Published: November 26th 2010November 26th 2010
Me and the Bello Van
Loved the paint job.
Here I am again having survived a little trip away from my home base here in Port Macquarie.
3 years ago when I was here Jenny and I took a road trip through the hinterland of this part of NSW...and we drove through some lovely country - so finding myself within striking distance of this area agian - off I went to Dorrigo National Park and the Waterfall Way as the road is called.
Got myself a room in the Bellingen Hostel - lovely and friendly and relaxing - verandahs to loaf around on with beautiful views of the mountains and down to the river, hammocks to lie in while reading a book ...and lots of nice travellers to talk to. The place was spotless and very efficientlyy run...thanks to Graham. ( I could have got a job there 2-3 hours work a day in return for accomodation, free internet and laundry - what more could I want ). I found that there was a tour going the next day into the Dorrigo Nat Park - so I signed up - no driving or deciding where to go I thought...let someone else do the hard work for a change.
young woman, Kate, was our guide and with 3 nice young guys of we went at 8am ( these aussies get up early).So we drove the Waterfall Way and into the Nat Park visiting waterfalls and lookouts on the way- a bit misty to start withbut at least that meant it was cool for our rainforest walk. 2 1/2 hours we walked through theese beautiful trees, across suspension bridges saw lots of fungi, birds , reptiles and a little furry creature called something like a pandemelon ( ??) and even got behind some of the falls looking out.
But the exciting bit was checking for leeches!!!! I can see you all thinking Bogart and Hepburn - African Queen - YUK !!!! EXACTLY - thats what I thought too when I started off and we were warned about them. Another friend I met here had had a leech experience ( they come out after the rain and we have had lots of rain!!!)and she had obviously got one inside her sock down her boots and so ended up with a very bloody foot. So I was prepared for the little buggers - but they are tiny and look like litle bits
of wiggly thread until they get onto you and start sucking your blood. I hope I am not putting anyone off here!!! So forewarned is forarmed and we were all checking each other as we walked along and flicking or rolling the little buggers off. I think I had about 5 on me -but spotted them and flicked them off straight away... one of the guys had one stuck to him- got through his t-shirt but it had dislodged itself by the time we noticed a bit of blood. So thats what I mean - you get used to them - a bit like swatting wasps away from you back home. And at least they dont harm you. So you cannot let leeches put you off the experience of walking through the wonderful rainforest - the path was tarmacked all the way - often coverd in leaves but easy to walk on - though steep at times. So you will see from the photos how beautiful it all was - the light coming through the trees, the textures of bark and leaves , you cannot get the scale of it all but you will have some idea.
We finished our
day driving through a beautiful valley the locals call "the promised land" -absolutely fabulous and ended up in a forested area by a creek which led into a very large pool..and of course we had to have a swim ( sorry no fotos of this I left the camera in the car this time) . The guys were swinging on a rope - Tarzan-like and jumping into the pool... I settled for a quick swim ... I am not that mad....the water was b**** freezing. So another wonderful day . Lots of relaxing afterwards , another night at the hostel and to watch the swarm ( is that the correct collective noun) of Flying Foxes ( bats,Suz!!!) come in to roost at dusk - hundreds of them and what a noise they make. so I am getting rather blase about this wildlife here - as I said you can get used to anything.
Back at the home base - I am on a count down to the last few days here then on to Sydney. I will be going by rail so that will be my first train in Oz. Life here is a social whirl ...so many new friends
I have made - coffee turns into lunch, a chat at the door turns into dinner and there seems to be something on evryday. Andnow it's a question of trying to fit everything in - so we are starting tomorrow morning at 7AM (yes I said these aussies get up early)....bring your own breakfast at the beach... and will finish the day with a theatre outing to see a Cole Porter ( i think) Kiss Me
Kate. ....and that will be the second time I have been to the theatre this week!!!
Alison and Ross - I think you are off to the Carribean - am sure you will have a great time and obviously you are going at the right time as I hear there is snow in England...BBBBRRR!!!! and it must be bad if Suz has abandoned her highheels for her Canada boots. Marilyn and Terry you will be leaving sunny Spain to vsit England - so turn up the heating , put the fire on and snuggle up. Paula and Ray - I think you will be back from Lanzarote and will probably think about another trip away as soon as you get back.
Prill - I
hope I havent put you off - there are no leeches in Sydney and of course in New Zealand there is nothing nasty at all....I am told!!!
So hope to hear from you all soon.
There are more photos below