This trip is one of bitter sweet, rather than just being for fun it is actually a trip with a purpose, to get Mr Revthreads tools and equipment to Sydney for his new job. We decided the way in which this journey and transition could be made a little easier was to do it together, so we did, or should I say we are, because currently we are still about 320k’s from Sydney.
The ute was loaded, picnic packed and we were on our way. We took the most direct route, the Pacific motorway, so for the first couple of hours all was familiar, but for me, once passed Ballina we were in new territory. Northern New South Wales is actually very beautiful, rolling green hills and trees galore, from some points the ocean in the distance becomes visible. It’s quite amazing as you plod along to think that this dual carriage way, which becomes singles lanes in places is the main road between two major and capital cities, it seriously resembles a country road at some points. That said the amount of construction underway is quite amazing, the bid to make this major road look something of a major road means that along the way you see land clearances, trees gone, land excavated and huge machinery dotted along the highway. This always raises in my mind the cost of development and progress in relation to the land on which we live, it is no wonder the earth groans under the pressure we place on it.
Our first stop was a little rest stop called Trustums Hill, consisting of a toilet, a picnic table and two roosters, I think we were about an hour and a half north of Coffs Harbour. It was a good place to have a quick toilet stop and cup of tea, a good cuppa just solves everything. That said it did look like it could be a great location for a scene in a horror movie, don’t think I would want to stop there alone! The next decision is where we would stop for our over night break. South West Rocks was our first thought, Mr Revthreads had stayed there when diving, but we thought somewhere new for us both was the way to go so we thought maybe Nambucca Heads, but then we realized both of those places left us with a larger drive for today, so map on IPhone in hand we decided we would push through to Port Macquarie, leaving us with only around 320k’s to do today to get to Sydney. So we continued on our main highway, disguised as a country road, hunger began to kick in and it was now around 4pm and our picnic was waiting patiently in the esky on the back of the ute. We clocked a sign for a rest stop and toilets and turned off, it was a little place called Urunga. A river ran through and the tables and benches sat over looking the river, what a beautiful little spot, so picnic time it was with a nice cold beer to wash it down. Then is was back on the road for another hour or so, more construction and destruction, and more little roads, although one section of the new highway seems fairly complete and it looks like a highway, made me really appreciate the old road lined with trees rather than concrete.
So far the things that will stick with me is the landscape, the tiny little villages, and larger villages proudly claiming a population of 250, and the car for sale on the side of the road – this left me wondering how long it had been for sale for, yes main road but I wouldn’t think it was a great marketing strategy. I wonder what this journey will be like once all the construction is complete, I dare say not as quaint.
Anyhoo, we arrived at Port Macquarie, I had booked a room for the night we were ready to settle down. Now people that know me may or may not be surprised at the fact that I booked the hotel room for the 14th February rather than the 2nd, mm yes a bit of a pickle, they did have a budget room available and they agreed to hold it while we just had a drive to see if we could find something else. The Observatory Hotel on the front, well reception closes at 7pm so that was a no go, then we went to the Rydges, couldn’t get a car park to save our lives, so we went back to the Best Western HW Boutique and happily took the budget room and got a car park. After our experience in Hamilton with the “Garden View” room it was good to find a hotel with aptly named rooms, we did have a car park view and it was a little outdated decor wise, but that said it was appropriately named and priced, very nice, pleasant and comfortable and they even gave us a free continental breakfast voucher, that there is good customer service, happy little chappies, right here.
So Port Macquarie, beautiful place, on the beach side where our hotel is at least. We had arrived at 7pm so didn’t get settled until about 8pm then it was dinner time, so we wandered down the street to the main area for eating only to find everything closing up. It may be paranoia, but I swear as we approached a place the closed sign went up, no food at the inn, not even at the beachside bar, what is that all about? It is something I have found in Australia in general, food is finished by 9pm, no late night feasting. The guy at the bar, bless him, he doesn’t know us, suggested we go to McDonalds, really! That said we only had one other option, pizza delivery from Dominos, yes we succumbed to fast food, so pizza and red wine it was!
This bitter sweet journey has been fun, we’ve laughed, we’ve talked, we still like each other after being in a car together all day, today we head off on the last leg to Sydney where we will stay with the eldest Revthreads girl and her husband and we will unload Mr Revthreads work life to its new home. The sting will hit on Sunday when he moves down here, but for now we have 3 days to enjoy and enjoy we will!