The lovely sunset in Coffs Harbour is pictured above - something I'll get to soon. But day 1 of the driving adventures began with picking up out car. We had ordered a Hyundai I20 (knowing full well it could be swapped for an equal but different car) and ended up with ...
Betty Reg, our Blue Ford Fiesta. We couldn't decide if she was a girl car, or a boy car, and decided ultimately it was the Eddie Izzard of the car world. Betty Reg struggled up hills but the fuel efficiency was great and BR was an integral part of the team. No complaints either about Thrifty, the rental company we went with. (I know this is my no booze blog, but the travel blog aspect of this part means reviews are going to be par for the course. Avert your eyes now if you don't want to read this bit) They were easy to book (on the internet), delightfully staffed with very thoughtful people and provided an all around good service. We chose them because they were competitively priced and my RACV membership gave a good discount. I've heard horror stories about renting cars, and followed paranoid instructions I'd gleaned from multiple sources. So far, no problems here. Thanks Betty Reg!
First stop? Byron Bay for lunch. Full of tourists (who thought standing in the middle of the road was a healthy lifestyle) and the beginning of feeling a little off colour. A cough here, a headache there, nothing to worry about, or so I thought. We ate our food and left.
Next stop Coffs Harbour. We stayed in the Hoey Moey Backpackers, which was solid backpacker accomodation right on the beach (which was why we had picked it in the first place). Comfy, clean beds were a treat and it was certainly cheap. I love a hostel that doesn't give you bed bugs! That sounds like low standards, but cleanliness of a place is my highest priority. I don't mind things looking worn, it being basic, but if it is clean then I sleep well.
The only problem was the rest of the backpackers - all male - and all rather uimpressed that my cousin and I were the only female backpackers on premises. They spent much of the night sitting outside our room talking about girls, what they liked to do with girls, the angles and positions they found themselves in with girls and generally presenting the lowest form of their species that was possible. The fact they labelled my cuz and I as 'the minger and the fat one' was just about the last straw. Suffice to say I realised two things:
1. I am definitely too old to backpack
2. My boyfriend is a real man, and the boys at this hostel could learn a lot from him. He is wonderful, gracious, and would never talk or even think about women in the way these cretins did. Indeed almost all males in my life are leagues ahead of these members of their species. I am a lucky girl :)
Highlights of Coffs were definitely a long, long walk along the beach and the jetty to the the Fish and chips from the Fisherman's Coop. Delicious food, really friendly service. Totally worth the walk, even if they did shut a little early meaning we had to pay cash and nearly missed out.
Oh look, above is the first picture of me looking like a dork. You'll find these in any lot of pics taken of me, the camera finds me a voila, I pull the silly pose. Still, lovely jetty in the background.
The view at sunset was lovely. There was also a funfair on, which seemed to entertain the crowd. Reminded me of early holidays with my parents to Victor Harbour.
Downsides? The 'males' at our hostel (egged on possibly by the scantily clad waitresses at the bar adjoining the backpackers), the bar fridge in our room which was on its last legs and was the only thing louder that the other backpackers, and the fact that I barely slept on the lovely beds, because this was the night the sinus infection began.
Coff's Harbour was a great first stop. Seems like a lot of fun in Summer and a good family destination. It even has the big banana, which we drove past but declined to stop at. And I didn't want a drink, not even once, and indeed this whole post alcohol has not even rated a mention. This teetotal thing is easier than I first thought.
Next stop - Dorrigo Forrest, Scone, and ear infection induced McDonalds
If you are more into gardens and harvest porn (it's not what you think backpacker men of Coffs) then visit my other blog, Totally Inept Balcony Gardener.