Hi old friends, it seems so long since our last entry. But we are back and it’s getting closer to the end of this holiday by the day, all too quickly.
Day 51 Bonny Hills to Blacksmiths NSW 25 Aug 2016
After the forecast yesterday and all the rain overnight I wasn’t looking forward to what we might wake to. But oh, how I was surprised. It was a beautiful bright sunny morning, the surf was 3-4’ and glassy, with a small pod of dolphins swimming around and whales being spotted out to sea and at least a dozen surfers. What a great way to start any day. 🙂
WE took our time getting away, it didn’t feel like a morning to rush things. I guess we were on the road by 9:30, which was late compared to our normal travel days. We have been impressed with the highways in NSW, the bits that are finished are great and the bits under construction (it seems about 50:50 at the moment) promise a great road in the near future. It’s a pity they don’t spend some money on local roads, some/many seem to be more pothole than road.
We arrived in Blacksmiths a bit after 1 and pulled up in front of “Coconut Cottage”, the home of a friend from way “back in the day” and our home for the next couple of days. Michelle met us out front, it was so good to see her and we had hugs all round. We got the van all settled and locked down and then went inside to relax and catch up a bit. Michelle took us over to the beach for a bit of a walk and a look around. It’s such a beautiful location. Shane, Michelle’s husband, got home later in the afternoon. Michelle was cooking a vegie lasagne for dinner, and I got roped into making the white sauce. We had a great night feasting on a delicious meal and having lots of laughs.
Day 52 Blacksmiths NSW 26 Aug 2016
Not wanting to be a burden on Michelle and Shane, and since we had our home on wheels all set up, we decided to sleep in the van while we were there. It was easy for us and we hoped easier for her. It was a cold night, one of the coldest they had had this winter and one of the coldest nights we had had since we left central Australia, it got down to about 2.9C overnight! But we were warm enough, Deb had enough blanket and I had enough sheet!! Lol
Shane headed off to work around 7’ish and Michelle was going to visit her mum in hospital in the morning, so after sharing a cuppa with Michelle we headed off to explore. Deb was worried we didn’t have a plan, but I surprised her and suggested we go to the Hunter Wetlands in northern Newcastle. (I found it on Trip Advisor, Deb’s go to website for travel ideas, she was surprised and impressed, LOL 🙂 )
The Hunter Wetlands Centre covers an area of 45ha and had its beginnings back in 1984. It is now home to thousands of birds of varying descriptions and depending on the season you see different birds there. The centre is home to a captive breeding program for the “Feckled Duck”, and variety of duck described as “Dinosaur Ducks” on one sign due to their very ancient linage. There are numerous ponds which create very different habitats and attract different birds, so it was interesting walking around and enjoying the peace and quiet of the sanctuary.
From there we went to the Newcastle Yacht Club for lunch. We enjoyed a Shared Seafood platter while looking out over an interesting marina area.
Our afternoon was filled with Ingress, we topped up our inventories at a very well set-up level 8 farm and then went out to take down some very big blue fields. But our main objective turned out to be inaccessible. We headed south to a Point with one portal supporting many fields, but when we got there it turned out to be within a restricted “school” area (A Sport and Recreation facility), disappointing but we had a nice drive anyway.
We got back to Michelle’s around 4pm.
Michelle organised a Thai feast for tea, and we celebrated old friendships with a bottle of Moet. We had lots of laughs again and a really enjoyable time with Michelle and Shane.
Day 53 Blacksmiths to Wyoming NSW 27 Aug 2016
It was a slightly warmer night, 6.9C and with an extra blanket on our bed we cruised through the night. We went in and had a coffee and tea with Michelle and Shane, before inevitably saying goodbye around 9:30am. As we were hitching the van up Shane noticed an issue we had with the electric brakes emergency breakaway cable, he scootered off and was back in a minute with all the tools necessary to make a permanent fix to it. It’s great to have someone who owns their own Trailer and Engineering business helping you out. 🙂 We reluctantly said our good byes and headed down to mum’s place in Wyoming, only a matter of 60km away.
So an hour and a bit later we pulled up out in front of mum’s place and had the caravan parked and secured for the next few days. Mum is away on holiday and gets home not long after we leave so we have her home all to ourselves. Before she left mum left us a note with a few jobs to be done around the house, so we started on them and had a bit of a tidy-up as we went, as well as getting a few loads of our washing out on the line, nice not to be doing it in a caravan park laundry.
In the afternoon we went out and got a few supplies for the next few days and relaxed later in the afternoon. It is so good just chilling for a while and it is a lovely cool, sunny day. Looking forward to catching up with Craig, Cook and Caitlin tomorrow.Number of View :3344