Tuesday, December 13, 2005

There's been a lot of talk about the riots south of Sydney. First time I've heard surfers and gangs in the same sentence. Racially motivated hate crimes, lovely. No better than us down here, eh?

I saw my first kangaroo on the way to Newcastle. It was a rather large one, laying on its side. A bit of windshield glass in front of it... I went back to the same spot at newcastle beach and it was about half the size but the wind hadn't gotten it yet, so I went out. Pretty crowded. I entered from the Beach Baths where they have an uncovered but enclosed shower and changing area, that opens up to a salt water pool right on the point. What I didn't see until after the session was a righthander breaking off a reef; I'd only seen the inside section that was too crowded. I decided not to go out there though; four others were paddling out and it was rights, and I'm not a huge fan of rights. Besides, it was 9am and the parking fees were about to go into affect.

There is only one thing I hate more than not being sure where I'm going, that's knowing I'm going the wrong way and unsure how to fix it. I was trying to figure out why this bothered me so much. I think it's because it is an affirmation that I made a mistake, that I was wrong in my decision making, and I really hate more than anything being wrong. After asking directions twice, the second time fighting tears, I managed to get out of Newcastle. Now if you are going to Sydney from Newcastle, it's not a problem. You just follow all the signs that say "sydney" and that is all of them, no matter which way you go. I tried to go the opposite way of Sydney and my choices were Sydney or Newcastle. What I wasn't aware of was the town names that are the direction I'd want to go. It is as if the road to San Diego and Los Angeles were the same for a while, but one veers off and heads the other direction. Not knowing this, and heading towards Sydney for more time than I care to admit, when I saw another sign for Sydney that happened to be the right direction, I turned back towards Newcastle. The nice lady at the DMV helped me out and pointed me back the way I'd just came from. What is missing in this area is they give you town names, but they don't tell you whether you're about to go north or south. It would be so easy to add that to a sign. Hmpgh...

It was a long drive to Coffs harbour (Sorry Gina I didn't stop at Macquerie) so I stopped at the Billabong koala breeding center and petting zoo. To make up for the previously mentioned kanga you see. I got a cup of corn and hand fed it to the kangas :). They grab your hands in theirs, it is so cute. the Koalas were fuzzy and I got to pet, but not hold one. Their fur is wiry and deep.

I managed to find a little surf at Sawtell. Lefts, glorious lefts! But the wind was strong and everyone was getting out. Beautiful sunset though, huge thunderhead with the sun shining through it. Electrical storm in the distance.

I camped the night at the Park Beach caravan park and immediately discovered insect life in Australia. Although I covered up pretty quick, I was itching all over my feet, and drove to the gas mini to get some spray. Tiny gnats. In the morning it was skeletons of cycades stuck to my tent. Gross!

Looked for surf this morning but even when I awoke at 6:30 the winds were up. Taking it easy up the coast this morning, towards Byron Bay. Still getting used the left car thing.

times I went to the wrong of the car to get in: 15
times I drove on the wrong side of the road (not for long): 3
times I turned on the windshield instead of the blinkers: 20 (more when I'm lost/agitated)


Blogger Gina said...

Too bad you missed Port Macquerie. If it had been Sunday, I'd have suggested worshipping there. But in reality, I think the best waves are further north, so keep driving. Don't forget Angourie, Yamba, Ballina and a ton of points and beach breaks between Ballina and Byron Bay. Unfortunately, the points are mostly rights, sorry!

I'm really enjoying living my Aussie travel days vicariously through your posts!

God bless you,

9:23 PM  

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