After leaving Queensland I headed into Northern Rivers country and followed the coastal road down to Byron Bay (see Bucket List #26). There are some beautiful beaches and villages along this route including Kingscliffe and Pottsville. After Byron Bay I headed to Ballina to check out where I lived and worked back in 1977/78. I lived in a flat right on Shelley Beach. Amazingly, tucked in between $million palaces (houses) is my old flat looking exactly as it did over 40 years ago. It was a 2 bedroom unit. Four and sometimes five of us bank johnnies lived (sic) there. The master bedroom was occupied by the No 1 teller while us mere mortals shared 2 double bunks in the (very) tiny 2nd bedroom. No wardrobe, no chest of drawers. Just enough room for the beds. We were paid fortnightly and we lived like kings for the first 10 days and survived the last 4 days on wheetbix, 2 minute noodles and stale bread. We had some great parties there and some very happy memories. I called into the Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum. Well worth a couple of hours.
I stayed with friends in both Alstonville and Modanville and had a great time. Went west as far as Kyogle to a Rodeo. This was a great night, especially watching the little kids riding the poddy calves and the up and coming cowboys on some feisty bulls.
My intention was, after a brief visit back up the coast into Queensland, to head south to Coffs Harbour and fly back to Perth for a family get together for my mother’s 90th Birthday. Thanks to Covid19 all this changed.