Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mammals, Mustangs & Markets - A brief trip to Port

One of the advantages of being a 24/7 shift worker is how you can manipulate the system to suit your weekend activities. The other weekend was a prime example of using the system to my advantage, I finished work at 7am Friday and didn't have to be back at work 9.30pm Monday, virtually a long weekend! The lack of sleep and the longer term impacts of constant night shifts will be something for my doctors and my psychologists to deal with in the future .... I had 3 days off in beautiful Port Macquarie!

Unfortunately, one thing that I wasn't able to manipulate was the weather, with an intense low pressure system bringing gales force winds of up to 90kp/h and keeping maximum daytime temperatures down to a chilly 18° along the coast (the low even bought snow to the Central West!).

Now the reason I was in Port, my wife was required  to attend the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia (www, 25th National Rally for work and I decided to tag along for the weekend. The rally itself was a huge event, with over 1,000 vehicles, of all shapes, sizes, combinations & condition, from the very new $500k rigs, down to the home built backyard jobs. However, the weather was windy and cold, so while we made a full day of it, I left my camera tucked away.

On the Sunday the weather cleared to an almost perfect Spring day and after losing Saturday, I was not going to let this opportunity pass by, so when we went out I made sure the battery in the the Canon 400D was fully charged.

Our first stop was the Ford Mustang 'Show & Shine' at Settlement Point, where every type of those iconic Pony cars from 60's, were on display, with their heavy use of chrome and V8 engines, it was a petrol heads paradise.   

After we had poked around the displays we decided to continue our early morning walk around to the marina and as it happened there were some quite good deals on whale watch tours, $25 per person! Now I've seen the whales, but it has always been from land, now this was the perfect opportunity to face these huge mammals of the sea on their own turf , so to speak!

It is really a spectacular sight to see these wonderful creatures up so close and luckily I had the Canon with the 300mm lens to take advantage of their frolics.

After watching the whales play, it was time to head home and so instead of heading out to the Pacific Hwy to race back home, we chose the more leisurely coast road that winds it way from Port Macquarie to Laurieton, taking in beautiful hideaway spots such us Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie and North Haven. We were even lucky enough to have lunch at the monthly Laurieton markets and wander around the stalls of local produce and  bric-à-brac on display. 

Sometimes it's best not to have a plan, only to 'Laugh More, Live Longer' the motto used by  CMCA members and travel around our beautiful country and take advantage of the quieter coastal retreats you can always drive to some better weather!