find the location of a picnic area with over-night camping that was marked on our map.
After a bit of a drive on a road that turned out to be not much better then the one to Seven Mile Beach we were eventually confronted by this;
Now part of me wanted to give it a go, but thankfully the wiser part of me decided that, with light fading and no real idea where you are, discretion is the better part of valour.
So we did an about face, headed back into town, and went to the local YHA for the night (as they did parking for camper vans as well as dorm room accommodation). And you know what, it was one of the most fortunate decisions we ever made.
This is what greeted us when we awoke the next morning.
Lovely, no? Much better than waking up in the woods in the middle of nowhere. And for $12 bucks apiece (thanks to our YHA membership discounts) having toilets, shower and a fully stocked kitchen within walking distance was a real bargain. Not to mention the pool!
Nimbin YHA, like the town itself, is a real old hippy outpost. It’s a great place to stay, and they’ve put a lot of care and attention into making it a happy place to be.
If you go to Nimbin I thoroughly recommend staying there.
We spent the morning in Nimbin, seeing what we could find. Not a lot really, unless you’re into jester hats, incense, and wind chimes made out of bent forks.
But Lena did manage to finally get herself a dress she liked, and I got something that was to my taste too – a bag full of Lamingtons! 😉
We had lunch by the roadside where we had a view of the Nimbin Rocks,
I got another (precarious) headstand shot to add to the collection, then we hoofed it on up the coast to Surfer’s Paradise, where we planned on spending the next few days.