Thursday 29th November
I WILL FINISH THE WEEK WITH A HUGE PHOTO POST.
Today a chill wind was blowing and rain threatening all day.
Tony and I dropped Dawn at a shopping centre where we left his car. We then drove i30 to Flynns Beach.
We left the car and began the coastal walk with much of it along clifftops via several clifftops and beaches to Town Beach and the Hastings River mouth and long, long rock breakwater wall.
Along a steep stairway a young Water Dragon was sitting on a step. It was his step and no way was he going to move. We stepped around him and stopped for photos and he continued to pose. He is a lovely Dragon.
At town beach the strong cold south westerly wind was blowing the tops off the waves and making for some good surfing conditions at near full tide.
It was cold though as every surfer was wearing a wet suit.
At the end of our walk at the Edmund Barton Centre is a statue in honour of Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia.
It is sad to realise that the average citizen could not tell you the name of the first Prime Minister. Yet, and here is the sad part, the average US citizen can tell you the name of the first US President. Ironically the average Aussie could have a reasonably good guess as to the first US President but not the name of our first Prime Minister.
Tonight we went out to dinner for a Chinese Smorgasbord then it was back downtown to Edmund Barton Centre where the lighting of the Christmas tree and the street parade and fireworks took place.
A long and weary day.
Friday 30th November
Today started bright and sunny and the constant strong wind of the last 4 days was no longer evident.
We had a few things to take care of in the morning but after lunch we went on a road trip through Wauchope, the Kindee Valley
crossing the old Kindee Bridge,
built in 1936 as it crosses the Hastings River
and re-joined the Oxley Highway driving through Long Flat and back through Wauchope and on to Port Macquarie. As always seems to happen is we ran out of time and the weather was not suitable to explore Long Flat.
The Kindee Road is mostly gravel and winds up and down and around the hill country. We stopped a few times for photo opportunities especially when we saw an amazing storm building ahead of us. Soon that storm was dropping big fat raindrops and the sides of the road were soon filled with muddy brown running water winding down to Kindee Creek.
All in all a very nice Friday afternoon drive.
We still have not heard from the computer technician so rang them just before 5pm. They have not yet put the laptop on the test bench to look for the problem. Grrr! I know it is not my problem but this is poor service compared to what I am used to. They have had the laptop since Wednesday and promised results within 2 days.
Saturday 1st December
I was away from Port Macquarie around 9.30am. It was a lovely sunny day with a slight breeze. Later the slight breeze got a bit stronger. Coming from the north and bringing salty humidity. Of course this was not known to me as I was driving in air conditioned comfort. Once I stopped and stepped out of the car the gritty north easterly started slapping me around. The heat was tolerable but the humidity was uncomfortable.
My first stop was Shark Creek Bridge which was built around 1936 to replace an earlier bridge.
In all the years I have travelled this section of highway I have promised myself to one day stop and have a look. Today was one day. The bridge was on the main highway and its design was set as a high arch bridge to allow cut sugar cane to be sent by barge to a mill further up the Clarence River. It replaced the earlier low level bridge which did not allow for barges to pass beneath. By the late seventies cane was no longer being shipped to the mill by barge and the bridge had outlived its usefulness. It was replaced by a new bridge in 1987. Ironically there will be a new highway which will bypass the drive along the Clarence River and is due to be completed by 2020.
Back on the road once more I saw a turnoff to two locations. One is Maclean, also on the Clarence and through which the highway once passed. An old bridge also spans the Clarence here.
The other location was Brooms Head on the coast.
I have never been to Brooms Head so thought, “Why Not”. It is something like 27 Klms off the highway. It features a caravan park along a stretch of coast
with a lagoon formed by rocks and a reef along with a surf beach.
At one end is a headland with great views across the rocks and a beach in each to the north and south.
Once I stepped out of the air conditioned car the gritty salty humidity felt oppressive. Still, Donnis called me from frozen Canada and I was able to show her a video of the beach cliffs and rocks.
I still had time up my sleeve as I did not have to be home by a certain time and Queensland is an hour behind NSW.
After another 90 minutes I saw another coastal town I have never visited. Evans Head is just outside The Broadwater National Park.
This is another pretty out of the way beach town very popular with fishermen and campers. It sits at the mouth of the Evans River.
Both beaches produced a couple of Hmmm moments about a possible holiday there in the future. That said, South West Rocks a long way further south and which I visited on Monday feels more attractive and has more facilities.
Another two hours of driving, mostly at 110 Kph and I was home by 6.15pm. By the time I ate a light dinner, weariness caught up with me and I was struggling to stay awake after 8.30 pm.
Sunday 2nd December
Woke to a cool morning which was nice but it did not last long. The heatwave kicked in around mid- morning and the day just got grittier. Queensland is currently suffering over 100 bushfires and although not unprecedented was nonetheless not a usual situation. A fire was raging out of control on North Stradbroke Island and the air was thick with the smell of burning as well as a smokey haze hanging over the entire area. By mid afternoon the heat and humidity meant, stay indoors and turn on the air conditioning. Which I did. Once again by 8.30pm I was struggling to stay awake even though my bedroom was still not cooled by the AC I managed to fall asleep.