Even though the weather forecast for the east coast was far from best we decided to head north on Wednesday. David dropped us off on the train station and we grabbed a train to Newcastle. Finally, the start of the travellling on which we have been waiting for so long! During our train trip it pretty much rained constantly and it didn’t predict anything good. However, it could not ruin our happy mood. When we arrived in Newcastle it was still raining. By the time we arrived we were so hungry and grabbed a 3 pizzas for $13 deal at pizzahut. Atleast, we could go to the toilet there and it was warm. So much better than the cold weather outside and the pizzas were delicious! That evening we set up our tent in a park near the beach while it was raining. It was dark and it took a bit of time to set it up and the inside of the tent got wet. Our first night in our lovely tent was thus cold, windy, rainy and wet.
The next day we got up early to break up the tent and find a place where we could atleast be warm. We ended up in a shopping centre. After sitting a while, drying some of our clothes, a girl called Christiane invited us to dry our clothes in her hair salon. We even got a coffee/milk from her. She was so helpful with everything, even with making our signs for hitchhiking. Christiane is a backpacker herself and will be visiting Europe soon as well. Hopefully she will be visiting us then. Such a meaningful coincidence meeting her.
After a while we said goodbye to her and moved on to buy some camping equipment for our travels: a kettle and 2 small little bowls to put our food in. The little bowls are so nice, 1 orange and 1 green. With our new equipment we walked to the visitor center of Newcastle to get some information on which buses were leaving north out of the city. They were very friendly, but they couldn’t really help us with that. However, they allowed us to store our backpacks over there till about 4pm. We stored our bags there and went to get some information on traveling up north at the flight centre. They could not help us, except with expensive flights up north… After that we walked to the hostel where a friend of me (Dennis) was staying. We caught up with him and played some cards with him and his friends. At some point we had to go and pick up our bags again. It was still raining so hard, just like the rest of the day. After picking up our bags, we went to a free museum in an attempt to dry our clothes and atleast be warm inside. The museum had some cool technology compositions worth seeing. When the museum was closing Peter asked the museum guard if he could check the weather for us on the computer. After explaining that we were trying to hitchhike up north he offered us a ride to near the freeway so we could hopefully get a lift quickly. Again, a meaningful coincidence.
Once dropped off near the freeway we grabbed our sign saying ‘Port Macquarie’ and held it up, waiting for a lift. Not even 2 minutes later, a van stops to give us a ride. How lucky, 4 Australian girls (Sarah, Emma, Nicole and Erin) giving us a ride to Port Macquarie. They were driving to Port Macquarie that day and move on to Byron Bay the day after. And yet again, a meaningful coincidence. That is so awesome! We got a free ride with 4 awesome girls and get to our destination up north: Byron Bay. In Port Macquarie the girls were going to meet with 2 of their guy friends. Once we arrived in Port Macquarie we drank a bit of alcohol and later on we went out with them and the 2 guys. To cut a long story short: we end up with the 2 guys in a bar in Port Macquarie (one of the most silent towns we have been in so far) and have some drinks. At some point some guy in the bar approaches us and offers us a great drink for free! Just awesome! That night we slept in the big tent of the girls.
The next day we moved on to Byron Bay, pass the ‘Big banana’ and just had a good time. When we arrived in Byron Bay we had some lunch with the girls at a Sushi bar and we grabbed our stuff and said goodbye. We started looking for some accomodation in Byron Bay. We got sent to some camping site in Byron, but ended up at some other camping site ‘Glen Villa Resort’. The name sounded very appealing and the available equipment sounded great. For only an extra $10 we got a swimming pool, kitchen equipment, toilets and bathrooms. Also the staff is VERY friendly. Also the resort looks nice and we decided to stay there. The pool was so lovely, the city centre was just around the corner and the Woolworths was nearby as well. Just PERFECT. We really liked it there.
That evening Peter meets two German girls who will be leaving on Tuesday to Surfers Paradise, stay there two days and move on to Brisbane and manages to get a ride for both of us. Again, a meaningful coincidence. Meanwhile, Dennis was passed out in the tent sleeping.
The next day Peter does his Skydive in the morning. I cannot speak for Peter, but he FELT ALIVE and it was AMAZING! He seems so happy and that is so good to see! Afterwards we meet on the beach. It was so lovely weather. So happy to be up north so far. We ended up taking a walk on the beach. Felt so good.
That evening we stayed at Caino’s place, a friend of Dennis he met in Sydney. We packed our stuff and were allowed to leave our bags at the Gran Villa resort. Also, later that day we were allowed to use the showers, the kitchen and the pool. We even got towels we could use. The staff is so friendly and helpful. Really, if you stay in Byron Bay, go by Glen Villa resort! The woman in the reception even told us that we were some very lovely boys and that she had loved to having us.
So that evening we got picked up by Caino. He lives just about 10 minutes by car outside of the town centre. He made a lovely dinner for us, but could not join himself because of his diet. We had a lovely night with some vodka drinks (with juice and lemonade) and with some good conversations. Later that night we tried to watch a movie with him, but passed out within the first 15 minutes of the movie. Such a shame, but we were just too tired.
The next day (today) Caino took us with him to his church. It is similar to the church we went to in Sydney: music and a speech. Peter seemed to have liked it a lot. After lunch he drops us off in the town center. We can finally update our blog of our exciting week of meaningful coincidences and an amazing start of our travels.
We will be staying another night at Caino’s place and then move back to the resort where we can meet up with the German girls and then travel with them. I am sure that will be an amazing experience as well.
Much love and happiness!
– Dennis Grootendorst