Thursday, March 12, 2015

Shark-hunting bear finds the perfect hunting ground for

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We sent the kid to school while we stayed at home and packed – sad farewell it was! Still good to catch up with both of them. We showed the folks on our Western Island how we do a family bear-hug!!

Decided to skip shopping for food supplies and head of to Bryon – a small beach town south of Tweed – known for its surf and arts and crafts – but more importantly, it is also the location of the most eastern point of Australia!!   Fonzie is eager to get going - not sure on his map reading skills . . . .

First stop - up to lighthouse (were had to pay for parking - only a handful of parking places available ( - something for the Coromandel/Cathedral cove place to look at) ) and we walked and took lots of pic's of us being as close to NZ as we possibly could.

Here Mamabear is considering how long she would need to swim away from our Western Island in order to get back to the two Main Islands of New Zealand . . .

Saw a pod of Dolphins lounging about in the water.  Actually I think they were on a feeding trip.  The local tourists (french/spain/and some middle eastern country folks ) all went - 'ohhhh' and 'uaaahhhh' and 'ooooh loooook!!!' .  Very excitable folks they were.  One of the local shops had some large canvas prints of the Dolphin surfing the waves / etc - he was lucky enough to be out there on a surfboard and them not being photo-shy . . .

Back into town and a spot of lunch on the beach side of the road– then a actual paddle in the surf – where Mamabear got a surprise wave and wet feet and urm other body parts.

These cheap Bunnings chairs came in handy on a number of occasions.

Here is the female bear - still all very dry!! It was the wave after next, that gave her, her free - urm - bath!! :D
No cellphones were harmed - but it was a close thing for a short while!
With the Dolphins milling around near the beach - there was no chance of shark hunting, so we flagged that part of the trip right there and then.  I had visions of Mamabear trying a new technique - sitting in a deckchair - dangling her toes in the water (as bait) and reading a book to wile away the hours.   Hmmmm maybe next time

From there we strolled through the town and enjoyed the shops and the atmosphere. Very much a tourist town with lots of young and very 'muscle' bodies (surfing dudes and duddess'es) lolling round!! The language was very international and you could easily hear French/Italian/Spanish and German next to each other.  We had a true-to-goodness Italian gelato Ice cream (the owner being an ex-migrant from Italy) and bought bits and pieces for the folks left at home - and yes - that included a Bryon badge for myself.  yess!!

It was still in the Celsius of mid 30's on a lazy sunny afternoon - so we decided to skip camping there and head instead to Coffs Harbour – a 240 km drive further south. My Navigator sending wrong directions once to get us on M1 – easily fixed though. 

The roads to and from towns are often built similar to European Autobahns - at worst 2 lanes and having cracks in the concrete - but often 3 lanes and freshly sealed / build - but still there is a 100km speed limit AND every 30-50km a sign warning of speeding and fines and traffic cams monitoring speed and having cameras on bridges that take pictures of you as you whizz past and them some 20km later another bridge camera taking your picture again and then working out the time/distance thing and if you had to have gone at a certain speed to cover said distance in said time thus working out if you have been speeding.  With the speed limits and almost everyone sticking to it (they must have a heavy fine system in place) it took perhaps a little bit longer then anticipated to get to Coffs Harbour. 

Found the camp-site easily enough and set up camp then relaxed with a glass of red/white while skippy (the local wild Kangaroo) and several of his companions skipped right past our mobile home – literally within touching distance.  Wohoooo
We certainly knew right there and then that we are in Australia.  We have seen Kangaroos before - in a zoo - never freely roaming in the wild. This was so cool

Meal cooked and eaten - dishes done  / blog written  / FB news caught up, then it started to drizzle.  We braved as short stroll in the dark to the beach – steep sand access to the water so not game enough to get feet wet. Still you can hear the waves from the sea crashing on the sand from where our van is parked.

Other notable features during today's trip - the sugar cane fields - they stretch like forever!!  It would appear that this is the Main Australian cash crop.
Also saw lots of houses that were built on stilts - lifted 2-4 meters of the ground.
This goes hand in hand with the road signs telling you "this road subject to flooding! A flood depth indicator is up ahead".  Hmmm I know we have in Austria snow-drift depth sticks during winter - but here . . . .
Anyhow - the indicators went up to 3 meters in some places -now that  I S  an awful lot of water going down the road . . . . . . .  

With the shark-hunting being called off by Mamabear- we figured we might have a better chance to catch a local croc' - as we will head inland later on!!  Mamabear not to keen on all the dangerous wild life - Skippy going peacefully past our camp-site was enough excitement for one day.  Little did she know that the sugar cane fields hide the brown snakes (very venomous) and a couple of other non-desirables . . . . . .

bear print

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