Pulled into the small town of Balingup, which has planted an honour guard of quirky mannequins along its Main Street to encourage travellers to stop and look around. And stop & look around you should.
It has a couple of arty shops, a lavender oil emporium and an interesting history museum.
It also seems to be a popular lunch stop for motorcyclists out for a weekend rally. Many of whom had pent up behind us on the road like champagne bubbles behind a cork on the way in.
What I didn’t find out until after we had left, is that Balingup is also considered to be the Magic Mushroom capital of Australia. There are reportedly bumper crops of psilysibin mushrooms to be found in the area during the autumn months, particularly after rains. And it has been known for the local police to set up road blocks around the town to catch folks who might be smuggling out a little personal psychedelia.
I must say my own feelings about this have changed of late, particularly after reading Michael Pollen’s book ‘How to Change Your Mind’ which is one of the most interesting books I have read. A book that did in fact change my own mind with respect to the potential benefits of psychedelic drug use in some settings and situations.
A quick check online and I found local newspaper reports indicating the local magistrate is not so open minded, and quick to impose hefty fines on anyone found possessing mushrooms other than those from the supermarket.
Interestingly, there was absolutely no reference to any of this in the township (which on reflection I find a little surprising). So I cannot report on any local states of magic mushroom abundance, nor on any non-local states of reality.