40 days in Port Macquarie- it sounds like a movie title. Thank goodness I managed to find a great airbnb close to the CBD with a delightful owner who is happy to let me stay on, so I do not have to get involved with real estate and leases etc. The word is, the apartments in The Bay will not be ready until February when the final paper work and certification will be finalised, so I imagine another 40 days on top of the ‘time’ I am already doing. Port Macquarie was a penal settlement, and a brutal harsh one, so I am definitely relating to that.
The weather continues to be miserably cold and wet . I have been back in Australia nearly 7 weeks and it is middle of October and I am so glad I packed winter clothes and an essential traveller’s companion-a Hot Water Bottle-how I miss my electric blanket!
The Music scene is really varied and prolific compared to where I live. Bush Gothic an original and bluesy interpretation of colonial/ convict songs played in the first Anglican church, eerily built by convict labour. I could hear their chains rattling as they filed into the upstairs pews.. in fact the concert was called ‘Rattling the Bones of our Convict Past.’The week before it was The Wildwood Blues Festival and this week we had the American tour of In The Mood- a professional and punchy show of music of the swing era.
Another big plus for me is the plethora of tiny boutiques and arty shops selling unique clothing hats and jewellery. There is far more choice than the in the large shopping centres, which always sell the same brands no matter what part of the world you are in-but you do have to know where they are; they are well hidden.
The Arthouse Industries runs classes in glass bead making. There are huge angel wings out the front to honour the cancer battle. It was quite relaxing making the beads and now I have my very own glass bead earrings.. it was quite an easy and calming art form but i did need the guiding hand of Skye to complete the task.. the flame was HOT! there was a moment of panic when a large group of tourists trundled into the shop and stood around watching me take my tentative steps- making loud comments
Visited the tiny town of Gladstone with its quaint old houses and even more of those trendy boutiques and galleries. We had a delightful lunch on the banks of the Macleay River in the renovated bank manager’s residence. I imagine it was quite a fancy posting, back in the day.
I am able to walk everywhere living so near to the CBD of The Port- and hardly ever take the car- cafes and restaurants seem to be everywhere-some serving very average food. The top restaurant is The Stunned Mullet-called ‘The Stunned Wallet’ by the locals because of the cost, but the food is excellent.
Having arrived here knowing no-one I have been welcomed by many, and managed to get involved in various groups and dinners..most of which are female dominated. I sat next to a delightful woman who had lived in Brazil- she informed me..
“My last husband was young, black and Brazilian-and that how I like them.” I thought WOW I really like you.
Then there was quick trip back to The Bay to check on the apartment which sadly is not progressing as well as it should be-who knows when it will be ready. So back to Port Macquarie which was quite a drive. I am feeling like a refugee and my introductory remark is.. “I am homeless” which cause some looks of horror.
The Port feels a lot more lively than The Bay, but it was fabulous to catch up with a few old pals.
Now the weather has turned and it is HOT in the Port but there are such dazzling beaches and cafes in every nook and cranny along the beautiful coast.. who know how much longer I will be here..and will apartments ever be ready?