I got to the information office Dorrigo before it opened, but Dangar Falls were open of course.

There was an impressive show, as a result of all the rain, but for the same reason the water was rather brown, normally it is very clear.

I went to the museum in Dorrigo. Not really worth the time, they didn't have much to show, and even though they didn't seem to have anything of any value there was a prohibition on photography. I just can't see the sense in that.

I followed on with a visit to the rain forest. Oh, nearly forgot to mention, I bought some super freshly baked baguette style bread in Dorrigo.

Back to the rain forest. It was cloudy and staring to rain. 80 inches per year they told me in the information office. That's 200 cm for anyone interested. They have a nice skywalk extending out some 50 metres over the forest, finishing about 30 metres from ground above the trees.

 

I had lunch then continued towards the coast. Here, and I think most of the Eastern side of Australia, inland most of the area is on a plateau, around 1000 metres (3000 ft) above sea level and then, at varying distances from the sea, it drops down steeply. I'm only guessing, but this might explain why there is so much rain here, and so little further inland. The rain clouds are pushed up abruptly, cool, and release their moisture. Some places inland have had a drought running for 7 or 8 years, I was told many times, at different places, and this is causing serious problems.

The rain continued, off and on, I talked with a couple from Northampton, who had completed a full circuit of Australia, and finally I dived into an information office to ask if there was anywhere locally I could park for the night. I found a super spot by the beach and returned, in the dark, to a barbeque I had noticed earlier.

While I was cooking it rained and rained and rained. Heavily. Later I was told about 4 cm, 1.5", during the night. Fortunately the barbeque was covered although rain came in the sides.

I forgot to mention that yesterday, whilst at the first of the sets of falls, that's the first set in my rearranged sequence, the 2 falls with little water, that I found barbeques there too. I had bacon sandwiches, cooked on the barbie. Yum!

After the rain finished, and I finally stirred, and this was the sight I saw from the van window.

That was to the left, and next, this was to the right.

Yes, I know. There were people on the beach before I had even woken up. But they had left by 8.30 am, presumably to go to work.

Climbing out, I took a photo of my parking spot. Note, the beach is now deserted.

And this was the view from the top of the distant headland in my previous picture.

The above photo seemed a touch 'squished' so I am increasing the size ever so slightly. Just in time to see a new enhanced image of these fellows.

I love watching these big birds, also the seagulls, when they come in to land. They glide down, level out to kill the speed, then come in to land, legs at the ready, a few quick flaps to lose the remaining speed, and there they are, looking around, apparently asking, "there, did you see that? That's how it should be done"

I took a tourist drive around the coast, visited the Trial Bay goal, and then stopped in a rest area by the Pacific Highway for the night. It was OK, most of the trucks stopped running during the night. This where I was parked when I found my braking lights would not switch off. The small pebble I used as a stop gap whilst parked would obviously not work whilst I was driving, so in the morning I took the fuse out. This stopped the horn working too, but since I never use the horn, no big deal.

I reached Port Macquarie and tried to buy a new grommet for the brake pedal. They didn't have one, but could order one. They gave me the part number. It was raining so I went to the museum. A superb little museum, one of the best I have seen. Then I visited the Court House Museum, less exciting, and the maritime museum, also no great shakes. There were some nice views of the coast in between the rain.

I followed the coast road. More beautiful beaches, in between rain showers.

And more beaches.

Rocks too.

There was another rest area ahead but I fancied a quiet night, so I found a little public parking in Kendall, next to the river. Well, it was planned to be quiet, I soon found out there was a busy railway line close by. The night trains didn't blow their sirens, and there weren't too many of them, so it was OK.

Now I've nearly caught up but I can't remember what I did today. Ah yes. I did some pretty driving, of course, but I also went shopping. The outside, spring part of my pop top, had become unfastened at the back, and the old fixing was broken. I bought some cavity wall attachments to reattach that. I'd been told that the back part of the pop top lifted on it's own when I was driving at speed with the window open, it seemed like there should be another fixing point at the back. There were signs of previous attachment, and there was a sprung hook tucked away in the van, so I bought a hasp for a sliding bolt for it to fit into and some self tappers to attach it. Whilst I was into all this shopping I bought some spray paint and paint primer to tidy up some of the rougher parts of the van. Such as the rusty area on the front, a souvenir of some old collision. Oh, and I also found a Nissan dealer who actually had a grommet in stock, a close pattern to the one I wanted. Can you believe $5 for what is effectively a plastic washer? Yes of course you can. I fitted that, found it didn't work, but also noticed the brake light trip switch was adjustable, so I got out a spanner and adjusted it. Now it works as it should.

Did I mention that the demountable table used to wobble something awful on it's single leg? That I tried to get it welded but it was material that would not weld? I finally glued it with Araldite, then on subsequent days reinforced the araldite joint with more layers of the same. Well it seems to work, and hasn't broken yet.

It was sort of raining on and off today and I am now parked in another rest area, with repairs almost completed. But it's late, and my computer is running out of battery, so I'll come back to that later.

Best regards

David Barker
Currently in Australia, exploring New South Wales

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