Friday, 30 March 2012

Grafton to Evans Head

With such a lot to write about yesterday, I clean forgot playing Scrabble with Chester. He beat me with two bingos to my one. It was only 10 pm at that time, but he didn't want a rematch, the bugger! Took the pedestrian path on the bridge across the Clarence River, connecting South Grafton with the main part of town. I was glad Chester (and Steve) had told me about it, because it ran underneath the busy narrow road, and I might not have noticed it. In Westpac Bank, when asking to change travellers' cheques, I was taken into a private room and asked lots of questions. It took ages, and although it wasn't unpleasant, I shouldn't have quipped to the young female teller later on, "Do you want a urine sample as well?" Nice ride through open land, twisting by the aforementioned river to Lawrence, where it was a good thing I checked to see if I had any phone messages before boarding the ferry... I'd left it on a picnic table. McLean is a Scottish theme park of a town, with numerous shops and cafes milking Scottishness, as well as every lamp post bearing a different tartan.

Had to rush to make the last ferry of the day from Yamba to Iluka at 4.45. Hot and thirsty, I felt like John Mills in Ice Cold in Alex, when I was relieved to find a bar on such a tiny vessel, and purchased a bottle of beer. Before we could cast sail, a fisherman had to move from the roof to the wharf. He'd hooked a stingray, but it would take some time to reel it in. Sitting on the deck of a ferry in warm, calm waters; that's the way to travel. Arriving at Iluka, I popped into a petrol station, as I needed a map for the remainder of the day's ride. The man gave me a $7 one for free. What a freeloading bastard! It was then that I relaised there was a 40 mile ride ahead of me and by now it was 5.15. It was boring, although satisfying as well, to ride as fast as possible along a straight highway as night fell. I was kind of mad with myself though for adding 10 miles on to my journey (and the ferry ride) to avoid rush hour highway traffic. Someone honked at me when I was wel within the 10 foot shoulder. What's your problem you speed-munching, tail-gating swine? Luckily, when arriving at Couchsurfer Kirra's house in Evan's Head at 8.45, she was still at work and didn't complain about my lateness... She had left keys in her mailbox and I was dropping off to sleep when she arrived n hour later. Kirra had pre-prepared a lamb stew and told me all about her various jobs (surfing teacher, lifeguard, supply teacher, barmaid, etc) as well as her entry in this year's Rickshaw Rally across India. Surfing is her passion though and her car can't fit in the garage, such is the number of boards in there. Nature news : kept awake by millions of squawking bats living in gumtrees opposite the house. Confectionery news : discovered Cole's Jelly Babies (like Swedish Fish).

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