WWOOFing and Platypus
So onwards to explore this huge country and try to spend some time living a bit more lightly on the earth. I head for Byron Bay as I hear the odd hippie lives thereabouts and I know I can meet up with my pal Jessa's Mum and Sis. I get 'Jungle' camping at the Arts Factory Hostel which seems to aim to be all hippie and environmental but the reality is not so. Still loads of backpackers making a load of waste and getting wasted too. Just not my thing and it is a shame when they have such a great location to care for and scope to do a few basic things like composting, turning lights out etc. Byron is a bit like Totnes on Sea, on the face very eco/hippie but really quite middle class and poncey (coffee bars and clothes shops galore!) but the beaches are beauteous and there was a fabulous lightening storm. Meeting up with Kris and Freya was a joy, such beautiful people and it was great to have a local to take me to the 'Most Easterly Point' in Australia and point things out, as well as a companion to join me to watch 10 Canoes, the award winning Aboriginal Film set in Arnhemland in the Northern Territory, (which incidently is very good.) I found a fabulous organic shop called Santos which I frequented every day to get my fix of good food including my new addictions of choc covered macadamia nuts and orange, carrot and ginger fruit juice, YUM! Thanks to Jane and Jess who made the time in Byron more fun and for their help with the Hopi Ear Candle project! I have been meaning to do one for ages so finally got round to it and I have to say I am not overwhelmed with joy as my sinuses have been bunged up ever since! After a week it is time to move on and I managed to line up a WWOOF place at Currawinya which is a 6500 acres property of regenerating bush/rainforest near Tabulam (small town of 150 people about 2 hours inland from Byron Bay) What a place to find. A small community of great people are living in this remote but amazingly fantastical place, all off the grid for power, water and sewage. I stayed with Peter, Christine, Jess and Kartyani who welcomed me in and I felt right at home. I helped out with the garden, did lots of things with plants (yay got my hands back in the soil!) helped look after little Ruby, helped to gut a caravan and do some insulation for a straw bale house's roof, collected and sowed some rainforest seeds for their regeneration work, built a stone oven at their permaculture group and mowed the lawn. I also fitted in some swimming and snorkelling in the clear, fresh river, eating lots of delicious food, some yoga by the river, got bored of spotting wallabies here, there and everywhere (only joking they were cool, every one!) going for a good cycle around the tracks and making elderflower champagne!!! in December!!! I also had a fun experience with a lovely green tree frog trying to get into bed with me after another crazy storm (I didn't think til afterwards he could have been my prince, damn!) and I also spotted a Platypus swimming around hurrah! Eventually it was time to leave which was a shame but I am looking forward now to Woodford Folk Festival where I will be working and hanging out until New Year.