That morning I left the caravan park to have a look at the Trial Bay Gaol (old English for ‘jail’) where during the First World War all Australians of German ancestry (German immigrants or children of German immigrants) had been emprisoned as they were a threat to national security. Strange though, that even children of German immigrants were sent to prison; they might not know Germany at all. One of them (Kurt Wiese) was a cartoonist, later to make the originals sketches of Walt Disney’s ‘Bambi’. While they mention him at the prison; it makes me wonder if his precuationary prison time have made him decide to move to the USA instead? Seems plaucible.
Apparently I arrived at the Gaol (jail) at World Whale Day as there was some sort of ‘whale awareness’ going on there. From one of the watchtowers you could see the humpback whales squirting in the air a couple of hundres metres of coast. They migrate to warmer Australian waters during autumn / winter.
From Trial Bay I turned off onto the Oxley Highway past Port Macquarie, to go see the Ellenborough Falls. This seemingly little trip of mine turned out to be quite an adventure. From Comboyne the road turned into a dirt road so I drove through the hills (great scenery!) past the sporadic house and meadow, through the forest, over dirt road towards Elands (the town near Ellenborough Falls). When reaching the falls after about 24 km of dirt road, they where indeed tall and magnificent. The water plunged 160 metres into the depth. But as it was getting close to 17:00, and the sun would start to set soon I decided to head off to the Oxley Highway and head for a caravan park at Walcha.
I first got $ 50,- of unleaded before leaving Elands. The lady at the petrol station (/ restaurant / anything you want shop) told me the only way out was over dirt road and it would take you about an hour to get to the OXley Highway. So I set my TomTom for Walcha and it led me onto a dirt road leading out.
However, after about 16 kms, there was a sign that said the council only maintained the road untill that point. I tried the road a bit but it got really overgrown and really bad to drive, so I decided to turn around. Only… there was no way to turn around as it was all overgrown.
The sun had already set and it was getting dark and I got stuck on some lousy dirtroad in the middle of nowhere. I decided to give turning through the plants a go, as I really needed to head back to Eslands. It was quite a tough job and the plants cut a mark on my van; fortunately I’m as much insured as possible so I can’t be liable for anything
After I finally managed to turn around I tried to drive back up the dirt road, but my wheels kept spinning in the clay. After several retries (and the thought I really did not want to get stuck in that shithole dirtroad in the middle of fucking nowhere) managed to get met back up the ‘managed’ dirt road to drive back to Eslands.
After 16 kms I was back where I started, and it was really dark now. I decided to get the hell out of there because if it would start to rain even the ‘drivable’ dirt roads would be tough to drive. So instead of camping at the Falls (as the petrol lady advised me to do), I set off to drive back over the 24 km of dirt road back to Comboyne to get some nice and solid oily rest products underneath my rubber tires.
It took me about 45 minutes to get back to Comboyne and make my way back to the Oxley Highway. Boy was I glad I got the hell out of there But now I still needed to get a campsite arranged, but Walcha was still a long drive (about 160kms) and it was already past 19:00.
Driving along the Oxley Highway -all winding road with 35 kms/h corners- through the Great Dividing Range, I was getting a bit tired. When I passed some kind of little off road (for roadwork) I just thought to myself: ‘fuck it, I’m gonna stay for the night over here’. And so I did