I arrived in Coffs Harbour around 3pm. The first thing I thought to myself when I saw where the bus stopped was that I wished I’d booked the free pick-up. I had a look on the map on my phone (I think that’ll come in handy a lot in my travels), and it would take me around 30 minutes to walk to where the hostel is. I don’t mind walking 30 minutes, I can walk for hours if I want to or need to. But with a big suitcase… It’s so boring! But I started walking anyway, thinking at least that way I’d get to see some of Coffs Harbour, and I just had to walk the main roads anyway, so nothing scary there. After I had walked about halfway a lady stopped and offered me a lift, so I didn’t have to walk the whole way after all!
When I got to the hostel, this time Aussitel Backpackers, I had some trouble finding the entrance. I walked where I thought it was first, but only saw a surf shop and what looked like a backdoor that was open, so I walked back and around the other corner to see if the entrance was there, but that just went to the next building… So I went back the first way and had a look at what I thought was a backdoor. You got it; that was the main entrance to the hostel. They really should have put up just one extra sign to show where the entrance was, it would really have helped. Or just spray painted an arrow on the ground. Maybe it was just me being tired and not thinking, but still. And then when I got inside the reception wasn’t in the first room! And again there was no sign! It was really simple; I just had to keep going in to the next room straight ahead, but still… I like signs…
After I had checked in I got the guy in reception to give me a map and point out some things to see here in Coffs Harbour. I decided to check out Beacon Hill Lookout as it was close and I didn’t want to risk being out too late. It was a nice walk. It was of course up a hill, but it wasn’t too steep. And the view was really nice.
After the lookout I decided I had to get some dinner somewhere so I headed towards the jetty. I figured there would be loads of little cafes and restaurants towards that way. There was a few, but they were either closed or quite expensive. But when I noticed how short time it had taken me to get almost to the jetty I decided I might as well check out Mutton Bird Island.
It was a nice walk and I really enjoyed the view. I felt like I got some exercise, but I wished I’d worn my trainers instead of my thongs (flip-flops/jandals). It was also quite fun to see the burrows made by the birds, and the birds gliding in the air. It was quite windy though, my hair got really knotty, so if I go again I’ll tie it back first.
I still hadn’t had any dinner though so I went to the IGA on the way back to the hostel and got some cereal with protein and some soy milk. Soy milk because it was cheaper than the normal stuff and also because I think it’s probably less likely to get stolen that way. I also noticed that this IGA had some substitute products. Like “ham”, “sausages” and “hot dogs”, so I might have to get some of that one day.
When I woke up today everybody else in my dorm was already up! That’s a first! I did have a sleep-in, but only until 7. Maybe I woke them all up with my snoring…!
As I don’t like to just lazy around in bed when I’m in a new place I got up and ready too, and decided to walk in to town. The hostel is almost half way between the business centre and the jetty, it’s a little bit closer to the jetty, but anyway. I wanted to see if there were any souvenir shops in town. I try to get a sticker from every place I’ve been and I also send postcards to some of my friends and family.
There were no souvenir shops in town. Not that I could see anyway. There wasn’t really that much to see in town, so I headed back towards the hostel. I stopped at the botanical garden and had a look there. I bet it would have looked a lot better if the sun had been shining, but it was still really nice there.
As I was getting close to the exit, I had maybe another 200meters to go, it suddenly started throwing it down! And guess who had left their umbrella back at the hostel? Me of course. I don’t really mind the rain, I quite like it actually, but I prefer it if I have an umbrella, especially when I’m wearing makeup. I kept my sunglasses on as an attempt to not get too much rain on my eyes, but that didn’t work. I got a big raindrop right on my eye so that mascara went in it and I had to close it because it hurt so much, and then the sunglasses steamed up so I couldn’t see anything. It okay, you can laugh, I was. By the time I got to the exit and checked my makeup in the ladies I looked like someone out of KISS!
After I had fixed the worst of my makeup I went back to the hostel, took a shower, changed my clothes, grabbed my umbrella and headed out again. I had seen a souvenir shop down by the harbour the day before so I wanted to go there. After I got everything I wanted there I went to the IGA again and got some bread rolls, cheese and “ham”. Cereal with soy milk is okay, but not for EVERY meal. The fake ham didn’t taste too bad actually, I put some grapes on as well and had some extra grapes and some unsalted pistachios on the side, and my lunch was pretty nice!
I wouldn’t really mind if I was leaving Coffs Harbour tomorrow. It's kind of boring here unless you're a surfer. I still have The Big Banana left to see, so I might do that tomorrow. I really should since that’s their big landmark, and I’ll probably regret it if I don’t.
When I had dinner tonight I just sat down with some random people, like usual, as that’s how you meet people. It turned out 3 of them were from England, and the 4th from Belgium. And they all thought I was British! I love it when people think I’m from an English speaking country! It’s just such an amazing feeling. Since English isn’t my first language it means I’m actually able to speak it more than well enough! If you’re an English-speaking person just imagine this; say you learn how to speak French, and you speak French to a French person, and that person actually thinks you’re French! It would feel pretty awesome, right?! I’ve been told I sound like I’m from an English-speaking country for a few years now, but it still makes my day when someone say that to me!
Today I walked to The Big Banana. It took me an hour to walk there. I didn’t like the last 15-20 minutes as the sidewalk was right next to the highway, but at least I was facing oncoming traffic. When I got to it I took a picture of it without crossing to the other side of the street where it actually was, and then I noticed a different road that I could take back to the hostel, so that I wouldn’t have to walk next to the highway anymore. It took me 1.5hours as it was a bit longer and I also took a route so that I could get a drink. So basically I walked for 2 and a half hour just for one picture…! But I would have regretted not getting it.
I did actually get a couple of other pictures as well, but that was only because someone happened to be skydiving.
Coffs Harbour has been okay. I wouldn’t really have minded if I had skipped it, or if I was staying one less night. Aussitel Backpackers has been a nice place to stay. It’s quite small, but that just means that you have more chance to be social with more of the people. What really annoyed me was the lock to my dorm, everybody staying in there struggled with opening the door. The internet is also CRAP (yes, all capital letters, and underlined!) there. It’s impossible to get to do anything because some pages won’t load at all, and others will take half an hour to load, at least you pay “only” $1 per half hour. But other than those things, and the fact that the entrance could have been better marked it has been a nice hostel to stay at.