This year’s Port Macquarie blog will be a “lite” version, as we do for places we visit frequently. In other words, we’ll only write posts every few days.
So, here goes. We set off, as we usually do, around 9.30am on Thursday morning. It was a lovely mild day, perfect for driving. But, I’m not going to give you a chronological blow-by-blow account of that as it would be tedious for me to write and you to read. Instead I’m going to start with two stories …
Story one: Telstra 1, Wherries 0 (sort of)
It’s a Murphy’s Law sort of story, and goes like this. The afternoon before we left, we received an email from Telstra advising that our NBN Kit would be delivered to our front door in the next four weeks, unless we’d made other arrangements. Well, we hadn’t because we didn’t know we had to – and, what’s more, there was no info concerning how to make said other arrangements. So, we made the only arrangement we could …
Which was to pop next-door to our friendly neighbours and ask them to look out for a box just in case it turned up in the next week, “but, you know Telstra, it probably won’t come until the end of the four-week period”, except …
Later in the evening, we received a tracking message to say that the box would be delivered the next day, the day of our departure, that is! Back to the neighbours promptly the next morning to tell them, but they, not being retired, had already left for work/school. So we left a note, and departed for our trip at 9.30am. The box was delivered at 10.13am. You can’t win. Anyhow, we are finally on the way to linking into the wonderful NBN! More stories to come we are sure. (Am I being too cynical?)
Story two: It rained
Day 2 of our trip saw us stopping at the pretty little town of Laurieton for an afternoon cuppa and a bit of basic shopping. It had been inclement all day but, as we exited the supermarket, down the rain came. So, I waited with the grocery trolley, while Len headed off down the road to get the car. As I sat waiting, three women, separately, came out of the supermarket with their shopping, none in trolleys. Now, I’m not sure whether they were all in the habit of talking to themselves, or whether my presence resulted in their pronouncements, but, to no-one in particular as far as I could see, each spoke:
- “Here comes the rain”, said quite cheerily.
- “Oh no, I’ll just gave to taxi home”, said a little churlishly, given the rain was much needed.
- “I’ll just have to go for a free shower now”, said philosophically.
I can see what fun writers have, eavesdropping when they are out-and-about!
Some national parks
We did a much longer drive the first day than we usually do, making it to the Forster-Tuncurry region, which was a drive of just under 650kms. This left us only around 100km forvthe next day. We had a lovely meal that night at Reef Bar and Grill in Forster, newly owned by people from Eden (and Wheelers Restaurant there).
Anyhow, the long drive on Day 1 gave us time to potter on Day 2, so we did. We headed into the northern end of Booti Booti National Park and did the short (i.e. around 400m each way) but steep walk to Cape Hawke Lookout, which has a 48-step tower. It was a cloudy day, but the walk was pleasant – and provided a bit of a work-out – and the view was lovely. With the tree growth around, the tower was essential to seeing the view.
We then pottered around Forster, having a cuppa at the lovely Tartt, doing a little shopping, and then lunching at the American-diner-style cafe, Dashers, where Len enjoyed his favourite commercial American beer, Coors.
Then it was the drive north, with a detour along the unsealed Diamond Head Road through Crowdy Bay National Park to Laurieton. We stopped at the Diamond Head Beach Camping Ground to stretch our legs, and check out the scenery. It was an inclement sort of day, but the temperature was mild and the kangaroos in abundance.
And finally, Port Macquarie
We settled in on Friday afternoon, and decided to spend the night in given our two days on the road and the rain pouring down. Saturday was a grey day, so we did some shopping in town, went to Vacation Village’s regular Saturday lunchtime welcome party where we met a bunch of interesting people (most of a certain age), and then had a quiet afternoon, resting, reading, and playing a little mini-golf. In the evening we ventured out to try a new restaurant to us – and in fact, new to Port Macquarie, its being only 5 months old. The restaurant, Botanic Wine Garden, was delightful. Very friendly service, and delicious food. We tried a new dish to us for entrée – charred artichoke with aioli – and loved it.
Now, some pics
Of variable quality, taken on various devices in variable circumstances. (And I’ve been too lazy to doctor them!)