Wednesday, February 06, 2008

DAY 122: Coff’s Harbour to Scottie and Kathleen's, Darlington Bay Resort

Mon 4th February 2008
35 km @ 15.5 km/hr
Distance to date 7426 km (4641 miles)
Heavy showers, warm

It rained all evening and most of the night as far as I can make out. There are a few tiny leaks in the tent which I hope will be fixed with some waterproofing stuff when I can get hold of some, but everything is still fairly dry all the same (miraculously). I couldn’t sleep after 7 so faffed about over breakfast and sorting things out, but at 11 it was still raining so options were very limited. Even if I stayed in Coff’s Harbour I wouldn’t be able to get around much without getting wet so what’s the point? I rang Scottie whom I met last week at Bulahdelah to see if he and Kathleen were home, and they were, and said to come on down. They live about 35km north of Coff’s, and felt that this was my best option in the time left today.
Firstly I went to the library but could only get half an hour to upload, which was OK but there wasn’t time to include all the pics. I finally left Coff’s at 1300 - pity I hadn’t even seen the sea or any of it’s apparent attributes. Can’t be helped!
After a quick steak pie I hit the road in steady rain and was quickly soaked again. There was a good shoulder for the first 15km or so but it reduced in width considerably later, down to only a foot (300mm), which felt dangerous with articulated lorries passing at 100 km/hr throwing tons of spray up. There are a few places, such as at little bridges over creeks, where there’s no shoulder, and one has to check here that there’s nothing big coming from behind. After an hour the heavens utterly opened and it teemed down in torrents for a solid hour, water running all over the road, huge clouds of spray etc. Thankfully it still wasn’t cold - the main negative aspect for me is the large volume of traffic passing - this is a very busy section of the Pacific Highway.
I was relieved when I reached the turn off to Scotty and Kathleen’s - they live just 2km off the Highway - and the rain eased for the last few minutes.
Scotty and Kathleen (they are originally from Perth in Scotland and emigrated here about 40 years ago) welcomed me and showed me the shower straight away, and it was lovely to get cleaned up and put dry clothes on. I must look like the wild man of Borneo after a ride like this, but felt more human now. We sat on the verandah and watched the birds for a while - plenty of colourful Lorikeets and other birds pecking away in the bird feeder, and eating from Scottie’s hands. Kathleen busied herself with putting plenty of food out for us and we had a good blather over the table. It it felt very nice to be in a proper house for a change, it makes you see the value of a home, although I do like life on the road very much. This wet weather makes it less enjoyable of course, not least because the scenery does not look as nice as in sunny weather, and of course you can’t linger and enjoy places; it’s just a case of getting the riding done and getting there. As I understand it there may be more rain yet, but as I type (at 2200) it hasn’t rained for a few hours.
Scotty let me use the internet for a while, mainly to check 3 or 4 days e-mails, and then we were eating again - I have had a really good time here which cheered me up no end.
As I type as 2210 it’s pouring rain again - hmmm! Oh well, it won’t last forever!
I didn't take many pics today as it was too wet to get the camera out.

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