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Published: June 26th 2009
The massive Q1 residential tower in Surfers Paradise
Byron is a super relaxed hippy town with money. There aren't really many folks left from the good 'ol days most of them seem like yuppies with surf boards and Volkswagen vans. But the aura is there and we loved it. We spent the first night at an isolated campervan site and decided to move the next day to something better. We tried to stay at the Arts Factory... a fairly famous hostel that actually has a recording studio and a painting studio. Unfortunately, they didn't have any van sites, only tent sites. But I'm glad we saw it. The campsite we did end up spending the next few days at was so close to the ocean we could feel the sea spray at high tide.
We spent the days hiking and shopping. We picked out some Thai fisherman's pants and some Tibetan prayer flags at one very reasonably priced shop. And I even found a copy of 'The Forest' by Edward Rutherford. I had been keeping my eyes peeled for it for years but it has always been too expensive. So when I saw it for sale for eight bucks I had to grab it. Even though I already
New South Wales
Finally after 5 months we're leaving Queensland for another state!
had two books on the go! We hiked up to the lighthouse which was situated as the most easterly point on the continent and has acted as a beacon for west bound Pacific ships for over a hundred years.
We had only planned on spending two nights in Byron. But the east coast of New South Wales was still recovering from serious flooding on the Pacific Highway. So we were stuck. What a great place to be stuck! So we took advantage of the unusually warm weather and laid on the beach, trying to get back some of our sunshine coast tan.
On the last morning we were there we went to the thursday market. There was an interesting collection of goods because of the nature of the folks living in the area. It mostly centered around organic local foods. But it also included artwork and one interesting juice we couldn't pass up, cane juice. They ran the sugar cane through a rolling press that supplied a suprising amount of juice for a plant that looked like bamboo. Mixed with a bit of ginger it made a wonderful summer drink.
We decided to try our luck headed
New South Wales
This shall be perfect for my party sized guacamole
south on the Pacific Highway even though we were told it was still closed south of Harwood. But first we went to Nimbin. The town built on pot. It was interesting to see all the pro-legalization shops and anti-nuclear posters. Alex particularly liked the environmental center. The town newspaper was full of articles supporting legalization of marijuana, using BC as the main example of a western goverment that had 'legalized it'.
Via some surprisingly skinny, and recently flooded, 100 km/h roads we made it to Harwood and were told the highway had just opened up so that we could get to Yamba. It was a close call as we only had about 50 metres to spare as we headed around the lake that was once a highway on the freeway exit. But we made it!
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