5 August 2010
This morning it was time to pack up and move on. We moved everything we had dragged into Angela's house back into the campervan, re-made beds and tried to return her home back to the way it was prior to our invasion. Then, we piled into the campervan at 8:30 and followed Angela and Tiane to Shearwater School.
It was a lovely experience to see her school in person. Pictures don't really capture how blissful the school grounds are. The canteen (snack bar) has only healthy treats and they serve scrumptious muffins and organic coffees...real espresso coffees. We got to see the way Tiane's teacher, Cherie, greets each child as they enter the classroom by giving them a hug or handshake and their morning verse, which was quite elaborate. All the children in her class have the same teacher from kindergarten until Class Seven, so they all grow together.
Jenna, Sydney Rachel, Rob and Angela at the entrance to Shearwater Steiner School
Devon, Sydney Rachel, Angela, Tiane and Jenna enjoying a little snack at Shearwater's canteen
Sydney Rachel having fun in a canoe at Shearwater School Vegetable garden that the Shearwater children help maintain
(the canteen (snack bar) uses the produce in the items on their menu)
One of Shearwater's playgrounds Walking to Tiane's classroom
Jenna and Tiane by Tiane's classroom
The inside of Tiane's very colourful classroom
After Tiane said "good-bye" and went into her classroom, we walked around the grounds for a little while and then said our "good-byes" to Angela. And, then, we were (in the words of Willie Nelson) "on the road again".
We drove to Byron Bay and had big breaky at the Byron Beach Cafe which has an incredible view of the ocean. Jenna and Sydney Rachel had the pancakes (with caramelized bananas and cream), Devon had fried eggs and toast, Rob had eggs benedict and I had big breaky (eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, ciabatta toast, hash browns and rocket (arugula) leaves. It was delicious.
The Byron Beach Cafe
To work off all that food, we started the walk towards the Cape Byron Lighthouse, but there was an unexpected amount of whining (especially considering we actually fed the buggers!) and we only made it about 1.5 kms. We did make it to a look out on the beach which gave us a long-distance view of the lighthouse. Then, later, we accidentally found a fantastic vantage point and got a couple good snaps. The Cape Byron Lighthouse sits on the easternmost point of the country and it is the most powerful lighthouse in Australia.
Byron Bay reflections Byron Bay, New South Wales
Jenna exploring the rocks at Byron Bay Five at the lookout at Byron Bay, NSW
Sydney Rachel in Byron Bay, NSW
Devon the climber enjoying the rocks at Byron Bay The Cape Byron Lighthouse from afar
Cape Byron Lighthouse
Once we found our way back to the main drag (Johnson St), we found another Santos where I bought some probiotics for myself and then crossed the road to the Woolworths for groceries. Then, we were off again.
We ventured through traffic and road construction slowly but surely. Fortunately, the view made the slow going well worth it. This part of the country is particularly lovely. (Then again, it's all been so lovely, it's really not fair to the rest of the country to say that). By 5:15, we were in Grafton, a neat little town between Byron Bay and Coffs Harbour where we found a public dump point behind the Greyhound Racing Track where there is a caravan park, a ways off the main highway. By that time, kids were complaining again of being hungry (didn't we just feed them this morning? Twice??). So, we pulled off into a Hungry Jacks (Australian for Burger King) and picked up dinner. Then, we were on the road again.
Rolling hills outside Byron Bay, NSW
This time, we made it to just past Coffs Harbour, where we rendez-vous'd with the couple who purchased our 4WD, the Toyota Kluger (Highlander) we've been driving since we moved to Australia nearly five years ago. We were meeting them to give them the Uniden GPS we've used to make our way around the country (we promised it with the purchase of the car). They pointed out a rest area where we could free camp for the night. So, here we are, just south of Coffs Harbour/1.5 hours north of Port Macquarie, in Repton, NSW.