Hippyland

* Home of the Hippies*

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

In general, Albuquerque is pretty non-descript, but Central Ave especially in the University of New Mexico is hippy-friendly. The hippy hangout is Winning’s coffee shop. The Peace and Justice is located nearby and has all the local info for events. La Montanita co-op, Peacecraft, Stella Blue (dead-head music club), The Guild Theater, a few head shops, bike shops, the big weekend flea market, music stores, alternative video (Alphaville), and Buffalo Exchange (kinda pricy for a thrift-store), are all right on Cental. The downtown and University scenes are also right off Central.

Views: 17430

Ras Abu-Galum, Egypt

During a holiday from the university, six friends went on a trip to the Sinai peninsula in eastern Egypt. They ended up at a remote beach camp and it was there that the group chose to stay for a number of days. It is impossible to say how long it was they stayed at Ras Abu-Galum due to the mind-expanding nature of the drugs they were taking during their sojourn there, and because the scenery that surrounded them on all sides was so vast and breath-taking that it served to obscure the reality in which they existed.

From the Tarabin/Nuweiba campground a few hours south of the Eilat border crossing, six friends climbed into the bed of a rusted pick-up truck and piled their gear in the center. Having agreed on a price for the trip, the driver jumped in the cab with his partner and a Cairene on his way to Dahab and the group made for the main road and began driving South. An hour or so into the trip the truck careened onto a dirt path, spilling completely the contents of a joint being rolled. The truck stopped briefly and the driver hopped out of the cab, informing the travellers that he needed some grass or hash to give to his cousin in a nearby village. All too happy to oblige, four or so grams of hash was shared between eight people at a nameless village on a dirt path. Night fell and the group in the bed of the pick-up became restless and paranoid. In the middle of nowhere, they were scared that their isolation might be an invitation for someone with the inclination to rob, rape, or murder a group of young westerners. One look at the sky, however, changed their entire way of thinking. It seemed as if the entire galaxy had been painted onto the black canvas of the sky especially for them to see. Countless stars formed into bright clusters that flowed along the milky way guiding them through the mountains that loomed on either side of the dirt track. At this moment the group was blessed with another spliff and a mile or two of smooth road on which to enjoy it peacefully.

Out of the pitch black night the pick-up drove slowly into Ras Abu-Galum and stopped in front of a small hut made of palm fronds. They were met first by a flock of curious young children and soon thereafter by two men representing one of the families in the village. The driver negotiated the price of a hut and food for the six travellers and what had become their Cairene guide/interpreter/companion. Being an astute negotiator, the driver also procured for the group a small quantity of opium in exchange for the hash that he had been given earlier that day.

There was a small splash as the opium dropped into the tea kettle and disappeared. Having laid out all the gear for the night the group sipped leisurely on their tea and recounted the events of the day, spending extra time to meditate on the good fortunes that had managed to find them among the huge expanse of desert and mountains in which they were surrounded. After the tea, the girls in the group were escorted away by the women of the family hosting them so that they might help with the preparation of the evening meal. The remaining travellers cleaned a large quantity of herb and smoked until the women returned with an amazing and delicious meal of lamb, rice, fish, and fresh dates. Intoxication wove in and out of every person in that hut.

Exploring their surroundings seemed like the next logical thing to do; three of the six set off along the dusty path that was the main road in the village. They met a man with a long black beard and black ringlets that dropped below the shoulder of his dark-blue thobe. To their utter surprise this man was fluent in english and after the necessary greetings the three were invited to his home. Around the fire they all sat smoking and talking; this wise nomad had copius amounts of hash, grass, and brown sugar, a diluted form of opium that the group would become very familiar with that night.

Their stash being in need of rejuvenation the nomad blessed the group with a few stalks of bud and some brown sugar. The three travellers and their nomadic companion walked along the shoreline back to the hut where the rest of the group were drinking more tea and smoking. Introductions were made and they all formed a circle in one portion of the hut around a small fire. For hours they conversed about life, philosophy, politics, religion, marijuana, and countless other subjects all the while passing joints of hash, herb, and free-basing brown sugar, until it was obvious that morning was fast approaching. Their spirits and minds high, they all crept into their sleeping bags and passed out.

Awoken by the incessant buzzing of flies and the heat of the morning sun, one by one the travellers sat up and looked out over the smooth blue water towards the rocky shores of Saudi Arabia. The majestic beauty of this place collectively dawned on them, though it went unspoken. The spliffs were rolled and the six friends got high under the shade of their hut watching the local children splash in the Red Sea. They followed the shoreline back to where they had met the bearded man the night before. Also the proprietor of the only cafe in the village, the Bedouin with whom they had shared the Earth’s fruits with only hours before prepared for them a meal of shakshuka and omlettes.

For the rest of their time in Ras Abu-Galum, six people enjoyed the beauty of the Sinai relaxing by the cool waters of the Red Sea, swimming, smoking, talking with the locals, and meeting other travellers lucky enough to pass through this remarkable village.

This account of the journey I was lucky enough to be a part of is not meant to be a template by which future travellers should try to follow. Like all places, Ras Abu-Galum changes with the passing of time; the experience I and my friends shared is only one of many possibilities and I do not expect that everyone who visits or has visited Ras Abu-Galum will find it as peaceful and free as I was blessed to find it. In the near future I expect that Ras Abu-Galum will retain much of it’s beauty and tranquility, and during the time I spent there, through the lens of my mind, it was truly a hippie-haven.

Views: 8222

Totnes

Totnes is a small market town nestled at the mouth of the beautiful river Dart surrounded by the green hills of the South Hams in Devon. New Age happened here before it hit most other places, and although time has taken its toll and the pace of the place has changed, it still remains a magnet for artists, musicians, healers, pagans, witches and searchers. If you want to pay a visit make sure you come on a Friday or Saturday – market days – when the whole place comes alive…and more so in spring and summer. Vegetarian restaurants galore, vintage/retro clothes shops, organic health food shops, colourful cafes to lose track of time in…..and from spring to the end of summer pay a visit to the castle at the top of the hill.

Totnes may be small, but its the magic of the place that counts, and I’m sure you’ll feel it.
Walk along the river towards Dartington and you’ll arrive at Dartington Hall, a college for the arts set in a beautiful green valley, and where Ravi Shankar came to study dance as a boy. Further on you’ll get to the Dartington Cider Press, a centre selling local crafts such as hand-blown glass and pottery, with adjoining Crank’s cafe, serving great veggie food.

Views: 9292

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

I’ve travelled high and low across Canada to find ‘paradise’, and the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia has loads of organic farms and many back-to-land hippies probably due to the cheap older heritage homes for sale in the region. They’re practically giving these homes away. Bear River in ‘the Valley’ as they say is known as a funky arts and environmental hang-out. The Annapolis Valley has stunning scenery, and the mildest weather in Eastern Canada. Forget about the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia – really conservative.

The West Coast along the Bay of Fundy is more liberal and the vegetation more lush with green forested hills and farmland (and in some places along the Fundy shore, you’ll even find turquoise tinted waters).

Views: 34881

Nyack, NY

A popular hippie town. Near the Tappanzee Bridge right on the Hudson. Much tie-dye clothing, organic health stores, yoga, antique and used book stores. Much art. Reputed as the home of Rose O’Donald.

Views: 21995

Provincetown, Massachusetts

This town is right by the top of cape cod. Considers itself alomst a sistertown to Key West. Ferries come from Boston. Even a shipwreck tourist spot. Lots of fudge. Tie-dye clothing.

The year-round population of 5,000, largely comprised of gays, lesbians and various artsy types. 50,000 visitors in the summer on the beaches. A premier gay vacation spot.

Views: 11139

Mystic Hot Springs

Located in Monroe, Utah, Mystic Hot Springs is an unexpectedly layed back place to chill. The owners are old Dead Heads who stumbled in after the last concerts in Vegas in 1995. They have been collecting old cabins and school buses and coverting them into overnight lodging. They also have a music venue that attracts many nationally touring JamBands.

The Hot springs soaking pools are outside and overlook a beautiful Valley. Funky and cool this place is a welcome stop if you find yourself on the road exploring the wonders of nature in southern Utah. They also are a wwoof place and do a work trade if you can’t afford the $10.00 per night fee.

Views: 10206

North Bay, Ontario

North Bay is a small (population 55,000) tourist/university-college city about 3 hours due North of Toronto, it is built along the shore of a large and warm (in summer that is) shallow lake called Lake Nipissing.There are many beautiful old buildings along the Main st. housing all sorts of locally owned shops and restaurants. Many artists and musicians call North Bay home. There are several head shops in the downtown area as well as many independent bookshops and music stores.

There are lots of old and new hippies scattered around the area both in town and in the surrounding “bush”. There’s a restaurant downtown called Greco’s and it seems like some sort of unofficial hippie employment agency since lots of young and older local hippies work there and when someone leaves, there’s always another hippie there to take their place. There are local drum circles at the beautiful waterfront park to celebrate the changing of the seasons and it’s an all around cool laid back kind of town.

Views: 18227

Independence, Oregon

This is a great little river town. You can hear live R&B and old time rock every Wednesday and on the weekend coming from the local night clubs,and the river is a great place to spend the day hiking fishing swiming boating and horse back riding. Then spend the night partying at Lenora’s Ghost.

Views: 5076

Havre de Grace, MD

Situated at the intersection of the Susquehanna river and the top of the Chesapeake Bay, the self-proclaimed “Decoy Capitol of the World” was burned to the ground in 1812 and is now rich in American history and once lured many visitors to it’s famed horse racing track.

Today the old town has a very relaxed atmosphere and is home to many nice restaurants, coffee shops, old book stores antique shops, Bed and Breakfasts, and a natural products market. Oh, can’t I can’t leave out all the friendly open minded intellectuals that live here.

The lovely promanade adjacent to the lighthouse is perfect for a summer evening stroll.

The week of the 4th of July the town holds a huge carnival with fireworks on saturday in Tydings Park by the water.
A lovely place to visit or take residence if you like small town living by the water.

Views: 5863