|Distance: 47km||Total Distance: 1723.2km|
Today we biked from Port Macquarie to Kempsey. Will was 50/50 over which route we should take. One option was to catch a ferry then bike the Maria River Road to Crescent Head. The Maria River Road is a dirt road with mixed reviews so we opted for the other option, the highway. We thought the highway would be the same as further south which was dual carriageway with a huge verge. Instead we biked on the highway which was single lane and a modest to non-existent verge. It wasn’t a pleasant days biking and in hindsight we should have taken the dirt road. It was a lesson to spend more time researching and checking the status of the highway before opting for the main road.
The second mistake for the day was choosing the caravan park. When looking at the different caravan parks on our WikiCamps phone app, none appeared to have a camp kitchen. A camp kitchen is important to us as it gives us somewhere to cook and hang out after dark. Most caravan parks have BBQs but a kitchen allows us to boil a kettle, cook toast, and cook dinner without getting out our gas stove. Looking on Google we found that one caravan park did have a kitchen and we opted to stay at the Kempsey Tourist Village. After checking in and being given a key to kitchen, we were then told it would be an extra $20 per person to use the kitchen. We’ve never been charged before to use a kitchen so we refused to pay and instead used the BBQ area. We would never have stayed in this caravan park if we’d known there was a pay kitchen as the park is a long 5km walk to town.
That said, we did enjoy the pub in Kempsey which was one of the nicest old pubs we’ve been in. It had tile floors, no pokies or dog racing, comfy 1950’s style bar stools, a friendly bar lady, and was decorated for the State of Origin match.
The other thing that put a real dampener on the day was news our nephew Leo is in hospital. He has chicken pox which spread to his throat and lungs. He was admitted to Nelson Hospital then transferred to Starship Hospital in Auckland. Starship is the best children’s hospital in NZ. Leo is currently in ICU, sedated and on a ventilator. It doesn’t get much more serious than this. Who knew chicken pox could be so serious?
So all in all, it hasn’t been the best day, either biking, camping or for family. Our thoughts are with Michael, Sally and Leo.
Highlight of the day: Seems trivial while Leo is in hospital, but the highlight was the nice old pub in Kempsey.