Thursday, December 01, 2005

Coffs harbor in Two Days

The last two days were spent in Coffs harbor. It was actually my third journey into New South Wales this lifetime, although the first two trips were to Armidale to visit family.

The trip started with Neil calling me the morning we were due to go to the Air Port saying that I was the one driving, not him as was originally planned. I don't know why I let other people plan my engagements. So eventually we make it to the Brisbane Airport where I managed to make it to the coffee shop at the Gate 1,2,3 departure lounge before the lack of caffeine claimed my life. I must say the two young ladies running the show were both attractive - and effective barristas. I can make this safe judgment because the plane was 30min late because of 'technical issues' - I took advantage of the coffee facilities.

Once the airline was prepared to test out their newly repaired plane on me, they herded us onto a bus to drive the 100m out to where the Fairchild 'drain pipe' Metro 3/23 awaited. At that point it was starting to rain - it made take off a bit more interesting as a cross-wind had kicked up a bit and caused the small aircraft to float around a bit just after the wheels left the ground. Apart from that the flight was okay. I will have to say that the Etymotic ER-6i Canalphones worked flawlessly at blocking out most of the noise generated by those 700kW Garret Turboprops.

Once we arrived at the Coffs harbor Airport we hired a small Toyota Corolla hatch and buzzed over to the 'Jetty' for a quick peak at the ocean. I must say I was taken back by the beauty of the 'cove' like shoreline of the far eastern coasts of Australia; I think I rather them than beaches. We then proceeded down the coast to the Opal Cove Resort for one reason or another, we really didn't need to go there then - another reason why I like to make my own arrangements. After doing nothing of much use there we went off to what would become my home for the night - the Zebra Motel.

The Zebra Motel is a Best Western property consisting of two 2-story buildings in a L shaped configuration that host 46 rooms. The two buildings wrap around a central reception/restaurant building, with car parks separating each. Yes you guessed it, its like every other Motel on the planet. The theme of this particular motel was that it had a African style - like the restaurant was called 'Zulu's' and there are was African paraphernalia littered around the place. We were there to sell a VDSL (Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Line) HSIA (High Speed Internet Access) solution to them. Oddly enough, they seemed quite interested and we might hear back from them in 5 - 6mths time. They had only acquired the place two weeks earlier. The bed was comfortable.

Neil got to stay at the Opal Cove resort, it only costs $10 more than the motel and honestly the rooms were pretty much identical. However the resort had all the resort type things like grossly overpriced food and drinks, stupid games and a view that you would kill small, cute kittens for. The cove was a wonderful setting between two enormous bordering rocky cliffs and a perfect beach with a small estuary placed perfectly near one of the rocky cliffs on the northern side. The resort consisted of 135 rooms with 6 conference rooms, a wedding/function room, huge multi-level reception that included the restaurant/bar and games areas. All with ocean views (bar the conference rooms). They too were interested in our VDSL solution and wants everything done by Christmas - no chance of that happening as far as I'm technically concerned but hey, who am I to dispute that...

I liked Coffs harbor for its beauty, both the seaside and hinterland. Its still a small town, surrounded by little seaside villages and in-land hamlets. I could probably spend a few days there checking things out in more detail and possibly hunt down some decent size block of land to plunder when money permits later on. You are bound to drive though it if you're migrating up or down the far eastern coast, I recommend you stop for a bit.

The flight back was better than the first, however due to 'weight restrictions' our luggage was left behind for the next flight to pick up. I received that via freight at lunchtime today. Lucky I kept my car keys on my person and didn't do the usual thing of throwing them into my bags.

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