Posts Tagged ‘Port Macquarie’

The Beach resort and large Stomachs.

January 10, 2015
Holiday fun at Port Macquarie.

Holiday fun at Port Macquarie.

We came back last Thursday from 5 days at Port Macquarie. It used to be a small town about 400 Km North of Sydney. Now it has grown into a large town with own airport and is overrun by hordes of sun and beach seeking tourists during the summer months, especially during the Christmas school holiday. We too went there as tourists and had booked a 3bedroom apartment. The building was called North-Point and bravely admitted to being a ‘resort’. The resort title was somewhat overstated. It did have a ping pong table and a pool with barbeque as a concession to recreational features. I mustn’t be too chagrined!

The apartments are being advertised as being air-conditioned and well equipped. The combination lounge-dining-kitchen did feature one of those wall mounted air conditioners. I seem to always be switching those types of air cons on and off continually. They blow cold air down on my knees at a rate that seems to vacillate at its own selfish will. Their remotes, as a bonus, are often incoherent with little things indicating mysterious options. The rest of the apartment had ceiling fans, a much preferred option. I like the reassurance of whirring fans. Perhaps seated on a cane chair one could easily drift into a Somerset Maugham at Raffles adventure. A kind of Razor’s Edge recall. In any case, with fans you can chose ‘low or high’, so simple.

Our five days at Port Macquarie, after reflection, made for a somewhat minor observation. Holiday makers, especially the beach and surf fans seemed to have grown in size! Our apartment was on the second floor of a ten story building. Each floor would have five or six entrances to other apartments. There was a continuous movement and shuffling in the corridors of people clad in skimpy bathers. Christmas holidays in Australia traditionally always included entire families on the beach and swimming. In earlier times, it was the rent of a sea-side cottage, the caravan or camping ground. Today, many seek Bali, Thailand, or, if staying home, go for the ‘resort’. Well, we chose the ‘resort with ping pong table’.

A much lamented complaint by overseas visitors in Australia is the lack of availability of Wi-Fi. Of that we were not disappointed. The resort did not have Wi Fi but did offer the name of a provider, who, for a cost, sold different packs of access to the Internet. We tried several restaurants but all offered no Wi Fi. Now, last time in Bali, the waitresses would politely ask if they could type in the Wi Fi code on your device, all part of the service. Same in Koi Samui- Thailand. North-point resort at Port Macquarie did not even gave an excuse. Of course, for us and our grandkids it was a bonus. Instead of tablet fiddling, it was swimming or table tennis, water slide and strawberry picking on a farm.

They, the tourists, came or entered the lifts all day till late in the evening. You could not leave the place without being confronted by swimmers. The lifts stated a maximum of fifteen people. Perhaps when this building was erected people were still of a moderate size. I felt like printing a sheet stating that 8 might be the maximum now. The bathers would have normal limbs but when the lifts opened up, one would be almost pushed aside by stomachs appearing first followed by the bather. There was no modesty, coyness, reticence or any kind of holding back. Why would they? Oh no, everyone was large now. It is normal. I am the freak in my long skinny RM Williams stock-yard jeans and heavy boots. Not them.

A good time was held by all. Daughter and grandchildren enjoyed themselves. I played table tennis and was surprised how my form had slipped. I used to always have a good way of putting enough spin on the ball for the opposing player to miss a return hit. All gone now. In fact, with my dodgy eyesight the ball slipped past the bat on a few occasions. How dreadful this matter of ageing. Still, I loved the salt and pepper calamari. The reason for large stomachs soon became clear. All day and at all hours people now eat. They eat while swimming, walking, driving, crossing the road, even talking. Entire streets, towns are taken up by roving eaters. You can almost even hear it.

Eating has become our raison d’ĂȘtre.

Me, no complain.

Byron Bay 3

May 12, 2014

images16V8MKAUbrewing coffeeWith Byron Bay slowly fading. Here a snippet of an experience at a local RSL club. The experience is not unique and gets repeated a thousand fold every day of the year.

On the way over to Byron we could not stay as planned in Port Macquarie because of an iron man competition having taken any slack in accommodation.( I wonder how many ‘iron’ men ever thought of frying a salmon cutlet on an upturned motel iron like I did) Not a bed in sight anywhere. We had nightmare visions of staying ramrod straight-up in our car all night parked on the highway or lonely bush-track. So, we drove on till Macksville.

After booking in a friendly motel we stayed at before, we decided to eat. We were starving. I could eat a horse. Macksville is one of those rare villages that seemed to have avoided the plethora of yawning car yards or acres of ugly signage. We strolled to the local RSL. We had eaten there before. After ordering we waited and soon our plates arrived. Two rump steaks for son and I, one roast lamb for the lovely H, calm as ever and smiling her Mona Lisa.

As we ate, some couples entered and joined the queue to order their meals. RSL’s clubs give great value. But, where does this value stem from? While some ate, others just sat down in the lounge. The men watched that rough game on the large screen, with an oblong ball rolling around and violent tackles. I noticed the wives sauntering off to a special room.

Those rooms are the same all over at clubs. A garish light and a tinkling noise usually associated with a darkness and nervous tension. They contain gambling poker machines and are loved by thousands. I tried it once when you had to pull a lever. It was in our early marital years, perhaps 1967.

We won some money but in the excitement put it all back and some more. We have never played those machines again. It was clear that they take more than they give. On top of all, it was ultimately a boring past-time. Not much talk, just a mean concentration on a machine that rattles on and on.

I asked H how her meal was, noting a slow eating in process. ” I think this meal smells of sheep”, she answered. “Well, you are eating sheep” I replied with some logic.(but not too much) “Yes, but it also tastes a bit like old sheep”. “Oh, that’s no good”, ” last time you had a lovely Caesar chicken salad.” ” Yes, I know, but this meal is old sheep that are wet and has sheep shearing shed tinges as well”. Her answers just about made me roll of the chair. Still, life is like that sometimes. I loved my rump and so did my son.

Back in the Public Lounge, the ladies had left the gambling room and the men were still watching the rugby.

Ps: I had a lousy, very punishing and smelly rack of beef yesterday and it was mother’s day. Milo had it. I wrapped it up in tons of paper napkins and it still stank out the car. God knows how old the cow was.