Tom and Tessa

South East Asia 2016-17

Port Macquarie

After taking the night bus from Brisbane to Port Macquarie, I was immensely grateful (dankbar) to be picked up by my cousin-in-law (if that’s a thing) James at the bright and early time of 5:30am. This happens to be his usual (normal) wake-up time so I didn’t feel too bad about his early start until he told me that this was one of his (very) rare (selten) days off! Sorry and thank you James!

Arriving back at their home, I said a quick hello to my cousin Broni before lolling (lümmeln) into bed for a few hours sleep. The night bus had left Brisbane at 11:30pm and I’d barely slept a wink (kaum ein Auge zugemacht).

Upon awaking, I was ambushed (auflauern) by their younger son Colton who engaged (such auf etw einlassen) me in a play fight where he had a King Arthur sword (Schwert) and I had a storm trooper with a gun attachment that fired plastic bullets. Suffice (Ausreichend/ genügend) to say, I managed to wrestle the sword from his puny little arms and, with both weapons (Waffe) now mine, claimed (beanspruchen) victory (Sieg). A fine start to the day.

As well as visiting Broni, James, Colty and Trinity (their older child), our primary reason for stopping in Port Macquarie was to spend some time with my grandfather. He has lived in Australia for over 30 years now and, after my time spent living and visiting Australia over the last few years, I’ve really reconnected with him. Still sharp of wit (scharfsinnig), he makes up for being half blind and three-quarter deaf (taub) with a cheeky sense of humour (frecher Humor) and I love listening to all his stories from back in England and also his travels through Australia.

The next morning I picked Tessa up from the bus station (same 5:30am bus!) and, after she’d had a sleep for a few hours, we walked down to Lighthouse Beach – a typical east coast Australian beach with wide white sand and crashing blue breakers (Welle). The sand there is so fine that it squeaks (quietschen) under your feet (Füße) as you walk. A real paradise.

The next few days were very special for me – spending Christmas with my ‘other’ family on the opposite side of the world. Whilst Christmas in 30 degree heat is certainly different to back home(!), the memories (Erinnerungen) I gathered (sammeln) will live with me forever. Walking along the beach with Tessa on Christmas Day; taking my Grandad out for dinner (as well as some time on the pokies!); being jumped on in bed at 6:30am on Christmas Day and then seeing Colty and Trin so excited to open their presents; being taught (lehren/beibringen) by James how to shell (schälen) oysters (Austern)…

For Christmas, my brother has bought Tessa and I a surfing lesson which we aranged to take place at Flynn’s Beach in Port Macquarie on Boxing Day. After my abject failure at paddle boating in Koh Phi Phi, I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d do at surfing but I ended up being much better than I thought and managed to stand up and properly surf four times in our two hour lesson. We both had great fun and vowed to try surfing again if we have an opportunity to on the rest of our trip. Cheers Porky!

On our final day, I took Tessa to South West Rocks; one of my very favourite places (Lieblingsort) in the entire world. An hour-and-a-bit north of Port Macquarie, the Trial Bay Gaol beach at South West Rocks is a huge horseshoe beach (hufeisenförmiger Strand) of white sand and crystal clear (kristallklar) water. The bay (Bucht) is sheltered (geschützt) from the large Pacific waves meaning that you can walk out for hundreds of metres away from the shore (Ufer). Along with the beauty of the place, I have some very happy childhood holiday memories of South West Rocks and always enjoy going back there. See you again soon!

When it came time to catch our bus to Sydney, we both didn’t really want to leave. Broni and James had made us feel so welcome (as ever) and – especially considering (in Anbetracht) it was over Christmas – we were very grateful (dankbar). As we returned back from a last visit to see Grandad, Tessa discovered that our bus was leaving at 18:15 instead of 18:45 which meant that we had a mad rush (Hals über Kopf) to get to the bus station. Despite some James Bond-style driving from Jan (Broni’s mum – thanks for the lift!), we arrived at 18:18 and thought we had definitely missed it. As we pulled up (heranfahren/anhalten) however, there were quite a few people still at the stop and it turned out that we had been saved by a delay (Verspätung). Another lucky escape (Rettung)!

After saying a proper goodbye to Jan and even having enough time to get some food from the next-door Coles, we waited for the bus to arrive. As anyone who has travelled the east coast of Australia knows, the Greyhound buses are usually very prompt (pünktlich) so it was a surprise to us when 10, 15, 20 minutes ticked by and still no sign of the bus. We wondered if we’d somehow dreamt (geträumt) that we had come to Australia and were still actually in Indonesia. One hour and 45 minutes later, the bus finally arrived. This meant, as we wheeled away from Port Macquarie holding many happy memories of a magical Christmas, that we’d be arriving past 2am at our next destination; Sydney. Sorry for the late arrival Matt!

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© 2021 Tom and Tessa.