30th October: CASINO —–> POTTSVILLE
A pleasant night was spent at the Casino Big 4 caravan park where I finally found a laundry tub with hot water so I washed the towels and hung them out undercover overnight. After Clyve filling the van with drinking water and then sorting out the lock (all motorhome water tank filler locks seem to be badly designed), we sent a message to our weather friend of almost 20 years Michael Bath who we had missed having dinner with last night when the local chasers had got to Tenterfield after we had left…..
We dropped up to see him and Alison (and their amazing view of the Nightcap Ranges) in McLeans Ridges.
We spent a pleasant hour drinking coffee with them and then wandered off to Pottsville (via Byron Bay – mainly because we had missed a turnoff and couldn’t be fussed enough to turn around). Byron Bay is still as gridlocked as ever even approaching from the south side. There are beautiful views from up around that way and we tossed around the idea (for a couple of minutes at least) of a small house somewhere up there…just a little cottage with a wrap around verandah…..
We set up at the caravan park in Pottsville and then walked around the beach, along the estuary and then over the road to get fish and chips……then back to the van – a pleasant 3.2km walk…the inlet is really pretty at almost low tide. There was an elderly couple there with 2 poodles…the brown one would get into the water and swim, buoyed along by the current heading out to sea and then get out about 20 yards further along, and go back and do it all again…reckon it got up to speeds of 15kmh! Apparently the local kids do it using pool noodles and get caught on the sand bar rather than being washed out to sea…and they will do it all day!
Fish and chips for dinner was good…and we sat around relaxing in the evening watching a couple of stone curlews demonstrate some really interesting behaviour that we hadn’t seen before …scraping one leg back a couple of times, and a sort of whistle but not their usual call…they are the eerie calls that we hear at night.
31st October: POTTSVILLE —–> FINGALS HEAD
Thanks to Clyve prowling through WikiCamps we found ourselves a total of 30km further up the coast and 4km south of the Qld border, 20 mins from Coolangatta airport and only 2 hours from Gatton!!! On the way we stopped at Hastings Point and took some photos and I tried long exposure waves which I think turned out really well!!
After picking up some groceries and being seduced by a passionfruit custard tart we headed up the coast, found a spot at Fingal’s Head caravan park right on the beach in the and settled in. After morning tea with my passionfruit tart and Clyve’s blueberry Danish , we headed off to walk approx 3km up the beach to the Tweed River which is just south of the Queensland border. At the river mouth we sheltered from a light shower of rain and watched dolphins playing in the waves and then found a cormorant and a seagull – the seagull seemed to be using the cormorant’s expertise to locate a small school of fish just under the surface – shortly after they were joined by a couple of terns who just dived like bullets straight past the other two bird……the seagull was having none of that and wasted a lot of his energy shouting at them…and was completely ignored for his efforts.
We walked back along a dirt road, ate an icecream, watched whales breaching offshore and then walked the other way south along the beach and up to the lighthouse and the devils causeway which is tessellated basalt. Cook Island is 600m offshore and was discovered way back in 1770!!! Back to the van and we had Clyve’s green Thai curry for tea with jasmine rice and a pear cider. The showers in the amenities blocks here are the only ones in all of our travels where I have had to turn the hot water off and then adjust it because there was too much (rather than too little) hot water!!! What a lovely couple of days!!!
(to be continued)