Casino to Coffs Harbour to Nambucca Heads New South Wales 16 to 18 July 2006
28 Jul 2007
Before leaving Casino we spoke with Denis and Maxine, (our friends from Western Australia), who were so pleased they would be able to tell of our meeting when they return home. Apparently we are still talked about, and so is Squeaker, and would you believe it, Denis and Maxine had not been present at the times Squeaker was allowed out. At Sylvia's insistence, (I never thought I would see the day), my monkey was brought from his cupboard and he was pleased to meet with Denis and Maxine, even allowing them to be photographed with him. Of course he had no idea he was about to be shoved in the cupboard again.
After fond good byes we rushed away as Sylvia had a hair appointment in town whilst my task was to do the supermarket shopping. Then it was on the road again, carrying on down route 91, the Summerland Highway for 57 miles to Grafton, where we knew we should find an internet café. The drive was leisurely and enjoyable and after driving through the new vibrant part of the town, we crossed the big wide river, (there are plenty of big wide rivers down this coast), and found our café on the main street of the oldest part known as South Grafton. The café was housed in a large old building which it shared with other businesses. The food was all on the healthy side, the menu was very inviting, and the internet was free to patrons. No prizes as to where we had our lunch and uploaded our latest blog efforts.
We completed the remaining 50 miles to Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway, arriving about 3.30pm. Apart from being told that this town was well worth a visit, there is a Jayco Dealer who sells motorhomes as well as caravans, and we have a few things we require to be sorted. Some of these will be under the guarantee and some my fault. The most time consuming task would be to deal with our 'grey water tank' which does not fully empty. We also needed help with our awning. So our first task was to track down the dealer. The premises were on the outskirts on the south side of town.
I don't think I have confessed this before, but when we were at Cloncurry waiting delivery of our new tyre, I parked close to the curb on a road which had a steep camber at the road edge. My wing mirror was clear of the lamp post but I forgot how high the van was, and the awning casing got a bump. The result was a very squashed end casing and an awning that once I had pushed it back into position, looked good; the downside was it wouldn't work.
Today was Monday and the repair manager booked us in for Wednesday, so we will be at Coffs Harbour until the repairs are carried out; I'm sure we will find some new ways of being lazy. The next task is to find the camp site we have chosen, which is down by a beach. There are beaches with caravan sites up the 'Coffs Harbour Coast' as well as in town, but this one is much nearer the harbour where the whale watching tours leave from. Coffs is quite a big place but we found our site and had chance to walk down to the beach and enjoy a walk along side of the waves before night fell.
We were up early on Tuesday and walked the mile to the harbour which necessitated crossing the river. At the end of the harbour wall was the Solitary Islands Marine Park which starts at the high water mark, and the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve, but the birds had flown. Never the less we walked up, (slowly), the very steep hill and out to the end viewing spot.
Muttonbirds, (or Shearwaters), are the ones which fly away after raising their young and the young follow several days later without any maps or parental guidance. The ones from here go to the Philippines. The local map, (maybe the young ones look at the information board before leaving), shows the ones we had met on Bruni Island, Tasmania, as heading north past Japan. We had read on Bruni that the muttonbirds go to the Antarctic. Someday I will find out which is right; I know which direction I would go.
After coffee and cookies by the harbour, we sussed out the local internet shop and bought some sea sick tablets for Sylvia, before returning to our van and getting the chairs out. It may be winter but if you are in the sun, and not in any wind, it is warm. Gee it was hard being lazy whilst Sylvia wrote a blog entry.
We were up early on the Wednesday to take our home to the Jayco repair man. Before leaving for the town centre, we viewed two new motorhomes waiting to be off loaded at the service bay. We watched whilst a fork lift truck lifted the motorhomes from the transporter and set them down on the road. I wondered if I should have made a video of the happening in the hope I might get some film which I could send to the many video clip programmes around the world. As it turned out the fork lift driver was very skilled; there was nothing to laugh at at all.
After learning the repairs would not be ready until the afternoon we were given a lift into the centre of town and we headed to an internet shop. After up loading our stuff, and wishing there were more messages to down load, we killed some time eating cake and drinking coffee. A walk around the shops followed until it was time for lunch at the Thai café we had spotted earlier. A walk around the shops followed and then it was time for coffee, (am I getting repetitive), before joy oh joy, our phone rang. Our home was ready to collect.
The taxi was like a small bus which could take 6 passengers and a wheelchair passenger plus a seat with a baby chair in place. What a functional taxi. During the journey our driver told us he would like to travel around Australia. If the journey had been a little longer I would have sold him a Jayco motorhome; he was impressed when he saw ours.
To our delight we learned a new end cap had been put on the awning and it was all right. I had feared we would need to buy a new awning. The other tasks were all done and we drove to the main dealers section and made purchases of a new gas cover to replace the one stolen at Port Headland, a cooker hood light bulb and insulating pads to be placed against the windows in the drivers cab. They were costly but very good quality. Their function is to keep the van warmer at night and during summer, when in place through the day time, they will deflect the sun and keep the van cooler.
We decided not to wait another day and go on a whale watching tour, preferring to wait for calmer weather. Twenty six miles down the main highway is Nambucca Heads, which is supposed to be a nice place, so why not go their.
The town looked inviting, and the site we wanted to find was on the outskirts by a steep shelving beach on which waves crashed. This night we fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves.