Lots and Lots of Sand

Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
Trip End Jul 11, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, July 1, 2010

We plugged our camper in last night for the first time at Long Jetti... this is good to do because the fridge runs on batteries that recharge better when plugged in and the microwave, toaster, etc don't work unless you're plugged in.  The campground was nice, it was along an inlet of water. The next day we got a late start and then went to the ranger station / info center at a small, quaint town called Hawks Nest. Once again we asked about swimming and were told that the sharks will eat you! The ranger said he saw a shark the day before-- a white. Then We set out for Myall Natinal Park on the coast.  The forest was beautiful, but the roads are different from our park roads. They are very narrow and no lines down the road. A dirt road here is called an "unsealed" road and asphalt is referred to as "tarmac".  Lots of the words are different as well as many of the spellings.  When you walk into a place, they usually say "how ya goin?" and "cheers" instead of thanks.  Also instead of deer crossing signs at various points in the road, there are signs that have a picture of a koala bear or a wombat or more commonly a kangaroo and they say something like "koala 5km".  A lot of the cars and nearly all of the trucks here have a special reinforced front bumber to protect the car from damage when they hit kangaroos in the road.  After driving thru the forest a bit, we stopped at Dark Point, Which is a big rock peninsula surrounded by sand dunes sticking out into the bay.  This place was a ceramonial place for the aboriginals. It was a feasting place and a burial ground for the last 4000 years.  The coast here is lined with golden sand dunds and unique flowers and grasses. What is so amazing about dark point is the pararamic views in all directions without being able to see any signs of development along the coast.  Also the tall dunes seem out of place, like a desert in the middle of a normal coastline.  The boys sprinted aross the sand to the large vertical walls of a dune and slid down the hillside.  After making a few other stops in the national park, we got to a part where we needed to have a one-car ferry take us across a tiny patch of lake so we could get back on the Pacific Hwy and one our way.  The "ferry" apparently only runs every half hour. We pulled up to it, expecting to drive right on, and instead the captain walks up to our car and says "boat leaves every half hour, and we've just came back from a trip (gesturing to the far shore which is literally a stone's throw away), so we'll see you in about a half our".  Then he wanders off down a trail into the bush!   What does he do for a half hour?  Where does he go?  Who is the 'we' that he refers to, does he believe that he has an invisible crew of little deck hands following him around?  Either way, the liesurely pace is certainly different from our fast paced cultue. Another guy had summed it up well when he said to us, "no hurry folks, were in Australia!" As we continued to drive through the national park we saw our first wild kangroos. We took a piture, but could only see their glowing neon eyes because the camera doesn't work well in dim light. Apparently kangroos are highly efficient because they hop and this uses only a third of the energy a similar sized mammal would use.  We have been forwarned not to drive at night because kangroos often jump out in the middle of the road at night and can total your car.  A bit scary, the next day we saw a dead kanaroo in the middle of the highway and they are bigger than you would think.
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