309. Sunday 7th April 2009. Gymea to Forster to Bellingen to Woody Head and progressively further north…

Monday 1st April

It was a quiet day for us today. Donnis studied some more and between study helped with the process of packing everything we took out of WWWGO back inside it. It does seem strange that every time we de-pack and re-pack nothing goes back in the same way. It is a new adventure for us every time. Things get shifted around giving the appearance we have more space. Other times we have the appearance of being over packed.

Sigh!

Tuesday 2nd April

Travel Day.

We started out from Gymea nice and late. About 90 minutes behind my planned departure. Oh Well!

It was reasonably easy getting into and through the city or rather under some of it as we chose all the tunnels including the one under Sydney Harbour and another under Lane Cove River. Soon we were on the freeway heading north and the constant hum of the Iveco Diesel was a comforting sound as we chewed up the Klms. On one section of the freeway as we had driven down a steep section of road, crossed a long bridge and started the grind up the other side, a tuck started to pass us on our right. Picture this. Three lanes of freeway. We are in the left lane with another emergency breakdown lane on our left. The truck passing us was in the centre lane and another empty lane to the right of the truck. Suddenly an off road type motorcycle (including rider of course) zoomed through the narrow gap between the truck and ourselves. The space was not much wider than the bike. It all happened so quickly but was captured by our on-board video camera. Phew! Some people like to live life in the danger zone. We arrived at Forster to join Al & Rae for Happy Hour before heading off to an Indian Restaurant for dinner. We joined their son Brian, DIL Ingrid and granddaughter Mindy for dinner as she was returning to Melbourne Uni the next morning. Mindy drove us home in her B MW Convertible with the top down. Wow! It has been a lifetime since I was last in an open top sports car. Donnis now wants a convertible.

Wednesday 3rd April.

Another travel day.

Again the hum of the Iveco was a constant welcome sound as we drove. We arrived at Telegraph Point on the Wilson River and waited for friends Tony and Dawn J to arrive as we planned to camp together for the next three nights.

Telegraph Point beneath the bridge over the Wilson River. We met Tony and Dawn here.

Telegraph Point beneath the bridge over the Wilson River. We met Tony and Dawn here.

They recently bought a caravan and apart from a short weekend away have not really used it. We followed them to Bellingen our first campsite and got set up just in time before the heavens opened up and dumped a load of rain on us. The leaky hatch which was repaired back in February began to leak again.

Sigh!!!

The campsite is owned and managed by Bellingen Council and I feel compelled to comment. The nightly fee is $25 for an unlevel site, no concrete pad, on a flood zone, no, views, next to a bat colony and apart from toilets and showers, no other facilities. All in all, pretty disappointing compared to say Coledale on the beach for $22 per night and Dalmeny overlooking the beach for $20 per night, both with more facilities. It rained during the night, sometimes heavily and we waded through water to the toilet block during the night.

Thursday 4th April

Another travel day so we were off bright and late and eventually had lunch at the pub in town. Bellingen is another of those quaint old style towns managing to hold onto their old buildings and promoting themselves as a happy crafty coffee and sourdough bakery with ye-olde clothes shops type towns. Tourists just love them.

We arrived at Woody Head near the town of Iluka on the northern NSW coast. It seems a mini tornado ripped through the camp site the night before and many tents and or annexes were destroyed. Some camp sites were empty or littered with remains of tent frames. Quite a few campers had left and were in the process of packing to leave. Hmmm! We worked on the theory it was highly unlikely another storm would pass through while we are here. Camp fees here are also very expensive but being run by National Parks they try to set up sites in an ecologically friendly as well as visitor friendly manner. $28.50 per night and we were lucky to get two sites near each other. Tony had booked sites several days ago.

Early morning Woody Head and one of my favourite trees, the Pandanus.

Early morning Woody Head and one of my favourite trees, the Pandanus.

Our campsite at Woody Head.

Our campsite at Woody Head.

Storm clouds.

Storm clouds.

 

We used our Weber barbecue for the first time in over 12 months to cook up some sausages for dinner.

It rained much of the night.

Friday 5th April.

Happy Birthday Melissa.

The weather forecast was for showers clearing from the south. Instead it was showers, heavy at times with occasional sunny patches but did not clear.

Donnis on the beach at Woody Head moments before the rain came down in bucketloads.

Donnis on the beach at Woody Head moments before the rain came down in bucketloads.

Barefoot fisherman on the rocks in heavy rain at Woody Head.

Barefoot fisherman on the rocks in heavy rain at Woody Head.

Thick stand of young paperbark trees.

Thick stand of young paperbark trees.

More Pandanus.

More Pandanus.

In the afternoon we drove into Yamba on the other side of the Clarence River to buy some unneeded supplies. At least it gave us a chance to walk around out of the rain for awhile. The barbecue was put to good use again tonight cooking some steaks and a shared dinner with a couple of glasses of wine followed by a few snorts of 50 year old port. The port was bottled in 1965, a year before Tony and I met and began our long friendship.

We were lulled to sleep by the sound of waves on the beach 100 metres away although sometimes the sound of the surf was drowned out by the heavy rain.

Look closely...this is a Rhinoceros

Look closely…this is a Rhinoceros

Way back in 2011 I started photographing driftwood with what appeared to be faces. At least to me. This one looks like an old Cockatoo bird.

Way back in 2011 I started photographing driftwood with what appeared to be faces. At least to me. This one looks like an old Cockatoo bird.

A young Pelican.

A young Pelican.

Sigh!!!

Saturday 6th April

The rain eased enough for us to take a walk along the beach and as soon as we thought we were safe the rain came back and gave us a drenching. We have been having barbecue dinners Thursday and Friday and tonight was no exception. I made Tandoori Prawns as an entrée while Tony prepared pork chops and Donnis prepared buttered sweet potato for the BBQ as well as baked onion and Dawn prepared a salad. A real community effort. For dessert Donnis prepared a decadent banana boat (whole banana in their skin, with chocolate and marshmallows, wrapped in foil) cooked on the BBQ.

Sunday 7th April.

A mostly warm and sunny day. Spent walking the beach or splashing or soaking in the rock pools on the seaside.

This will be our last day here at Woody Head.

Beach path to isolated Shark Bay with 10 miles of  deserted beach.

Beach path to isolated Shark Bay with 10 miles of deserted beach.

Tomorrow we are driving north along the Pacific Highway to Brisbane.

In the afternoon Tony and I searched WWWGO roof to find the leak in the hatch. We think we have found it!!!. When the roof was repaired at the end of February, new sealant was applied over the leak. Unfortunately they closed the hatch before the sealant was dry. The first time we opened the hatch it broke the sealant and exposed the hole allowing rain to run off the hatch cover and straight into the hole. We did not have any sealant on hand so used 100 mile an hour tape as a temporary fix to cover the hole.

It rained heavily during the night and so far, no sign of a leak.

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5 Responses to “309. Sunday 7th April 2009. Gymea to Forster to Bellingen to Woody Head and progressively further north…”

  1. John and Pam Wright Says:

    Doesn’t appear Australia is suffering from any drought conditions. You do get your share of wet weather. Luckily, you were able to cook out each night. I had forgotten about banana boats! We use to make them when I was Scout leader. I will have to try it again on the grill. Thanks for the memory!

    Safe travels! Stay dry!

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Pam n John, at the moment we are not too disappointed with the weather. We have had some amazing days almost summer in fact. Oh, yeah, the banana boats. Donnis only does them occassionally…when we have all three magic ingredients to hand plus a barbecue fire.

      Like

  2. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad) Says:

    Gosh that snake sounds freaky! Lucky you were able to get it out with a washing basket, and over the back gate.
    We stayed at Yandina Caravan Park a couple of years ago and it RAINED so much 🙂
    Woody Head is so nice.
    House sitting sounds like a great way to travel

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Lisa, thanks for travelling with us. Hmmm! When you stayed at Yandina Caravan Park and had all that rain it sounds suspiciously like when we were house sitting at Traveston. We remember the rain well. Although we never started out with house sitting in our plans it has evolved as time goes on. It gives us a break from the travelling and confined quarters. Cheers…FrankieG

      Like

  3. frankeeg Says:

    Thanks, keep on reading.

    Like

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