“High” and “happy” are definitely two words I’d use to describe the locals in Nimbin, a hippie mecca about an hour inland from Byron Bay. I rode a Technicolor bus with the word “Grasshopper” painted across it (I know, how dare I?) alongside other young backpackers more interested in smoking some funny stuff than learning about the communal utopia that inspired the town’s development.
When the driver pulled up in front of a popular stomping ground labeled “Hemp Bar,” he warned us not to eat too many “magic” cookies or else we’d end up just like a guy he had on the last tour: Hiding our faces in our shirts and beating our heads on the window pane for the entire ride home.
Curiosity getting the better of us, Amanda, Jen, Katie and I ran right through the hanging-beaded doorway to investigate. Toothless men with beards, cowboy hats and smokers’ coughs lined the dark bar. One of them held out a bag of weed almost as big as my backpack (I’m only slightly exaggerating). There were enough fatty joints rolled on the bar to tranquilize a small animal. Simply inhaling the secondhand smoke triggered the munchies, so we ran down the street to the cookie shop (I won’t say if they were magic or not). We giggled all the way home.