Posts Tagged ‘Coffs Harbour’

484. Sunday 3rd April 2016. On the road again. Port Macquarie, Forster and La Perouse…

04/04/2016

Wednesday 30th March

Hmmm! I got myself tangled up in the plans we had made for this week. In my mind I thought we would leave home on 31st March which I thought was Friday. Not so. Thursday is 31st March and that is the day we travel south.

The i30 was booked in for a 15,000 Klm service. As well as the service the good people at the car yard washed the car and blackened the tyres.

We partially packed i30 before going to bed as we planned to be up early and on our way by no later than 8am.

Thursday 31st March.

Grrr!

As usual the departure time came and went and we were still madly packing the car with last minute stuff. We got away by 8.30 so considering we had been awake since 5.30 we were almost on time. We drove onto the M1 motorway and continued on the Pacific Highway once we crossed into New South Wales. We encountered some rain and for the most part the first half of the journey is on wonderful newly opened highway but dreaded roadworks slowed us somewhere north of Coffs Harbour. Roadworks continued off and on for the rest of our journey slowing our average speed and stretching the time of arrival at Tony and Dawns house at Port Macquarie.

Thank you, Tony & Dawn for your hospitality, dinner and wine. You know you always have somewhere to stay when you are in the Gold Coast area.

1st April – April Fools Day.

We had a relaxed breakfast with T&D then packed i3o followed by coffee and we were on our way by mid -morning. I had fuelled i30 before leaving the Gold Coast. Cost was 99.9 cents per litre. Petrol stations in NSW yesterday were between $1.14.9 to $1.18.9. Some fuel prices in Port Macquarie this morning were even higher, up to $1.22.9 per litre. We still had enough fuel to get to Forster, our next destination but past experience has shown fuel prices are higher on the coastal town which is off the Pacific Highway. After travelling over 500 Klms on the one tank of fuel we pulled off the highway a few Klms to a little town called Kundletown. Fuel here was $1.08.9, the cheapest we have seen in two days.

Arriving in Tuncurry, the sister town to Forster we bought a take away lunch and took it to the northern arm of the breakwater. After lunch Donnis took a swim in the enclosure formed by a break in the umm err breakwater. A net is placed across the gap and is intended to keep nasties out.

This is the swimming enclosure at Tuncurry breakwater wall.

This is the swimming enclosure at Tuncurry breakwater wall.

I wandered around enjoying the late summer sun knowing it is Autumn and a change in the weather will not be far away.

I believe this is a young Wandering Albatross. Can anybody positively identify it for me?

I believe this is a young Wandering Albatross. Can anybody positively identify it for me?

A natural feature at the southern end of Forster Beach is this natural rock pool.

A natural feature at the southern end of Forster Beach is this natural rock pool.

After arriving at Al and Raes house on a hill at Forster, we unpacked and Al and I went to nearby One Mile Beach to fly my stunt kite at the foot of Giant Sandhill. There was plenty of quirky wind to teach Al how to fly. I forgot the camera!

Forster (pronounced Foster) and its twin, Tuncurry are both situated on a spit of land bounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by Wallis Lake. The mouth of the Wallamba River splits the two towns. Both are popular holiday destinations and provided the sun is shining, which it does most of the year, the water always seems an impossible shade of Turquoise Blue and the sand whiter than white. Forster and Tuncurry are linked by a long straight bridge with humps at either end to allow larger boats to pass beneath.

The Forster Tuncurry long bridge with humps at each end to allow larger vessels to pass beneath.

The Forster Tuncurry long bridge with humps at each end to allow larger vessels to pass beneath.

To the south there are several more lakes, all picturesque and just waiting to be explored and exploited.

Saturday 2nd April

This morning we drove to Al & Rae’s son Brian and his wife Grid house on Forster Keys a canal type suburb on Wallis Lake. They own a pair of Hobie Mirage Revolution II canoes.

Getting our safety training and launch from Brian and Grid.

Getting our safety training and launch from Brian and Grid.

Getting ready to pedal the Hobie canoe.

Getting ready to pedal the Hobie canoe.

Allan on a Hobie practise pedal.

Allan on a Hobie practise pedal.

Aaaah.Alone at last.

Aaaah.Alone at last.

These canoes are propelled primarily by foot pedals connected to a pair of feathering fins. Many light years ago, in my surfing days, Hobie was known as a quality surfboard maker. Over the years through research and development, Hobie also makes a range of Stand Up Paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, sailcraft – single hull, catamarans and trimarans – all with innovative designs. After an hour of exploring a tiny part of the canals and lake we headed back. Both of us suffer from back problems and we both know our canoe and kayak days are long behind us.

The afternoon was devoted to resting.

In the evening Brian and Grid arrived for a barbecue and a promise of a breakfast treat tomorrow.

Sunday 3rd April

Brian collected us at 7am and soon we were driving along a sandy bush track to Tuncurry Beach.

Catamaran in early morning sunlight seaward of Tuncurry Beach

Catamaran in early morning sunlight seaward of Tuncurry Beach

Forster seen from Tuncurry Beach.

Forster seen from Tuncurry Beach.

After driving onto the beach a table and chairs were set up, a barbecue fired up and we were soon eating bacon and egg on breadrolls.

Brian cooking up bacon and egg rolls while Donnis waits for breakfast.

Brian cooking up bacon and egg rolls while Donnis waits for breakfast.

Just pull up anywhere on Tuncurry Beach put out tables and chairs and start cooking breakfast.

Just pull up anywhere on Tuncurry Beach put out tables and chairs and start cooking breakfast.

Brothers Frank and Allan.

Brothers Frank and Allan.

Rae and the Gillings, Brian, Frank and Allan hamming it up.

Rae and the Gillings, Brian, Frank and Allan hamming it up.

Back at Al & Raes we packed, had coffee and were on our way by mid- morning.

Thank you Al & Rae and Brian& Grid for your hospitality over the last two days. It was a great visit with you and we look forward to seeing you soon.

We continued on the Pacific Highway through to Sydney and joined the M2 into the Lane Cove Tunnel and the tunnel under the Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge. On arrival at La Perouse we took a little detour before arriving at Geoff and Margarets house. We took the road to what must be one of Australia’s premier golf courses, the NSW Golf Club.

Fairways and Greens at NSW Golf Club.

Fairways and Greens at NSW Golf Club.

On one side the course proper skirts the spectacular sandstone cliffs overlooking the ocean. The other side overlooks, LaPerouse, Congwong Bay, Bear Island, Kurnell, Botany Bay, Mascot Airport and the container ship terminal at Port Botany.

From the Golf Club can be seen La Perouse, Congwong Bay, Bear Island,Kurnell, container ship and beyond.

From the Golf Club can be seen La Perouse, Congwong Bay, Bear Island,Kurnell, container ship and beyond.

I have an affection nicely quarried sandstone blocks on many early houses, banks and Government buildings around Sydney. As well there are many many samples of quarried sandstone retaining walls around the suburb. This old club has used unquarried sandstone rocks for a retaining wall in the carpark. The wall appears to have been in place probably as long as the club. Although the wall has a haphazard appearance I still enjoy the use of rock in this wall.

Lovely old sandstone retaining wall at exclusive NSW Golf Club. Normally I like to see dressed sandstone in walls but this wall, probably 50 or more years old is eye catching.

Lovely old sandstone retaining wall at exclusive NSW Golf Club. Normally I like to see dressed sandstone in walls but this wall, probably 50 or more years old is eye catching.

Beside the gold course is a protected piece of land controlled by NSW Parks and Wildlife called the Botany Bay National Park. Inside the park is a cemetery with lots of old graves dating back more than 100 years.

National Park sign.

National Park sign.

Site of the cemetery within Botany Bay National Park

Site of the cemetery within Botany Bay National Park

Lack of maintenance shows in all the headstones.

Lack of maintenance shows in all the headstones.

A nice pair of side by side graves being slowly absorbed by the encroaching bush.

A nice pair of side by side graves being slowly absorbed by the encroaching bush.

The walk continues to and along the sandstone cliffs with breathtaking views across Little Bay, Long Bay and beyond.

Cliff views looking north to Little Bay, Long Bay and Henry's Head.

Cliff views looking north to Little Bay, Long Bay and Henry’s Head.

It is an easy walk and can be traversed all the way to Maroubra Beach at least 10 Klms to the north. The full walk from Bear Island off LaPerouse is now on our “to do” list for sometime in the future.

We finally arrived at Geoff and Margarets in time for happy hour followed by a walk to Frenchmans Bay

Frenchmans Bay at La Perouse.

Frenchmans Bay at La Perouse.

to watch the sunset and the gathering heavy rain clouds approaching from the south.

Fisherman Silhouted by setting sun beyond the Port Botany Fuel storage.

Fisherman Silhouted by setting sun beyond the Port Botany Fuel storage.

030416 ship

Sunset over Port Botany.

Sunset over Port Botany.

These girls are totally uncoordinated trying to paddle to friends waiting on a yacht in Frenchmans Bay.

These girls are totally uncoordinated trying to paddle to friends waiting on a yacht in Frenchmans Bay.

As always Geoff and Margaret looked after us. Thank you.

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456. Sunday 6th September 2015. Returning home, a painful fog and a birthday on the road…

09/09/2015

Monday 31st August.

The last day of winter and spring is just a day away.

I visited the physiotherapist today. She tells me that pain is normal. In fact my condition and experience is a classic text book case. The shooting pains which now seem to be occurring frequently are in addition to the daily constant pain. The shooting pain is the nerves finally firing and trying to locate their position in the wrist. Those shooting pains are like jolts of electric current. Gradually my fingers are able to hold light objects such as a damp face cloth or an empty shampoo bottle. Progress is still slow and painful.

Tuesday 1st September

We drove to La Perouse today to visit Geoff and Margaret as we will be leaving on Friday to head back to the Gold Coast. We had originally planned to do so many things while in Gymea but given the limited use of my hand, doctors visits and physio appointments those plans have to be held over until another time.

Wednesday 2nd September

Today was our final visit with Errol, Nicole, Amelia and Hannah before we drive back home on Friday.

Amelia and Hannah practise pulling faces.

Amelia and Hannah practise pulling faces.

Donnis and Frank with Amelia and Hannah on the rear deck of the house.

Donnis and Frank with Amelia and Hannah on the rear deck of the house.

Thursday 3rd September

Final Sydney physio visit.

Bev n Pete arrived home from their holiday and we catch up until tiredness overcomes us.

Friday 4th September.

The original plan was to leave early – that is before 9am preferably before 8am. My Lyrica nerve pain tablets make me so drowsy I fell asleep after breakfast. It rained most of the way Port Macquarie. We stopped for fuel just out of Wyong and decided to eat there as well. The roast chicken was terrible. Should have gone to MacDonalds.

Donnis  son, Peter, works in Port so we caught up with him, over a beer at his favourite pub.

We bought takeaway Chinese food so we could safely have a glass of wine or two and not have to worry about the breathalyser squad.

Earlier this month on our way to Gymea we exchanged house keys with Tony n Dawn. We have somewhere to stay tonight. They are at our house so they can have a base exploring Over 50’s Resorts in Queensland.

Saturday 5th September.

Happy Birthday FrankieG. Fancy celebrating a birthday driving 500 klms along the highway.

The plan was to leave early but my pain relief tablets meant I fell asleep again.

We stopped at Coffs Harbour for lunch. We have never stopped at the harbour before so we took a little time to do so today.

Driving into Coffs involves  many high hills which give great views to the ocean. The hillsides are mostly covered in banana plantations. As long as I can remember, Coffs has been dependant on banana crops. It seems there is now a rival industry … blueberries.  The harbour is impressive as was the fish n chips lunch at the fish co-op.

The wonderful seafood co-op where only wild caught local seafood is available. The is no imported fish 9 except some wild caught New Zealand...they are honourary Aussies anyway) and certainly none of that disgusting Basa from Vietnam.

The wonderful seafood co-op where only wild caught local seafood is available. There is no imported fish (except some wild caught New Zealand…they are honourary Aussies anyway) and certainly none of that disgusting Basa from Vietnam.

Coffs is on the Princes Highway and so far has escaped a bypass gradually being built north and south of the city. For this reason the town is a bottleneck for all north south traffic. Once the bypass is completed the town may be worthwhile visiting again.

We left just as the gathering storm clouds started to dump rain.

Storm clouds approaching Coffs Harbour.

Storm clouds approaching Coffs Harbour.

Wind surfers doing what they do.

Wind surfers doing what they do.

We arrived home at 6.30 pm and joined Tony n Dawn for a wonderful takeaway Japanese dinner. Tony and I both fell asleep in the recliner chairs after dinner.

Sunday 6th September

To celebrate being home Tony and I went for a walk along the Broadwater. I showed him the place where I had my accident. Hmmm! There is no plaque to indicate my life was changed in an instant.

To further celebrate I took off the brace for a few hours.

451. Sunday 9th August 2015. An operation, pain, travel accompanied by pain…

13/08/2015

Monday 3rd August

Hmmm! For some reason I did not take any photos this week. I must have been distracted.

Today is the tomorrow I wrote about yesterday which will be next week when this is posted.

We visited the orthopaedic surgeon today and the first comment he made was the x-Rays did not show enough detail but from what he could see the damage is worse than indicated in the report. He wanted an MRI  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_resonance_imaging  for a better view of the break. The MRI people were just down the hall and within a half hour we were back with the specialist. “The MRI CD is blank”, he said. So it was back to the MRI people to get a CD with my data on it or a new scan. Luck was, for once, in our favour and we were back in 10 minutes. Hmmm! The break is worse than expected with cartilage totally broken and pieces of bone floating around. I need surgery, plates and screws and an arthroscopic clean-up. The op is set for Wednesday. In the meantime leave the cast on, do not get it wet and continue the Endone which “gum” up the works. Grrr!

On top of pain and discomfort will be added the annoyance of constipation.

Tuesday 4th August

Not much happened today. Just sitting around feeling sorry for myself and somehow getting the timing of pain relief out of step. Within two hours of missing my dose of Endone the pain made sure I quickly got back onto my dose.

Wednesday 5th August

Suddenly it is Wednesday, the day of the operation.

We arrived at Allamanda Hospital at the appointed hour and I joined a group of people sitting around in hospital gowns awaiting their turn. It seems all but two of us are day surgery.

All went well, apparently. From my misty pain shrouded perch it is hard to believe “all went well”. My wrist is wrapped tight as a drum and the oral pain relief is ineffectual. I was offered morphine to take the edge off the pain and to allow me to sleep. I have no idea how long I lay in the dark, considering chewing off my hand and wrist, anything, to stop the pain and be able to sleep. The nurse arrived and duly gave another morphine injection. Eventually the new day arrived.

Thursday 6th August

Breakfast arrived but alas, not sleep.

Soon, a practitioner from the Australian Hand Therapy Association   http://www.ahta.com.au/   arrived. Within minutes she was building my very own splint, attached it to my wrist and was gone. Then the surgeon arrived with great news.   (  http://goldcoastupperlimbcentre.com/) The break was much worse than expected. He used words like, shattered. I was waiting for the great news. The news was that those pieces able to be brought back together in line were kept in line with plates and screws. Those pieces unable to be repaired were removed. The gritty sharp pieces of bone have been smoothed so nothing rubs together. He told me it was a successful operation and it’s now over to me for a successful recovery.

Back home we had dinner and after loading up on pain killers realised I would not be able to sleep in bed so found my way to the recliner chair for comfort and sleep…two hours followed by pain killers then another two hours sleep.

So it was I passed the night.

Friday 7th August

Originally we planned to leave today to drive to Sydney. Too much pain, too much discomfort and too little sleep was enough for us to decide to rest for the day, review our situation in the morning and decide then if we will travel.

Blessed rest for the remainder of the day.

Another night sleeping, on and off, in the recliner.

Sigh!

Saturday 8th August.

We managed to leave Biggera Waters by mid-morning and before long were in New South Wales with our lunch stop at Coffs Harbour four hours later.

The Endone night time pain relief and the Panadene Forte day time pain relief has sustained me thus far, not without considerable discomfort I might add.

We arrived in Port Macquarie after 8 hours on the road driving for 500 Klms.

Our wonderful hosts, Tony & Dawn looked after us including a nice recliner in front of a heater and with TV to keep me company during the small hours. I have been sleeping in a recliner since I had my accident on 2nd August.

Temperatures have dropped by only 2 or 3 degrees but the coolness in the air is noticeable.

Sunday 9th August

After a hearty breakfast prepared by Dawn we were once again on the road to our next destination… La Perouse… a suburb of Sydney on Botany Bay, a trip of 410 Klms which we cruised leisurely in 6 hours.

Geoff & Margaret are our hosts and Geoff, latent chef that he is, prepared a wonderful dinner.  Tonight I slept on a lounge instead of a recliner. My sleep hours are directly linked to the pain killer cycle.

It is colder here in Sydney.

At least I am sleeping.