During the course of the night we had both had to nip out for a wee and where we were situated in the little car park far away from prying eyes, we could pee to our hearts content – hoorah! Morning eventually came and first off I decided it would be a good idea to eat the rest of last night’s tea, some cous cous which turned out to be well past it’s sell by date – urgh! So instead we went across to the roadhouse and I had a bacon and egg butty which to be fair, was as crap as the cous cous! On the TV in the roadhouse there was something of a depressing reminder that even though we are out here on our great backpacking adventure the world still goes on getting madder and madder as the news came up of a gunman going into a disabled centre to shoot the place up. It was all a bit too much for us so we high-tailed it back to the sanctity of our little van and onwards to our next port of call – Southwest Rocks!
It only took a short while to get there, such a short time in fact that we arrived there even before the good employees of the visitor information centre. He eventually turned up though and was very informative, giving us a complete agenda for what he called a ‘ripping’ day out at the ‘Rocks’, so for the rest of the day we pretty much followed his lead. So we first went up a hill that overlooked the Macleay River waterways, then onto a place where we could go out for a little bit of a walk to stretch our legs. Along the way the crabs that we passed appeared to be waving at each other to come and have a look at their own homes (holes in the mud, if you please!) – ‘hey look at my place, no you come over here at look at mine, no mine is better’ … you get the picture, well at least this is what I saw was happening anyhow!
From here we drove to the nearby gaol and once we had parked up and still in the car park we looked down from our vantage point at the sea and, fortunately for us, saw some dolphins – a most excellent start to the day! Trial Bay prison was quite an all round good visit as it had a bit of a story running through it, all about how it had been used in World War 2 to house German prisoners in order to build the harbour wall but the apparent ‘wall building’ turned out to be a bit of a complete and utter disaster as try as they might the blasted wall kept getting washed away by the powerful, powerful sea!
The prison though was still in good condition but had some very strange residents, a surly bunch of kangaroos hanging about the place. A group of kangaroos is actually called a ‘mob’ and seeing these sulky looking animals we could pretty much see why. They did nonstop us though from having a good nosey about and taking advantage, where possible, of some good photo opportunities.
Then we went out and took the walk past the memorial up towards the nearby and aptly called Little Bay and back, along the way seeing more ‘Roos’ and even a small and possibly poisonous snake on the return journey. From here there was really not that much more that we could do here at Southwest Rocks, we had hoped to do a spot of diving whilst here but the weather was not really ‘playing ball’ so it was pretty much out of the question, so nothing for it but to head down the main road towards Port Macquire. We did not exactly leave in a rush but it was quick enough for a bit of a faux par to be made by my good self. We had bought some provisions including the much valued BEER and as we hit the Pacific Highway Liz then asked me what I had done with the aforementioned frothy possessions (aka – the beer) and it transpired that I had only left those cans of loveliness back at ‘the Rocks’ … Doh!
Port Macquire turned out to be a bigger place than we had imagined but simple enough to navigate as it seemed like a big grid and here we stopped off to watch more surfers and have a look at the Koala Hospital. No folks, this was not a hospital for humans run by those charming little koalas – though back home in the UK the NHS may want to consider this idea – no, this was a hospital for poorly koalas and those that had been involved in accidents and the like. It was cool but we had arrived there quite late in the day so we only had enough time to have a quick run round the place. Koalas, as you probably know, do not move around that much even when they are in the best of health so we could not really tell who was poorly and who was on the mend but the place did seem to be doing a lot of good. As we left the place, we left a bit of a donation for the little creatures in the hope that some of them would actually take their medical degrees, who knows eh!
So it was that we left Port Macquire and had set our hopes on getting an overnight stop even though these seemed to be a bit more few and far between here on the Australian East coast. The one we first stopped at we found was no longer a night stop so things were looking a bit desperate until my good wife spotted a camping site in a national park.
This place turned out to be quite brilliant as here we were entertained by a Dutchman on a guitar, who was quickly on hand with a joke or two and we then settled down to a brilliant meal provided by our good selves. When the good fellow went to bed it was then my turn to entertain my wife by pretending to be a Geordie, with a poor accent. We even had bought a couple of beers to replace those we (I) had lost earlier in the day and whilst having a drink watched some bats doing some quite batty things – good eh!