When we camp it's usually out in a windy paddock somewhere with facilities that include a thunderbox pit toilet and a rusty tap. I quite like the dodgeyness of it all, the space, the free-ranging small child movement. So it was with trepidation that we booked a week at Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay.
To give you some background things were a bit pear-shaped from the start, we drove through the night about 11-12 hours from Canberra. I distinguished myself by shifting from 5th to 2nd gear and vice versa when the spirit moved me and I sang Bruce Springsteen loudly whilst driving to keep myself awake - this drove the French mental and tempers were a tad frayed as we traversed the Pacific Highway. All this fell away though when we hit Coffs Harbour, I was born there and the sights and smells - those crazy neon hibiscus flowers, the not-so-big Big Banana made me feel like I was coming home. Anyway, I digress, this is a very rough guide to Byron from Canberra and back.
Bluebottles - Woolgoolga
Wooli - if you are driving like bats out of hell through the night & small children have just woken up and hooked into their 'arewethereyets', stop at Woolgoolga. There's a wee cafe called Bluebottles (cnr Beach and Wharf Sts) near the caravan park that doesn't have much going for it in the looks department but it serves lovely big breakfasts and the people are gold. You know how most people in a caf ask you how you are going but don't give a shit? These people genuinely want to know. If you need to take marauding children to the bathroom for seventeen thousand hours, the lady in the cafe will nod sympathetically and wait till you get back to place the shortest of short blacks in front of you. I could have kissed her.
Up Next - when we stopped fighting and hung out in Bangalow with the Herbals.