Well since writing last, we thought we'd have nothing to report . . . well, that's not quite the case. We left Sydney and arrived in Newcastle. Then we ate and hung out at the bus/train station and played cards, etc. because it was raining, so we didn't get to check out as much of the town as we planned. While waiting for our bus to pull in, this drunk guy (or something else???) came up to us and saw our packs and started talking about how he FREAKING LOVES TRAVELLERS . . . he's SOOO JEALOUS . . . then he asked where in Canada we're from (the Canadian flags all over our packs gave us away). We said we were from Alberta and he got all excited "HOME OF THE BEEF!" he said. Then he started telling us about all the places we should see in Australia, which was actually somewhat helpful, what we could decipher between the slurs. He mentioned a town near Byron Bay called Nimbin. He spoke about "hippie lifestyle" there and things associated with that (if you know what we mean)
. Then we got an email from Mr Willms today saying how much he liked Nimbin and how Larry would love it! hehehe. No comment. Any particular reason Mr. Willms??? Is Larry into some things we haven't heard about??? hahaha. We got a kick out of that. Anyway, the guy kept going on, checking out our "cool bags", which we were cautious of incase he ran off with them. He was getting really touchy . . . a hint to what he may have indulged in, which was confirmed when he asked us if we Rave. Then LUCKILY our bus pulled up and he grabs both of TJ's bags and starts running off towards the bus (he was trying to be helpful and nice) but the bus driver did not like him. He could tell he was really out of it and refused to let him on the bus (but luckily it was just us going on the bus, although when the bus driver asked if he was a friend of ours - since he brought TJ's luggage over for him - we were worried he wasn't going to let us on the bus). Strange few minutes for us on a rather uneventful day otherwise. Once on the bus, we missed the movie, so we popped the last of our gravol and tried to sleep. There were more people on this bus and it had less leg room so we couldn't sprawl out and Jess almost strangled TJ because he was taking up both of their seats and was really restless. TJ couldn't get comfortable. But Jess spared his life, and he is still with us this morning. We got to Coff's Harbour at 5am. It was still very dark out (TJ was expecting it to be light out), Jess was expecting a bus depot, but we were just dumped off in the dark in a strange town with no bus terminal, just an outdoor stop with some benches
. Yikes! We didn't know what to do. Everything was of course closed. We were planning to crash in the bus terminal for a few hours until things opened and we could tour around a little. We were also hoping for lockers in the terminal that didn't exist. We felt a little abandoned, we almost asked the bus driver if we could get back on. But we toughed it out and thought we'd go check the nearby hotels for a room so we could at least sleep for a few hours and have a place for our bags. But none had a 24hr check-in. So we went back to the bus stop and sat there trying to figure out what to do. We decided we'd wait for the 6:30am greyhound, also going to Byron where we have our room booked for tonight, and see if we could plead with them to let us on. We had tickets paid for taking the greyhound later that day so we thought they might allow us to get on early if there were seats. While waiting for this second bus, the sun came up and we were quite awake by then. People were starting to gather at the bus stop for the next couple buses, and TJ spotted a guy with a shuttle van for one of the backpacker hostels. He was dropping someone off, and TJ asked if we could store our packs there for the day while we checked out the area (since we also had just found out that Coff's Harbour was bigger than we thought and we had been dropped off really far from the beach, and our plan had been to chill on the beach until the later bus at 4:45pm. This guy from the hostel said we could, he'd take us to this hostel for free which was coincidently near the beach. YAYYYY!!! We were saved!! We paid $10 each to use the facilities (cost of a single dorm bed) to shower, watch TV (although we both fell asleep) and store our bags for the day, and we got a free ride to the beach and we get a free ride back to the depot later this afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!! We definitely lucked out!!! After dropping off our stuff we headed to the beach. By now it was only 8:30am or 9am . . . we usually aren't even up by then. We fell asleep on the beach for a few hours. It was really nice. Then we got up and went for a quick dip (this beach is not recommended to swim in b/c of the strong currents, so we only went in a little ways). Then we got some lunch at a place called "Hogs Breath" Cafe. It tasted much better than it sounds, haha. Then we came back to the hostel after checking out some of the area. While sitting on the beach, we were watching some guys "skim boarding". It's like a thin boogie board, that you toss/skim across the water and then you run and jump on it and skim across the water. It looked fun. TJ wants one since they're only $30-50, but he has a little too much to carry already, so he might get one in Fiji or Mexico. He wanted to buy a surf board but they're all over $600 and really heavy/awkward. So that was our surprisingly eventful day. We were really worried that we made another amateur traveller mistake . . but it worked out really well. We're VERY happy about that. Now we're going to hang out by the pool until we have to catch our next bus at 4:45pm. Thanks for the contact in Coff's Mr. Willms, but we didn't get your email until now, and we're about to leave. But we're really looking forward to Byron. We'll have to see how Nimbin is so we can bug Larry more, if we can get there. Anyway, gotta run, almost out of time. Talk to you all soon. Hope Keith did well in the gold medal match today! Bye!