Day 6: Hippie Heaven

Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales

 

Allow me a bit of introspection, if you'd be so kind... actually forget kindness, what are you going to do, say no? Just skip below if you must. So yes. I like to think of myself as a pretty odd kind of person (and not just think, I’ve been told as much): I love science fiction and ideas of the future, but am just as fascinated with the past. I love the immediacy and bustle of the city – and yet would choose to live high in the mountains above all else. I’m obsessed with my gadgets and techy toys... and still am such a hippy at heart. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m pretty weird. And it all depends on what I’m exposed to as to which side of my personality comes to the forefront.

Yeah. I spent the day in Byron Bay. There’s a good chance I’m not coming home. I’m going to buy that Kombi van I always wanted, twist my hair into dreadlocks and weigh my wrists down with hemp bracelets. I’m going to learn to surf (yeah okay maybe not that one!) and live here happily ever after in Hippyville.

Did I mention that I love love love Byron Bay? People stop in the middle of the street to talk to you. There are dreadlocked guys here with hair longer than mine. There are juice stores on every street. The whole place smells like beach and every store sells bracelets. I saw ten Kombis!* I mean really, is there a better place on earth?

*sigh*

Fine. I’ll calm down now. But that was pretty much an accurate portrayal of my mood for most of the day.

My day started when I realised I’d slept in. Not drastically, mind, just enough to put me a good forty minutes behind schedule. But I was up and gone pretty soon and started in on my longest driving day so far (not that it was that long, but still). I pulled over at the Big Prawn, which is now closed down – can someone please explain the thing about "big" landmarks? – and then later at Ferry Park for a Stop Revive Survive (no excuse with the amount of SRS signage along the freeway).

Much closer to Byron Bay I pulled over at the Lennox Head Lookout. Driving up to it I say the headlead from the freeway and I thought to myself, 'Self, if the road starts swerving thatta way, I’ll follow it, I bet the view is amazing up there.’ Sometimes I hate it when I think stupid things like that. I parked the van and the view was lovely... but it wasn’t the headland, to that I had to walk up the hill. By the time I realised that the near vertical slope was NOT going to level out I’d already gone too far to chicken out and go back. I don’t know why I do this to myself, I mean I’m travelling alone! No one would know! ...but then I’d have to come back and blog about how I caved and went back to the van before I got to the top. I finally did make it, and you know what? The view was better from the bottom. Really.

Lennox Head Lookout

Once in Byron Bay I got a big cheesy grin that lasted all day. I started my Kombi count and got increasingly hyper with each one. I parked the van at the first available spot (there weren’t a lot) and started exploring the shops – the first and only shopping I’ve done the whole trip... well... except for the Candy Kitchen at the Big Banana. I could spend hours shopping at Byron Bay, I mean the very first store I went into sold scarves, postcards, rainbow shiny things, wind chimes, handspun wool, jewellery and notebooks. I’m surprised I left.

Hippy Van

 Hippy Van

It was lunch time by then so I stopped and had sushi on the main drag – which seemed appropriate. After my wanderings I stopped by the beach, which was far windier than any of the other beaches I’d been to this week, and listened to Random Hippie Dude #4 play a guitar. From there I headed up to the lighthouse, at the most easterly point of Australia, and stood waving at New Zealand. I just stood there waving hoping Amanda or CJ would wave back but, alas, I waited in vain.

Cape Byron Lighthouse

And now I’m back in my cosy little van again, in a caravan park with, oddly enough, a couple of small turkeys running around. I don’t know why but I’m going with it.

 

 
*okay, I was kind of disappointed about this, I expected more.

 

 
Kilometres travelled: 302 (1, 252)
Bridges crossed: 20 (122)
Number of times hitting head on campervan: 2 (9)
Number of road workers whom returned my wave:  6 (9)
Number of times James completely freaked out because he thought we were bush bashing: 1 (3)

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