Coffs Harbour

Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Monday, May 15, 2006

As we didn't really get the chance to explore Coffs Harbour properly yesterday (well if I'm honest we didn't bother to look around the town at all) and owing to the fact that we both felt shattered when we woke up this morning, we decided to stay an extra night at Aussietel Backpackers. I walked up the corridor to the front desk, trying not to look like I'd literally just got out of bed. There the hostel owner confirmed that it was absolutely fine for us to stay on for another night and then relieved me of the princely sum of $50 dollars. I was glad that I didn't have to rush back to the room and pack, in fact it was all I could do to muster enough energy to fall back to sleep for another couple of hours.

When the sun coming through our window got far too bright for me to pretend that it was it was still early in the morning, we reluctantly got up and drove into town for some provisions. We've realised now that the only way to preserve our rapidly dwindling budget is to always cook ourselves rather than eating out. Not a particularly life changing revelation, but hopefully one that means that we won't have to sell any of our possessions before we reach South Africa. Fortunately although it was a Sunday, the majority of shops still seemed to be open, so we headed straight to Coles supermarket, to see if we could manage to spend enough to receive a petrol voucher from them. We'd already decided that today would be a nice day to have a picnic, so we tried to find things that would be easy to eat outdoors without getting in too much of a mess, as well as trying to vaguely stick to the healthy eating diet that we were on at the moment.

After shopping we headed back to the hostel to prepare a picnic fit for kings, well some sandwiches anyway before scouring the Coffs Harbour information pamphlet that we'd been given by the hostel owner the day before. After making enough food for two picnics I headed back to the room to get our car keys before driving to Sealy Lookout which was a few miles out of town. On the floor in our room was an absolutely massive cockroach, this was the first that I'd seen and it was huge, about two inches long and over half an inch wide. Surprisingly I didn't just pass out on the floor like a big girl's blouse, which is what I'd predicted that I would do the first time I came face to face with a cockroach on this trip. I even had the presence of mind to lift it out of the room on some pamphlets that were scattered on the bed. I remained fairly calm about the roach removal mainly because I thought it was dead, however when it started to move around I did have to break into a mini sprint down the corridor and outside of the hostel, where I gratefully placed it in some nearby bushes.

Deciding at this point that I wouldn't tell Lynne about the superbug discovery, we drove to Sealy Lookout and on the way we drove past The Big Banana. This area of the east coast appears to have a weird fascination with putting on display huge representations of everyday objects. The Big Banana had been wowing tourists for 40 years apparently and tomorrow we may get to drive past a big prawn (although apparently you can no longer stick your head out of the prawn's eyes anymore, so what's the point?!). On the way up the hill to Sealy Lookout we passed lots of fields with bananas growing in them, apparently they are in short supply at the moment because of the devastation caused to the North Queensland banana crop by the recent cyclone. When we'd been in the supermarket earlier bananas had been almost $10 dollars per kilogram, which is very expensive indeed.

Sealy Lookout was a pleasant enough spot for a picnic, although for some strange reason they'd put the picnic area in a forested section where you couldn't actually see any of the great views of Coffs Harbour that the lookout gave. It was also quite cold because the sun was completely blocked out by the trees too, so we ended up having our picnic in the car.

Back at the hostel Lynne had her own cockroach encounter, which once again I bravely lifted from the room in my bare (quivering) hands. These bug encounters have given us a bit of a negative opinion of this particular hostel, especially when we found more cockroaches in the kitchen later. We had intended to stay up and watch the Grand Prix coverage on television, but sadly the television set in the lounge switched itself off at 11.40pm, which was before the race had started.

If I hear any sound that vaguely resembles that of a cockroach tonight, I will be leaving the room and going to sleep in the car.
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