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.