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Arriving at Coffs Harbour
Friday 11th February 2011 – Coffs Harbour, Australia
I was moving on today, this time to a place called Coffs Harbour. To be honest, I hadn’t heard much about the place, and most people said not to bother about it, but I wanted to see it for myself and to forge my own opinion of it, so off to Coffs Harbour I went.
I started the day by having breakfast, much like anybody else, and noticed that a bit more of my food had been tampered with in the fridge. I decided not to press charges as I didn’t know who the guilty party was, but it didn’t matter as I was leaving today anyway. I took myself down to the nature reserve to see out the remaining time before my bus arrived.
It was nice to sit and relax, and to reflect on my trip so far. A few homeless guys muttered something to me as I passed, but I don’t think even they knew what they were talking about. I just carried on past nonetheless. It was now time to get going, so I walked back to the hostel.
The girl running the hostel offered to take me into town where I could catch the bus, and I accepted gratefully. It would save me from walking a fair distance with my big bag on my back. It was also nice to have a little chat with her, and to get to know about her and her husband a little better. It seemed like it had been hard work running the hostel in recent years due to the decline in backpackers.
Once in town I found the bus stop and stood waiting, guarding my bag from all the unsavoury folk about. Actually, I lie. Everybody round here is very friendly indeed, and if I needed further evidence of this, then I was given this by the three elderly ladies that opened up a conversation with me while waiting for the bus. They were all English, and all had emigrated here some years ago. All were extremely happy about this decision and neither one had ever looked back. They say they are much healthier being here. I would like to believe this was true. They were lovely ladies either way.
The bus arrived and took me to the train station where I boarded the train to Coffs Harbour. The train was very busy, and I couldn’t see an unoccupied seat. The journey was nice and relaxing though, and I had a good look at the scenery as it flashed past my eyes. We stopped for a while due to a train coming in the opposite direction, and I found myself staring at the same piece of earth for what seemed an eternity. Eventually we resumed our journey.
While walking back from the food cart, I saw a lady that I had met in the hostel in Newcastle. It was a surprise to see her again, but nice to chat with her briefly. We weren’t headed for the same place though, as she was off to Byron Bay. I wasn’t ready for Byron just yet, as I wanted to sample the delights that Coffs Harbour had to offer. It was hot at any rate, and I was sure I could spend a while on the beaches if the town wasn’t up to much. That’s the beauty of this country; if the town is lacking in character, the beaches are always there to save you.
I arrived and took the short walk to the YHA, and found I was sharing a room with some other English guys. I just hoped they would be cool, but being obviously quite young, I judged them based on their stereotype, and I wasn’t wrong. They seemed harmless enough, but it was all about the drinking and the party. I dumped my things in the room and set off out to the beach for a long walk up the coast.
The beach was lovely, and countless people were using it for their fitness routine, while others used it to walk their dogs. Everyone seemed to be in unison, like they were all part of the same fitness program, mimicking each other faultlessly. It was odd to watch, and I didn’t feel the need to conform. Truth is, I didn’t feel fit enough to conform. I just walked at my own pace, looking at all the washed up jellyfish along the water’s edge, wondering if I should step on one for fear of being stung. Nobody else seemed bothered about them, so I assumed they were harmless.
I watched the surfers for a bit, and couldn’t help but notice a good-looking couple getting steamy in the shallow water. I retraced my steps along the beach and returned to where I started. The remainder of the evening was spent devouring some fish and chips on the rocks at the nearest beach. I texted my brother for his birthday, then went to bed.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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