: After a day touring vineyards and a relatively late finish on the poker it was not a very 'get-up-and-go' start from the Adams's. However, some coffee, cereal and toast with lashings of butter soon put us on the right track and we were in the car with me taking my turn behind the wheel. The Pacific Highway and rubbish radio stations sent Nick straight to sleep while I concentrated on sticking to the (very low and strictly enforced) speed limit. We drove non-stop to Port Macquarie, arriving by around 12:30 in the afternoon. We checked in, answering questions that the receptionist put to us in synchrony which made her chuckle and made us realise that all this time spent together has turned us in to two of a kind! Nick made friends with the resident rainbow lorikeet of our hostel, called Cheeky. The bird demonstrated its name by dropping one on his shoulder. Birds 2, Nick nil.
First stop after dumping the bags was lunch - average sarnies (not made by me!), after which Nick found the local barber to give him his regular shave, while I went exploring. I headed down to the harbour and was met by
a lot of sinister looking pelicans - they are so out of proportion and their eyes are very evil-looking. There are also scores of wild lorikeets and other parrots all around the town. Apparently there are also flying foxes and wild koalas, but we haven't had the pleasure of their company.
After the haircut we took a trip to the fishmongers and supermarket to pick up the necessaries for an 'Orlando Salad' (so named in honour of the cook from our Amazon adventure, who inspired this dish!) with fish instead of the usual chicken. We were assured by the fishmonger that barramundi was the fish for us. It was a not quite as flaky as we wanted and we decided that chicken worked best, but it did the job! After dinner we took advantage of the extensive games facilities in the hostel: table tennis to start, followed by some pool, accompanied by an 80's compilation CD that we found, finished off with some dessert wine purchased on the previous day's wine tour! Despite the effort of packing up and travelling of the morning the day had been very enjoyable. However, the advice from locals down South that the weather
would be lovely up here at this time of year proved untrue. 'Go up North' they said, 'the weather will be lovely' they said, however, we went in to a deep sleep while the rain lashed it down outside!
After a monster sleep, we woke to the sound of rain still coming down. We decided to take it easy in the morning, having a leisurely breakfast and catching up on 'Inside No. 9' (TV program we're currently keeping up with) to try and wait out the rain. The rain did conveniently stop and we set off for a coastal walk towards the lighthouse, south of Port Macquarie. We passed the harbour wall, where the rocks are an open canvas that anyone can paint on. There are some quite impressive and colourful rocks, but being the two of the least artistically minded people I know (despite Nick getting an 'A' at art GCSE, I've never seen much evidence of this ability) we were happy to admire the work of others rather than grabbing the paintbrushes ourselves.
Heading out of town we passed through four really beautiful beaches. Similar to the Sydney beaches the sand was golden and clean, the
water was cold but felt lovely lapping up against our legs as we strolled along. These beaches were also practically deserted, probably due to the ongoing threat of another rain shower. There were pigeons with mohawks, bush turkeys and more pelicans to see along the way and the rain (apart from a very short shower) held off. The view from our final destination was really spectacular - big waves bashing up against the lighthouse rocks and the beach stretching out in to the distance. We started the five mile walk back and arrived in Port Macquarie after sunset following our late start. Our tired legs took us via the supermarket to pick up some fish for a fish curry and (since you can't buy alcohol at a supermarket here - very annoying) via 'Liquor Land' for some beers to go with it. The team-effort curry was a great success and we are now sat digesting, reading and blogging - bliss!
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