Life's a pretty precious...

Life's a pretty precious...

Thursday, 6 October 2016

AQUARIUS, RAINBOWS, FRIENDSHIP...


The village of Nimbin is a 3 1/2 hour drive from my home. One of my two closest friends lives on 100 acres in the hills outside the village. 
A visit to Nimbin is a step back in time to the Aquarius Festival which made the village and whole area famous. A 10 day event in May, 1973, the Festival aimed to celebrate alternative thinking and sustainable lifestyles. It's often described as Australia's equivalent to the Woodstock Festival and the birthplace of Australia's hippie movement. 


The Festival had a permanent effect on the  economy of Nimbin as many Festival participants of all ages decided to remain in the district. The area was previously a dairying and banana growing region in severe decline. Communes, offering a cheap housing alternative, were created from pooled resources of the new settlers and these Communities continue to thrive today.

 





Within a decade, the "Aquarians" were outnumbered by the continuing flow of disaffected urbanites and tree-changers coming into the area. 

Set in a beautiful green valley with volcanic spires, Nimbin is near World Heritage rainforest, waterfalls and the magnificent Mt. Warning - 1,156 metres. It's known as Wollumbin, a sacred place to the Indigenous Bundjalung people...the Rainbow Region.
 Mt. Warning is the first place on Australian mainland to be touched by the sun in the morning. 

The name Nimbin comes from the local Widgibal clan whose Dreamtime speaks of the Nimbinjee spirit people protecting the area. 




 
 



Today, Nimbin is still a haven for escapees from the rat race and those looking for the elusive utopia. 
Tourist buses, backpackers and visitors from around the globe add to the economy. 
There are rainbows and rainbow colours everywhere...beautiful hand painted murals above the shop fronts...

Every May, Nimbin hosts the 
Mardi Grass Festival, a cannabis 
law reform rally.

The Hemp Embassy stands for 
everything cannabis which is 
illegal but somehow in Nimbin...


I found the jeans (almost brand new) 
in Vinnies for $5; the gorgeous pre loved top
at the Bellingen markets recently for $4 
(I love the sleeves and uneven hemline); silver bangles a combination
of gifts from my two closest friends and my own, discovered somewhere 
in the past, as were the earrings. I bought the silk rust scarf for my eldest son's wedding (I wore it tied around my head) and the silk purple scarf was a birthday present a few years ago. 






 
It's worth a visit to the public loos...







  









 Caro and I have been close friends for more than 20 years. When we left the same area we pledged to nurture our friendship by visiting each other at least once a year, in between phone calls and emails and because we live an easy drive away, we can. However, this year, Caro's best friend, love and husband, was diagnosed with prostate cancer - a double wammy to Parkinsons Disease and she hasn't made it down to visit. So, in addition to J.B. and I calling in on a trip north in April, I visited them a couple of weekends ago. And was hit hard seeing my dear friend's pain and exhaustion. 
Usually we go adventuring to the rainforest and National Parks but this time we sat on the balcony and sipped tea, coffee, wine...strolled the village that wants to remain in the 70's. With Ian and Harry the labrador we wandered the little Nimbin Show where one of Ian's photos (he's a very creative, keen photographer) won first prize surrounded by the local vegies, cakes and preserves. We saw the sun on Mt. Warning. We hugged, we shed tears, we laughed, we talked...







Caro has a fabulous wardrobe of skirts, earrings, dresses...pre loved, vintage...

Ian's well lived hat and his 
regulation shorts - and ever present camera slung over his shoulder... 















Rainbow Country...



 

Mt. Warning in the distance from Caro's balcony