100 years old ship moored at Lady Nelson Warf
My auntie Kath cracks me up, sheâ€™s got a great sense of humour. When I told her I was happy to cook this week she said â€˜you do realise Iâ€™m on a dietâ€™ I said â€˜yeah and whatâ€™s that?â€™ and she replied â€˜itâ€™s a seafood dietâ€¦ as soon as I see-food I have to eat it!â€™ :-)
I stayed with my auntie for a week in Port Macquarie and had the chance to catch up with some good old family gossip. I hadnâ€™t seen her in years, yet we felt very comfortable in each otherâ€™s company and we chatted away most nights like two old betties.
Most backpackers will make a stop in Port Macquarie, not that there is much to see or do, but because it breaks the long bus journey from Sydney to Byron Bay.
However, there are a few interesting activities: for example you can pay Â£120 for 6 hours of deep sea fishing and come back with enough fish to feed the entire hostel; or thereâ€™s a good scuba diving course where you can obtain the PADI certificate; you can spot whales and dolphins from the lighthouse head; and for those who like padding soft cuddly koalas thereâ€™s a big sanctuary just a few kilometres outside town. Also, someone mentioned that Port Macquarie has the biggest graveyard in Australia, quite a useless piece of trivia I thought, but it was actually a joke. The fact is that most of the people here are pensioners enjoying their retirement, and walking around I couldnâ€™t help thinking of a line from the film â€˜The Sixth Senseâ€™â€¦ I see dead people!
One thing I enjoyed was a long walk along the estuary break wall, to admire the art work. Every single stone has been claimed by a resident or visitor and has been artistically decorated with personal messages.
There are hundreds of stones and some of them exhibit pretty impressive works of art. I couldnâ€™t leave Port Macquarie without painting my stone, so I chose one in second row and left my signature. Foolishly, I picked an overcast day and I used marker pens over a white gloss spay paint. I had just enough time to take a few photos before the rain washed my canvas clean! So, instead of leaving an everlasting testimony of my visit, I left a sparkling white stone for anyone who feels inspiredâ€¦
Break wall in the distance
As always, it was sad to say goodbye to my auntie, but this time I was particularly excited about my next stop because I had a job waiting for me in Newcastle and I had to be there by ten Saturday morning.