Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Global Carnival Come Down

I have been in communication blackout while we were in Bellingen, and now that I have a bit of signal and a bit of time I can't actually think of how to blog about it all. It was a mixture of frantic and peaceful, rippingly loud and pin drop quiet, safe and scary, but entirely fun, worthwhile, different and challenging.  So the highlights of the last 4 days;

- Camping in the Bellingen show ground with somewhere around 2000 other people.  It was such a party atmosphere, but felt like the kids were safe, people were respectful of each other, the grounds were lush, and everything was in close proximity.

- The divine Bellinger River, clear, crisp, sweet water.  The weather was extremely hot and humid through the day and after lunch and a rest we all piled down to the river to cool down and have a wash.  People swimming, jumping off the jetty, skinny dipping, making rock forts from the cold round rocks that line the bottom of the river. It was so beautiful and even though we haven't seen a shower since thursday we all felt chilled out for the evening music acts and went to bed feeling clean and refreshed.

- After chilling out in the Chai tent with the kids either happily being entertained by other people or asleep, I went next door to watch the Mermaids Daughter, a shadow puppet story told with spoken word, song, african harp and xylophone.

- The Crooked Fiddle Band, apparently the darlings of the festival scene.  We missed a fair bit of the set but they rocked the house.

- The whole carnival, great clothing stalls, food, the beautiful handmade lantern decorations that were at each gate or the puppet lanterns that walked around through the night.  People were super friendly and generous.  There were some wacky people, young, old, dreads piercings and gypsy skirts galore. At times I felt positively mainstream :).

- At one point we saw a man carrying a tiny baby, we chatted for a bit met his wife, and found that he was one of the carnival organisers.  Later while catching up with Trish and Antony we found that they had met someone we knew from Sydney who are also part of the carnival crew and they told them that the couple who had brought the farm Andrew and I wanted, had a brand new baby and were part of the crew.  So in some weird cross over of the planets we had met the couple that brought our house

- Everything finished on Sunday night and Monday morning 95% of the campers left.  We decided to stay another night, not sure if we would be told to go sooner.  Andrew and I drove past 'the farm' and the other properties we have checked out, had a drive around greater Bellingen looked in shops, had coffee and basically tried to get a feel for the town.  When we got back to the tent there were a few tents left and we had a very peaceful night with the oval almost to ourselves.

I could go on and on, the whole last 4 days have been so full of experiences and memorable times.  I loved Bello, I loved the carnival and we all had a fantastic time.

Next stop Hill End and camping by the river, it will be a quieter more laid back part of the trip.  I might get some book read Andrew might do some fishing and hopefully we all find some peaceful energy to bring home with us.

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