Day 9 – Rest Day in Coffs Harbour

It’s been a day of spills and breakages, so far. I went down the road for breakfast (French toast with maple syrup, bacon and banana) and managed to spill coffee on my t-shirt. Then I came back to the motel and changed, washing out the old shirt, and then went for a walk to the bike shop to get some replacement sunglasses. On the way, one of my thongs broke and I continued on barefoot. Coming back from the shop, I found a disposal store where I bought some new thongs, which I’ll have to wear in.

I then went back to the motel, stretched and read for a while and then decided to go and check out the Botanic Gardens that I’d seen displayed on the map. It was a nice walk across semi-waterlogged parkland, a sports field and a mangrove boardwalk, and finally past the historic cemetery to get there. The Gardens also contains a mangrove walkway with a bird-hide overlooking a pond (all I saw were two birds in a canoe), and then I walked around the native forest pathways. It was nice and relaxing and good to get some exercise off the bike. I couldn’t tell you what I’d seen, as plants don’t really register with me apart from “oh, there’s a plant” 😉

Later I did some reading and found out that the gardens only date back to about the 80s. Around the start of the 20th century, the area behind the cemetery was used for night-soil disposal (imagine burying your loved ones and dumping your sewerage only a few hundred meters apart!). Town beautification committees started agitating for gardens and parkland and it eventually happened. The website is here, for those interested in the subject.

I recall driving down the coast and having to stop at Coffs from the mid-80s to mid-90s and not thinking much of the place at the time (what little I saw around the highway). That whole period must have been when it was transitioning from a small country town to a regional hub.

Walking back through town, I stopped at a supermarket and restocked on muesli bars, as I’d gone through a box-full over the past week. Most of the way back to the motel, my fitbit beeped to indicate that I’d reached 10,000 steps. I got some lunch and then went back to the motel to rest my feet, but felt I’d done a decent job in stopping my legs from seizing up over the rest day 🙂

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