Nambucca Heads

Saturday 28th April, (Nambucca Heads).

We went for a tour of some of the local scenery today and this time when we drove along a forest drive we were quite surprised to see exactly that. The forest is called Way-Way, and it is situated a few kilometres south of Nambucca, we mainly only drove along the road to get to a lookout but were surprised to see what we did and it made the trip well worth it. The lookout was a little disappointing though; it was advertised as a 360 degree panoramic view and it might have been if the mountaintop wasn’t covered with towers and buildings to house the associated equipment. The views were still worth the trip, except it was a little hazy so the pics didn’t turn out too well.

We also visited the ‘Pub with no beer, the pub made famous by Slim Dusty’s song and about 20 kms west of Nambucca, and saw what we expected; a country pub taking advantage of the publicity it has received, but still I can say I have seen the pub with no beer.

Nambucca Heads

Thursday 26th April, (Nambucca Heads).

I discovered last evening, while checking my banking details, that my health insurance company have not been deducting my contributions for coverage for the last three months, I had detected that this happened two months ago, can’t remember mentioning it before, and enquiries with them did not really reveal a reason for this but they did ensure me they would rectify the situation. Imagine my surprise to find out it is still happening, considering that they told me today that due to being un-financial we would not have been covered if the need arose, but believe me I have insisted that until they do rectify the situation we would be covered and they agreed, but repayment of any claims would only be made when I become financial.

Our next door neighbour, with his local knowledge and contacts, warned me this evening that there was a severe thunder storm on its way to this area and it would be likely that hail would accompany the storm. With the history of large stone being the case in local storm he suggested covering my car. His suggestion was to park my car in the car park under the local hotel, as there was plenty of room, but my ideas were different; I figured that if this situation was going to occur once, then it is bound to occur again so I decided that it would be advantageous to have my own remedy in providing cover in the event that one could not rely on under cover car parks being in the location when it does happen again. I measured the awning on the caravan to see if the car would fit in it, and surprise, surprise, it would fit with 200- 300mm clearance to disembark the vehicle. The car was parked under the awning, another tarp was placed across the front of the awning to fully cover the front of the car and all was well and protected. The problems that arose were that of not being very much room to exit the caravan, and now limited shelter to go out and have a smoke, so when the storm arrived and passed by us without hardly a drop of rain I have decided that if I am to come up with my own idea then it will have to be some other method such as a tarp supported by poles to cover the vehicle in the normal outside environment. If I was to come up with a satisfactory system I could use it on a regular basis as normal parking in caravan parks is generally under trees and, especially when it rains, they shed sap and such which stain the car and sometimes takes a polish to remove it. So I will put pen to paper and keep an eye out for a suitable tarp, price taken into account, and see what I can come up with.

We located and visited the local information centre today to see what there is to do while we are in the area. After studying the info we received we found places to visit like Bellingen and Dorrigo, which have scenic lookouts and waterfalls and such, but the problem being is that they are about a 100-150km drive to see, and we have in the past decided, along with Linda’s dislike for continual long trips; of which I cant disagree, that we would not make such trips to visit places as eventually we would be back in the area and have an idea then what to look out for and camp in an area that is closer. This also would save a lot of unnecessary travelling, putting a lot of extra mileage on the vehicle, which I am hopeful of lasting us for a long time, as it really is an ideal tow vehicle. There is also the “pub with no beer” in the area, which is reasonably close, so we would feel obligated to visit there out of curiosity if nothing else. There are also a couple of other places within that area we could drop in on as well while we are going there, so that should fill in a day for us.

The caravan park is situated around a lagoon, and on the other side of the lagoon is the break wall on the river inlet. A local tradition in the areas around here are for people to write graffiti, for the want of a better term; but neat graffiti, on the large rocks on the break wall and some of them are quite catching, like the one below that would be my philosophy nowadays if I had thought of it.

Nambucca Heads

Wednesday 25th April, (Nambucca Heads).

We have moved on to Nambucca Heads, about 50km south of Coff’s Harbour. White Albatross is the name of the park we are staying at and a very nice park it is, it only emphasises the reason we are enjoying this lifestyle and gives us the feeling that we could just stay here and relax and do nothing, not that we do a great deal but relax anyway. I think the week we are booked in here will be easily filled in as there are a lot of walks in the area and I should finally get that fishing license and do some fishing, I actually got my gear out the other day and cleaned the reels and checked me gear to make sure I have enough: and it seems I do, so now all I have to do is use it.

We seem to have hit it off with a couple in the caravan on next-door site; it has only been our first meeting. They are in a different situation where they are still working and waiting for the day when they can pack up and travel under the same circumstances, the main thing that stops them is the fact that they still have one child at home. I haven’t as yet determined what his occupation is, or what times they work, but they mentioned they take 5 days off at the end of each month and get away in the caravan.

We saw another, what we called, wonder of nature today as we noticed some fish jumping out of the water in the lagoon we are parked next to at the caravan park. To our knowledge we have not seen fish jumping like these do, not so repetitively anyway. Our new friends next door tell us they are Leaping Mullet and they jump out of the water quite frequently and the unfortunate thing about them is they just won’t be caught on a rod. Catching one, if it were possible, would be a waste of time anyway as Linda said she never would be able to cook, let alone eat, one because it would be like doing the same to a pet.

Port Macquarie

Sunday 22nd April, (Port Macquarie).

Linda has made friends with the local parrots. She started off feeding them some bread, apart from the bowl of feed she leaves out for the birds wherever we are camped, and when she started to feed by hand several started to approach to take it from her, now the message must have gotten around the parrot population and she is overcome with parrots climbing all over her to be fed. They even queue up on the ropes to get their chance.

Port Macquarie

Saturday 21st April, (Port Macquarie).

After a reasonably good day it is now 5pm and raining and is forecast so for the next few days. We went for a trip to a small town west of here today and visited an attraction called Timber Town, which is a replica of a very old village. The most surprising thing about this place was the FREE ENTRY; yes I said free, I don’t know how they manage, financially, to keep open unless most of the workers are volunteers. They had demonstrations such as stock whip cracking, Bullock teams pulling logs and other displays such as wood turning and blacksmithing, and all still free. There was a steam train ride and carriage rides, for which there were charges, but apart from this the sales in the shops were the only financial income they had. All in all it was a very enjoyable place to visit and reminisce about old times, fortunately I personally wasn’t bought up in the same conditions as demonstrated here but my early life did have some similarities.

Over the last couple of days we have spent most of our time walking along the numerous walks provided in the area and snapping heaps of photos of the area, which is rather picturesque.

Port Macquarie

Wednesday 18th April, (Port Macquarie).

We have finally moved on to Port Macquarie and given up our rest period. This rest period was very enjoyable and we both welcomed it. It was so relaxing that I hardly even took any photographs, but then there was not a lot to see in the area. We did have a look further around the coast at Old Bar and noticed some surfers so I decided to have a play with the camera taking bursts of photos. Although the bursts, series of pics, turned out ok, I don’t think I will have the use for it in the future because the number of pics taken in a burst is restricted to a maximum of 3 per second, not enough to make it look like a movie, and the play back can only be similar to a slide show.

Anyway Port Macquarie seems to be quite a lovely place and the caravan park we picked to stay at is almost perfect, situated on the breakwater and very close to the city centre. The cost is a little dearer than the other parks, but I guess you pay for the location, and after checking some other parks we decided even though dearer the convenience of this park was worth it for this time. We won’t be using expensive parks often because the budget just will not allow it.

We have decided that we will be staying between here and Coff’s Harbour for an extended period until we can find a solution to Linda’s headache as it is getting the better of her. From what I see of this town it won’t be difficult to fill in time at all.

I had the chance today to finally make arrangements to make the investment with Matthew and his business and organised a cheque to be made out and sent to him and to make his day I sent him an SMS message informing him and his response was what I had expected. I guess when he receives the cheque his day will really be made, so I hope he puts it to good use and the business benefits from it. This would make me rather happy, not only because it would be financially beneficial to me but I would know that Matthew and his family would be benefiting also. We will just have to wait and see.

Manning Point

Wednesday 11th April, (Manning point).

Well the rain didn’t eventuate today so it was a dry move, thank heavens, and we are now at Manning point, on the coast near Taree. The trip today was another long one, about 200 kilometres, but it was necessary because it seemed that most caravan parks up to this area are booked out over Easter, so the areas we missed we will have to revisit at some later stage. One place to revisit is Newcastle as the road we travelled bypassed it and we were hopeful of seeing it on the way through.

Manning Point seems to be a very nice quiet and small township that I think we are going to enjoy, and I think I might have to finally get the fishing license that I have been toying with obtaining. There is the ocean close by, at this stage I don’t know how far but it can’t be too far by the sound of it, and there is the river almost outside our front door so if I need something to do to fill in time I hardly have any more excuses.

Good Friday 13th April, (Manning point).

Two days into staying at Manning point and not much to report because we are finding this a nice quiet place with plenty of time to relax with interruptions of walks along the beach and the river edge. I am still only thinking about fishing after watching what the others have been catching and throwing back, all I have seen so far have been small and not worth keeping, let alone legal to keep, so they all go back in. Perhaps the fishermen in boats are having a little more luck, heaven knows there are enough of them, but one doesn’t see what they bring in.

I feel that there may not be much reporting at this stay as most that we will be doing is relaxing and probably not worth reporting about.

Belmont

Tuesday 10th April, (Belmont).

Tuesday and things are not looking good, I have plenty of time to sit down and write a few words because it is raining and looks like it has set in, not nice for packing up in. We normally pack up the day before we are due to move so we don’t have much to do on the day, hence no early mornings to meet the required 10am book out time, but if the rain keeps up I might have to leave it until the morning and see what happens then. Normally in this situation we would book in for another day or so and wait for good weather but this time we must vacate tomorrow due to bookings, so rain, hail or shine we must pack up anyway. It looks like sitting round in the van all day because I won’t get Linda out in the car due to the reports of a large number of accidents and areas of spot flooding, so it looks like being a nice quiet day a home.

Things have happened in the caravan park that have convinced us that we won’t stay at this park again, such as an incident in the ladies amenities this morning. The sign on the door says “closed for cleaning between 1015 till 1130” so Linda went for a shower at 0945 and they were wanting to clean at that time. When she pointed out the times, they agreed she would have time to shower and said they only came to clean because they had finished the gents. Almost immediately after turning her shower on they came in and started cleaning anyway, which angered Linda especially when one of the cleaners was a male. Linda, like most women I suppose, is a bit of a prude and won’t undress in the presence of other women let alone a man. Fortunately for her, due to her quiet mannered nature, there was another woman in the shower block who was equally unimpressed and preceded to tell them what she thought of their ideas and lack of consideration of campers. A similar incident occurred to me the other day, but at the time it was of no great concern, when female staff started to clean the gents amenities early when I was half way through a shower. My main concern with caravan parks and their amenities cleaning habits are that they, and this includes a lot of parks, don’t show a great deal of concern for campers because they generally want to clean amenities around the 10:00 am area and I find that this is when I and other campers are wanting to use the amenities. Anyway back to this park, I also find the management are not very friendly and cooperative. That was the impression given when we booked in and also yesterday when I asked the question of what restrictions they have on vehicle washing, and whether they had a car wash area, when the answer, although informative, was curt and as though I was wasting her time asking trivial questions, or perhaps this was a miss-interpretation due to the lack of smile and friendliness. Whatever anyway it doesn’t leave us with a good impression, so we are unlikely to recommend this park to anyone, a pity because the park itself is quite nice. One can only put these remarks in his report on parks we stay in for future reference.

Belmont

Monday 9th April, (Belmont).Niece Jenny was busy Friday evening so our visit will have to wait until we are back in the area.

We have now moved on to Belmont on the shores of Lake Macquarie, which is not far south of Newcastle. This is a very picturesque area and has some excellent sunsets, apparently, so I am attempting to capture some sunset shots and have decided that this could become one of my sidelines wherever we are.

We are in a somewhat tricky situation at the moment whereas it being Easter and the area we are in, and further north to Forster, seems to be the holiday area for people from Sydney and Newcastle, and most caravan parks are booked out at this time of year. Due to this we have had to make a couple of lengthy trips to areas that can accept us, even though like Belmont only for a couple of days, hence we have booked into a park just north of Taree on Wednesday and will stay there for the duration of Easter.

After that we will venture up to Coff’s Harbour where we will have to sit down and work out where we will go to from then on so we can plan Linda’s trip home in June/July.

Sydney

Thursday 5th April, (Sydney).

I was right about the legs being sore after the long walks yesterday, with both calf muscles rather tender. In the early hours of the day they weren’t too bad so we decided to return to the city for a look via the ferries that run in the area. We purchased a day pass that entitled us to catch ferries anywhere any time for the duration of the day so we intended to travel about the harbour and just have a quick look at some areas and then have a look around the city, but, the legs became worse as the day went on so there was not much walking done, and when we arrived home much difficulty was experienced so I was glad to be home and sit and relax. It seems a great enjoyable habit of mine; being able to just sit and relax, and I find I can manage to achieve this very easily indeed.

There are no plans on doing anything tomorrow, except pack in readiness to move on further on Saturday, and take another trip with Sue tomorrow evening to visit a niece, which, I reckon could be just as well as I don’t know wether my legs will improve by then.