5.51pm - Homeless
Trip Start Feb 09, 2009
19Trip End Mar 25, 2009
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It's that time again. Are you ready for another hilarious instalment of Susan's Idiotic Adventures?
So I got up bright and early yesterday, packed my bag and headed over to pick up my brum. It is a Toyota Camry, which is bigger than I had hoped, but it'll do. (The name for this vehicle, because I know you're wondering, shall be
The cruise around the harbour was very nice, the commentary was pretty interesting and I didn't realise that so much of the land around there is national parks. The main thing he kept pointing out, however, was how much all the houses and apartments were worth on the waterfront, which just made me giggle. There was one that was
So after the cruise, I set off to Newcastle, where I'd be spending the night before moving on to Coffs Harbour in the morning. Coffs Harbour is a little far from Sydney to make in one afternoon, so I decided to find a bed somewhere in Newcastle instead. At about six thirty, I reached Newcastle, and the hostel I'd been aiming for. I hadn't booked, but I was hoping they'd be able to hook me up.
They couldn't hook me up.
So I moved on to some of the other places in Newcastle - hostels, motels, pubs, anywhere that might be able to provide me with a place to rest my head for the night.
They were all full.
I began to get the first slight edge of, if not panic, then certainly discomfort with the situation. I figured the worst case scenario was drive as far towards Coffs Harbour as I could before I felt too tired to drive, and then just find a quiet spot somewhere and get a few hours in the back seat. This, while not exactly an appealing thought, wasn't the worst thing I could imagine, so I figured it would be okay. However, I really wanted to actually get a decent's night sleep if at all possible, so I tried a few more places.
Still full. Like a Geordie Mary, there was no room at the inn in Newcastle.
Just as I was about to give up, I noticed that there was a button on my trusty satnav that said Lodgings. Since so far I'd just been driving around and trying anywhere that I came across, I thought that it couldn't hurt to press the button and see if it knew of any other places. As it happened, the button did! It directed me to a nearby motel, where the nice lady inside had one room left. I threw myself gratefully into it, before deciding to go and get a late dinner. Intrigued by my satnav's groovy buttons, I tried pressing the one marked Food, and obediently followed it to a local Chinese. And what did I discover on the route to the Chinese (which must have been the only street in Newcastle I didn't drive down looking for motels)? No less than three motels, all with vacancies (according to the signs, at least), and one with wifi. POOM.
(For those of you who are not Tyhoogginsers: poom is Rob's word for bad. The opposite would be ping.)
So I am as ever, a gibbering fool, but at least I found somewhere to sleep, even if it was a crappy motel with a dirty bathroom floor and stained sheets. This morning I set off with gusto for Coffs Harbour, which was a pretty nice drive - it's no New Zealand, but I found a few good radio stations to sing along to (although residual lurgy means I keep coughing if I hold a note for too long, so not too much singing for me at the moment. Fortunately no-one has challenged me to a Singstar duel, so my honour remains intact) and before I knew it, I had arrived. Coffs Harbour seems very quiet, but I'm going to go out for a walk now and see what there is to see. I'm sharing with five girls, and one of them, a German girl called Katerina, is very good company and very interesting (she speaks near-perfect English, and is also fluent in Spanish and French because she lives really near the Swiss border and her boyfriend is Argentinian). There is also Leanne, who's Welsh; Hazel, from Brighton; and two girls from Hong Kong whose names, I am ashamed to say, I have already forgotten. Bad skills.
Tomorrow I plan to go to this thing called the Pet Porpoise Pool. Their tagline is "Free Seal And Dolphin Kisses For All Who Dare". Who can't love a place like that? In the afternoon, probably the beach, and then who knows? Perhaps Coffs Harbour is party central on a Friday night. And yet somehow, I doubt it.
Where I stayed