Last we left off I was flying off to Coffs Harbour, a small town where my friend, Erin, lives. Although, Sydney had been sunny and warm (and a far cry from anything I’d call winter!). Coffs sits on that edge of tropical, the kind that never really gets too hot. Erin and I met last year while in Scotland. It was good to see her again and reminisce.
Even though the views, the weather and most things about Coffs Harbour were wonderful I think my favorite bit was the night her mom cooked a family dinner for us. Six of us sat down to a feast. It started when I walked through the door and was offered a sparkling wine. The first course was kangaroo! After many explanations that it was not something they ate every day, we sat down to eat. I think off all the stranger or different meats I’ve tried Kangaroo has actually been the nicest. It had a slightly game-y taste and was cooked to melt in your mouth. Next came out salad, potatoes and heaping plates of prawns, flathead, octopus and flat nosed lobsters (which they call ‘bugs’ as it kind of looks like something out of alien). I tried a bit of everything, and for someone who grew up being mostly leery of any kind of seafood (especial ones that still looked like they had in life) I have to admit I was surprised I liked it all. Finally came out dessert, a traditional Pavlova : meringue, whip cream and fresh fruit, delicious!
The next day Erin and I packed up and began our drive from Coffs to Brisbane. We were stopping along the way in Byron Bay though. Every Australia I’d chatted with so far had been exited that I was going to Byron. It’s a hippy surf town, you’ll love it. I wish I’d had a few more days in Byron Bay. It’s a smaller, warmer, surf-oriented version of Eugene and I loved that. We took it easy, sitting on the beach, and meandering down the main strip to do a bit of shopping. Then we hiked up and around the light house. I think I did a bit more hiking than Erin, but that just goes to show how two very different people can end up friends :)
After a too quick trip, we were off to Brisbane. Except we had a stop over in Currumbin to visit the animal sanctuary… which happened to have a zip lining course. After wandering through and seeing lots of amazing Australian wildlife, I went off to spend 90 minutes climbing and zip lining through the tops of the trees while Erin took a leisurely walk.
Unclip, clip, unclip, clip. Every move you made on the course was accompanied by unclipping and reclipping your two safety leads. Two carabiners attached to two bits of rope attached to your climbing harness, were all that was between you and the forest floor. We walked across bits of cable and swing bridges suspended between trees, pulled ourselves up inclines using a pulley and swung on a rope like Tarzan. Definitely my kind of afternoon. (update: my stomach, hamstrings and triceps are extra sore the next day)
Then Brisbane, dinner, too little sleep and a 6am flight. But now I’m in a tropical seaside town, full with palm trees and pools and wind and warm rain, so all is right in the world. Less than two weeks left in this adventure, I can’t believe it!