Visions of Nimbin

This day did not begin all that swimmingly, as I had to get up at 8.30 in the morning, having only had 2 hours sleep from the night before. The reason? Well her name was Charlotte but less about that. So, I had to get up and do the bins and loos, after breaking my promise to myself the previous night - I'd had 2 tequila slammers and 3 beers, but I am now squarely back on the wagon again. Honest. No, really, I am.

By about midday I was ready to do the off. I'd arranged to borrow Adam's car - the Admobile - to get to Nimbin, where they were having the last day of a 3 day festival to celebrate the harvest. It was called the Mardi Grass and they sure as hell weren't bringing in the corn. I travelled up in a group of 8, in a couple of cars. All these people I met in Byron, and they're all superb. Special mention to Dave, more often know as BA, as he has the biggest arm in the whole world (see Rocky 3 for further details).

It was a fine sunny day, for a change, and we arrived at about 1 o'clock, just in time for the parade. This chaotic display featured a huge joint carried by about 20 people (it was a mock up), and many stoned hippies and their kids gyrating and singing in time to the bongos, didges and in one case, an empty bottle of Mr Juicy apple juice. Whatever's your style, man. Some guy was walking around holding an ounce of grass and selling raffle tickets at $3 a go to try and win it. I thought it was a wind up, but it was part of the festival!

Following the parade was a rally, situated just opposite the bowling club. A couple of NSW MPs spoke, as did the President of the Hemp Embassy, who was obviously very stoned indeed. And very amusing. But they did talk about the issues, and why cannabis should be legalised, and mentioned they were staring a national hemp party to contest the next federal election. Because of the nature of preference voting here, it is possible that they could get 1 or 2%, which would give them a definate voice in Canberra, and maybe generate some change.

About half an hour after the rally we headed down to see the Hemp Olympix. After half an hour of sitting around there a festival official polished off a large joint, got up and decided to see if anything was happening. God forbid if hippies ever take over the world as nothing will ever get done. Not that they will as revolution takes a certain amount of effort. Eventually, he came back, and about half an hour after that the proceedings began. First up was the speed rolling. I thought this would be fairly simple, but I forgot the technical aspect. A Californian in the final wanted to know if it had to be the European 3 skin type or the American 2 skin. The judges had to confer on that one, but it was eventually decided that local rules should apply, so they went for the 3 skin option. Then - to filter or not to filter? Not to filter. They got around to it, after losing the stopwatch, and the winner (a local) did it in 17.31 seconds. As the compere said, "It's nowhere near the record, but it's a classy joint!". Fair enough. Incidentally, the record stands at 7.8 seconds.

Next up was the artistic roll, with a time limit of 10 minutes. While this was being done, a fat, ugly, drunk, stoned, ugly man was wandering around with a drink in one hand and a cereal box in the other, shouting "Ganja cookies!". He was truly ugly and wasted, and I'm sure people knew they were good cookies from the state of him. But there was no way anyone would buy owing to the fact that he was a filty bastard. Simple as that. If he had a previous incarnation it would have the been the hunchback of Notre Dame, apart from shouting "Ganja cookies" instead of "Ezmeralda". When the artistic time limit was up, some impressive joints had been rolled. One guy made a Cuban cigar, another a volcano, and another a boat, complete with sails! All very technical. One English guy took the mike and said, "The English can roll joints better than any other tossers"! Geezer. I think the boat guy won in the end, but we were leaving, to the strains of "Clear a path so we can get on with the bong throwing".

We had to go as it was getting late, which meant I had to drive the Admobile back to Byron in the dark. The Admobile is a huge 4.1 litre station wagon, about the size of a tank, which I had to drive back along narrow, unmarked country roads. Bit of a nightmare, especially when we stopped off at a Hungry Jack's (Burger King in other countries) to get some munchies. I parked the car in the car park, got out, and the thing started rolling back. So I had to put the hand brake on. How was I to know - I'd never driven an automatic before. We made it back eventually, though. A fine day. Slept well.

One more thing you should do is read Kirsty and Dave's account of their trip to Nimbin. Like the rest of their diary, it's superb. Sample quote:

"Never trust a hippy and never never trust a junkie. Never never never trust a hippy junkie," Dave muttered. Nimbin was full of hippy junkies.

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