03.15.2010 - 03.17.2010
Day 7- Another rainy morning in Byron Bay, not a beach day! It’s Sunday and we get word that there is a craft market inland about an hour, so we jump into the neighbor’s car after breakfast and sped through the narrow windy mountains hugging the coastline. Scattered rainclouds would open for 20 seconds as they passed overhead drenching the car and making all of the bush sparkle. We finally got to the market in The Channon, and due to the pouring rain from the previous night, they had just cancelled it, too many people getting stuck in the mud in the parking. Some stalls still remained, tents staked into the soaked muddy ground. We did have some great veggie Mexican food, better than I would expect to find in the middle of nowhere. This is an interesting area, and one female dressmaker at the hippie fair kept me occupied while Flavia tried on dresses by telling me the history of the area. Apparently, this area had been an oasis of cheap land and easy going living for hippies all over Australia and the rest of the world. This all started after a very repressive 50’s gave way to a liberal 60’s, so yes, we are kind of in the Berkeley of Australia. We leave the market and head to a waterfall around a few twists and turns, and are amazed to find a 100 meter waterfall completely saturated with all of the rain. We decide to take a small walk to the base of the falls, only a 2 hour hike. This would have been fine except that all of us were in flip flops, and no one had any kind of gear for doing a walk. About 20 minutes into the hike someone noticed a small leech crawling up their leg, and we jump around checking our feet and legs for leeches, a la “Stand by Me”! For the next two hours we slipped and slid through leech country armed with some donated salt (to get them to release their bite) in our hands and completely soaked clothing. The end of the hike was amazing, the power of this 100 meter drop created a hurricane force wind and spray. Back at the camper park after a thorough leech check, we had a seafood dinner, hung out with our neighbors and went to sleep. What a day!
Day 8- We will stay in Byron Bay for a few more days, who knows. Today started off with a bit of a shock. We walked about one mile down Clark’s Beach to find our friends. When we got to the absolute farthest point from Campee, the clouds opened for what may have been the biggest downpour in a few days. We huddled under a cluster of trees and got drenched as the rain poured for what seemed like an hour. We are finally able to emerge as the sun began to peak through the clouds. Flavia and I have been discussing a lot what we should do, because there is a Cyclone off the coast to the north, so we are going to have to alter our plans for where we should go right now. We spent a few hours uploading the video about Campee (this was a pain in the ass to get online, so please watch it!). As we packed back into Campee and drove off, Flavia grabbed me and shouted “Look who it is!” There was Winni, our friend from Fiji, who had just arrived in Byron for two days. We spent the evening playing dice with Winnie and his friends, our German girls (who arrived the previous day), and a local wedding planner, who was exactly like you would think he would be.
Day 9- Change of plans, this was the first night without rain and the morning is clear and hot, we’ll stay in Byron day at least one more day! We rush through breakfast and zoom to the Main Beach to get as much sun as possible. Others show up throughout the day and we get a great day on the beach before the clouds start to roll in the early afternoon. Flavia and I change and head inland to Nimbin, a notorious hippie town nearby. This place was a trip, kind just one random block of hippie clothing stores, one bar, one café, and a hemp museum. We hung out for a bit then I drove back to town, by the way, I am fine in the manual car by now, thoroughly enjoying this cruise through the beautiful green hills lined with sugar cane, forest, and macadamia nut plantations. We plan to head north tomorrow to Noosa Heads, but who knows what will happen with us!