Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sydney - Queensland Border: More Rain

Considering that I got from Sydney nearly to Brisbane not that much has happened. Only today I really got to do stuff again.
So yea, from the start. First plan was to stay in Sydney for maybe a day or two. That was sort of ruined by me catching a cold and Katherine being kind enough to let me stay as long as I needed. So in that week the only real thing I did was go to Vivid in Sydney with Cameron, Brendan, Alexander and Nicholas. Basically a giant light show that goes to close for a month, with various building in Sydney being lit up. Good to watch, but there were heaps of people. The day I had arrived in Sydney was also the day Sydney had one of it's worst storms of the year. A lot of houses near the coast were lost and bridges were underwater.
After recuperating from the cold, I left Sydney relatively late in the afternoon and managed to get out of the city proper, which was a nightmare. Rush hour in city's, got to love it. I crossed a Ria on a ferry and camped by the side of said water not long after. Drove until I reached the end of somewhere were no one lived and just pitched my swag. Rain had been forecast, so I made sure everything was watertight. The morning greeted me well rested (thanks to the swag) and a light shower happening outside. Driving further was interesting, as I just lay the swag straight in to the car, in an attempt to dry it. Drove for most of the day with nothing really happening as the rain had hit again. Did a beach walk here and there and had a look at the Lakes National Park near Forster, before I headed past the tip in the neighbouring town in to some forest and pitched my swag again. A few four wheel drives came past. I think I ended up along some park trail they where having fun on, but no one bothered me. Slept the night again, with drizzles of rain and some creature making a noise outside. Being in Australia especially you don't just run around the forest, especially at night. Would hat to meet a King Brown or even Taipan. 
In the morning I woke up with no rain, but just heard the first few drops come down. As I didn't want another wet swag in the car (it left heaps of puddles the last time) I packed up as fast as I could and headed of for some breakfast at a pie shop. The rain once again reached biblical proportions and after a day of driving, literally sliding round corners and nearly getting squashed by a truck pulling over, I reached Coffs Harbour. At that point everything was underwater outside, so I booked in to a Hostel and spent the night there.
Really good Hostel (Aussitel Backpackers, if anyone wants to stay), a lot people even in the quiet season, but quiet rooms and lots of free activity's and advice. Not to mention the friendly staff. The first morning I slept in rather late and whilst checking out had a look at the various brochures for activity's. I wasn't game enough yet to do skydiving (also, they have that all year round up the coast) and didn't want to wait a few days to go scuba diving (with nurse sharks! I might actually go back to that and book a few days ahead), so I booked in for a whale watching tour the next day. So I stayed another night with the Hostel. In the afternoon a woman came round wanting two boys for moving furniture. One had already volunteered, the other was a girl which she didn't want to take (boys job ;-) ), so I jumped in. Spent the afternoon moving furniture from a shed in to a truck with a Frenchman (who spoke very good English) and ended up delivering some to the local brothel (well, checked that of the life list). After that a night at the hostel playing pool and having a few drinks.
The next day whale watching was on. Never seen whales before, so I was in for a bit of a treat. Humpback whales are just migrating from south to north and they come just past the coast. It took a bit to find some, but then we saw the blowhole like water coming out of them. Tried catching up to some, but they where swimming to fast to reach with the boat we had (a catamaran with the motors running. If we had sailed we would have caught up, but I'm not sure everyone on board was ready for that). In the distance we could see a few jump straight out of the water and come crashing down and we got a few tail close-ups before having to go back to the harbour.
And before setting of I had a crocodile burger. Didn't know what to expect from crocodile meat. Still don't. 

After that driving. Brisbane is only about four hours drive from Coffs Harbour, but I did a detour inland to Lamington National Park. Sugar cane is getting more prominent the further I drive north, but the temperature is improving. It started getting dark towards the evening rather fast, so I ended up driving up the next best dirt track that didn't have a gate blocking it's entrance. Turned out there must have been a gate there once, as I ended up camping along someone's driveway. I don't think the house is being lived in quite yet and they must have another entrance, as this one doesn't look used. Oh well, it didn't rain in the night, so I was thankful for that.  

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