Shortest tour day ever. What the heck, we’re on holidays.
So the accommodation last night was pretty nice. It was more or less a B&B that I’d found on booking.com, at the back of a house, and overlooking the bush. It was well-provisioned with coffee, tea, and breakfast cereal (including a generous plate of fruit). If it wasn’t for the too-high pillow, and the neighbouring cabin smokers, it would have been perfect (although Marc was interested in the regulations with respect to the eclectic collection of recycled doors, windows, and the bathroom ventilation.) Would stay there again though.
We rode out the opposite direction than the way in – which was less hilly, and so we probably could have avoided the steep bits yesterday afternoon. Nambucca Heads is on a hill though, so there is probably only one way to get to most places there. Up.
We nearly came a-gutser on a gravel patch turning out onto the main drag, had some navigating ‘fun’ through new roundabouts (I’ve neglected to mention so far that the base map I was using on the Garmin was not up to date – mea culpa – and missing the newest highway openings and town bypasses. Luckily we were in relatively familiar territory.)
We had some fun and games with impatient drivers through a few more roundabouts on Giinagay Way, and we opted for a stop the cafe at Valla again. Despite the good brekkie at the B&B only 9km back, we were lured by the hotcakes …
Hmmm… probably should have gone halves… Lucky we weren’t riding too much further.
10km later, we were at Hungry Head. We rolled down to a bit of a lookout, where it turned out we had just missed the whales putting on a great show. Never mind, we saw a pod of dolphins having a surf instead, and we had a long chat with a cycling couple – Michael and Radha – who are potential tandem converts (especially having one in the shed). Promises made to make contact and organise a tandem intro day when we can!
We then rolled down the hill, took a punt on leaving the bike unattended in a quiet spot, did a quick change behind the pole, and went for a quick swim in the surf.
Hop, skip and a jump to Urunga, a late and small (shared) lunch, and then, for lack of available accommodation anywhere else, checked into the pub.
We didn’t love the pub when the ‘lock up for bikes’ advertised on their website wasn’t available, and ‘under the stairs out the back’ was offered as the only option. Open stairs, in the middle of a courtyard, open to the back lane, with no gate. Um, no. Older and much, much wiser from the Willawarrin experience, and now a firm convert to the ‘ask for forgiveness rather than permission’ strategy, I helped him carry the bike up the stairs, 90 degrees turn on a small landing, another corner, through a few doors, and into the room where no one could even see it.
The one thing I was really keen to do here was to check out the board walk. Despite having been to Urunga a handful of times, it was something I’d never got round to seeing. I wasn’t disappointed, and can thoroughly recommend a late afternoon stroll (especially when the incoming tide is streaming in!) (Not built to covid era social-distancing width, though, I’ve gotta say…)
Beer (and chips) time! And then a catch up with Jamie – friend and former colleague of Marc’s. I haven’t seen him since he took off with the fam in a caravan around Australia a couple of years ago, so a bit to catch up on indeed! Now back in the area, and for a few weeks not actually in Urunga as they had been, but still near enough for him to escape for a beer and chat. (Thanks Jamie!!)
Last night! Bit over the pub accommodation by now, but it’s been interesting.