Saturday, 7 March 2015

TOD Tour, Day 25 - Bellingen

After 18 nights in the one place - some sort of record for us - there are lots of things to pack away when its time to move. You don't realise how many of your secret compartments get opened and gear put to use until its time to pack it all up!

To add to the work this morning, I had also reorganised the car ... adding some different containers and removing others. As a result, I had to say goodbye to an old blue box which has traipsed about the country with us for many years, another large plastic box, some tent poles and several books. It all took time, so we were on the road later than I would have liked but as our drive was only to Bellingen (40kms), there was no need to hurry. Hopefully that will be a theme from now on.

Our eighteen night in Nambucca Heads has been made all the better for having stayed at the Nambucca Beach Big 4 caravan park. Our hosts, Sean and Janice provide a great example of service which is infectious to all the staff. Time and again, they made us feel like their special guests ... just as they did everyone who was staying there. Its a tidy, clean and quiet park, with lots for the kids to do, the beach just one minute away and with all the facilities one comes to expect from Big 4 parks.

Today was significant, because it marks the real start to our trip. We've made the best of this inconvenience, enjoying some wonderful scenery already but it wasn't what the journey was supposed to be.

Last drinks at the
Vee Wall Tavern
We made a nice intermediary stop at the Boatshed Cafe, which ended being our favourite spot in Nambucca Heads ... even more than the Vee Wall Tavern. Morning tea by the Nambucca River for one last time.

Its only about 35 minutes to Bellingen, even with the van on but time enough for three people to cut me off or discount my existence because they see the van on the back. I'm starting to understand what others have told me about driving with a van. You have to be more defensive and expect people to take right of way from you that they wouldn't normally dare. At least I had the satisfaction of seeing one of them being booked in Urunga as we passed through. I really am starting to sound like a GN aren't I.

Our digs tonight will be the Bellingen Showground. Its a venue which comes recommended through a number of on line guides. Trip advisor reviews are complimentary and its not hard to see why. There is plenty of shade and space, power and water supplied and the showers are the best we've used on the trip so far.

The girls from
"Honey & Knives"
Tonight was our one night out per month and we spent it wisely at Lodge 241 Gallery & Cafe. Earlier in the week, we called in for coffee on the way to Tamworth and purchased a stunning artwork from the proprietor, Laurie Crooks ... sound name for a business man! He invited us back tonight for live music and we got more than we bargained for. Apart from the delicious meal and a rather fetching bottle of Rosemount Cabernet Sauvignon, we also met Tanja Karl, the artist who created the piece we purchased and were entertained by the blues/bluegrass/folk quintet, "Honey & Knives". Good songwriting, well constructed harmonies and some really high performance qualities.

If all our monthly extravagances will be as good as this, they will be something to look forward to.

Laurie has a great venue. An old Federation, three storey house, it has a lovely intimacy for live music. Nothing to fault about our evening except t was an hour too short!

Meeting an old school chum tomorrow at Saphire Beach.

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