Traveling on – Tuesday 6th December 2011


It’s a lot easier packing when you wear jeans and a jumper! Everything fits!

I’m very sorry to be leaving our lovely apartment. It has been a total luxury, set out as a permanent living space rather than just a holiday rental. But we have to leave at 10, although we have the car until 2. We drive to the harbour, to walk the breakwater to Mutton Bird Island.

There are huge concrete blocks alongside, when the cycle comes it should offer some protection. I enjoy peeping between them.

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Out by a rocky protrusion, there are particularly large waves. Wet-suited surfers ride them, jumping off before they are taken too far.
“Look, John! Sharks!” suddenly a fin protrudes close by the surfers. Within seconds it is obvious I am wrong, these are dolphin fins. They swim around checking out the surfers some 50 m from them. Is this evidence of dolphins coming to the aid of humans? If they had been in trouble would they have tried to rescue them? What ever the answers the dolphin slowly make their way out to sea and a long time we watch them rise for air.

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Mutton Bird Island is eye-shaped with a long footpath down its spine. The wedge tailed shearwater come from Indonesia each summer to nest. They burrow into the soft earth and at this time of year sit underground, incubating. Their main predator, the board informs us, are mice and rats, who eat their eggs, and people who leave the path, squashing their fragile homes. I’m not leaving any path. I’m still suffering from the ant bite and snakes and kangaroos encounters.
We see no shearwater, but the views at the summit are spectacular, even in this grey weather. The variation of the seascape, the undulation of the land is poetic and mesmerizing. There are no words for it. John and I just smile knowingly at each other and think, again, how lucky we are.

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Luck does not come into the the final part of our day! The Greyhound came as expected and dropped us off at the appointed stop in Port McQuarie. Down the road to the beach, turn right to the next house. We set off, dragging our cases.

Truly it was miles! It took over an hour and much of it up huge hills. I hardly moaned once, despite the rough ground. Those tiny wheels on our cases should have become red hot. At times I thought my shoulder would dislocate. But we made it. We were so glad to have arrived we hardly noticed the bare cold quality of the house. We would do later. For now we rejoiced we had arrived and rewarded ourselves with a Mexican meal as the restaurant was thankfully in the next block. Hooray!

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