Yesterday we were on the road by 7 in order to catch a ferry that was 40kms away by 10:00. It was raining and not all that nice but by the time we got to the ferry it had brighter up a lot. The Tea Gardens to Nelsons Bay ferry was a bit of a gamble on four counts 1. It was 10kms down a dead end road 2. We were not sure completely sure of the times, the website was not very good 3. They might not have taken bikes 4. The next ferry indicated was a 14:30 meaning if we missed the 10:00 it would have been a very long day.
We got to Tea Gardens in good time but it took ages to find where the ferry left from, we found an information board, that provided little information. In the end we headed to the water and found the ferry, and chased it until in docked. We actually caught the 9:30 ferry we didn’t know existed, before we got there. The ferry had a very small door through which we had to carry our fully laden bikes, not an easy task and I was a bit worried about ripping of the steering wheel, but the ferry staff were very helpful.
The ferry went pretty slow stopping at one other place before our destination to pick up two people.
We chatted a little with a couple on the ferry from Nelsons bay they get the ferry every few months have a meal out and get the ferry back the next day. The ferry was so and I was pretty wet and I think smelly.
We arrived in Nelsons bay had an average coffee did a bit of shopping. Rode on and had lunch just out an military airbase and Newcastle airport it was very noisy.
We head on to the second ferry of the day the Stockton œNewcastle ferry this was a much bigger affair than the first ferry and much easier to take bikes on. Although it was equally poorly signed.
When the ferry docked we were only a few minutes away from our hosts house. As she was still at work her brother let us in and we had a chat and shower etc.
We had a lovely meal that was kindly prepared for us. In between meal preparations we went a little walk around the area near the house. We saw an obelisk the southern cross was pointed out to us, the stars that are on the flag. We saw the boggie hole which was a salt water swimming pool cut into the rocks by convicts.
We went back to the house had the lovely dinner before heading to bed.
It was strange how the day started in a soaking wet tent and ended with a good meal in a very comfortable house. I guess that’s the joys of cycle touring, or maybe the website warm showers!
THE NEXT DAY (today)
After breakfast we left the house with our host, she cycled to work so she led us out of the city to a bike path that took us in the right direction. It was a very nice bike path along a disused railway line, there was even a tunnel to go through.
Not much happen after this apart from some more cycling, lunch on the beech, it was fairly cold on the beach and starting to get dull. It rained just after we left the drive throw bottle shop, where we got our dinner beers from. We sheltered in a bus shelter before pressing on not very far before finding a camping spot.