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Friday 20 Jun 2003
Coffs Harbour, Australia


Arrrrrgh.. made a STOOOPID mistake today ... I locked myself out of my car this morning!!! Doh! Had to call the local NRMA (the Oz equivalent of the AA) and they came quick enough but I had to pay a whopping 101 AU$!!! It only took the guy about 30 seconds to break into my car with (shocking it has to be said) ease...

The guy said that if I was a member of the NRMA that I would have been fixed up for FREE! - membership costs 100 dollars per year incidentally.

I think Ive learnt my lesson and will join up with the NRMA tommorrow since Im bound to have another breakdown or lock-out somewhere along the way over the next 6 months... Ive also decided to put the spare key for the car where it truly belongs: around my neck!

*sigh* *breathes deeply*

Apart from that, today was a very enjoyable trip to the Dorrigo rainforest nearby to town... Id made the arduous mountain climb yesterday in the van but by the time Id gotten there it was almost dark so I barely had a 30 minute peek into the forest...

The rainforest has a paved walk which is convenient enough, meaning you can enjoy the beauty and sounds of the surroundings without having to get your feet sticky and wet in the leech-infested floor! I made the round trip of 6 km in about 2 hours which is pretty good going considering I stopped to feed feral forest turkeys and take photos of the amazing waterfalls throughout. Talking of "feral" turkeys, one of them was so tame (or too hungry to care) in one of the picnic stops on the route that he literally jumped onto the table where I was sitting, trying to nab some of my peanuts. With his 1-inch claws and aggressive warbling I wasnt in a position to refuse...

It was great to finally get some serious exercise though, since Ive been without ever since Ive come to Oz... the walk was at a similar pace to the one I did in Dalat, Vietnam a few months back and the surroundings were similar (except for the paved road). A bit chilly mind, since little light gets through the dense foliage and plethora of crawlers (vines) above my head. Didnt see any leeches though thankfully, since there wasnt any rain.

I went on a scenic drive around the Waterfall Way road and ended up getting lost while looking for more of the watery-wonders. I ended up going through a dusty track in the middle of the rainforest WELL off the beaten tourist route and eventually found myself coming out on the otherside in a quaint farming region surrounded by horse stables and defunct railway tracks (with rusty carriages to boot!). Looked a lot how Id imagine New Zealand would be...

At least Ive blown another myth: Oz aint ALL red desert!

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