We continued to wend our way slowly north along the Pacific Highway up the coast of New South Wales with our caravan and our two dogs, Mimi and Lucy. We were on our adventure to ‘drop out’ of the real world for a while. For just how long we didn’t know; we planned to wander as our fancy took us – heading always north but making byways from the main tracks whenever something off the main road caught our interest.
Coff’s Harbour is a town located between Sydney and Brisbane. It’s known as the home of bananas, but it’s much more than that for the visitor, including fishing, scuba diving and rain forest walks. The Big Banana is an original Australian ‘Big Thing’ and has been an icon on the Pacific Highway on your way to Coffs Harbour for more than 40 years. A kitschy tourist attraction, it’s one of Australia’s famous landmarks.
It’s also home to Dolphin Marine and the Pet Porpoise Pool, where you can get up close and personal with seals and dolphins. The Butterfly House has an indoor rainforest teeming with butterflies where you can walk right among the butterflies.
We were here in Coff’s for two reasons. One was to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches and the surrounding countryside, which included some wonderful rainforests.The other was to attend the wedding of our old friends Lorrie and her partner James.
First thing to do on arriving was to book in at the caravan park, find our site, and set up. We planned to stay a few days so Pete set about erecting the fully enclosed canvas annexe on the side of the van, which was always a safe haven for the dogs when we needed to leave them alone.
The clear blue waters of the beach beckoned us, so as soon as the chores were finished it was time to change into our bathers and head down to the water for a swim. Mimi loved the water but Lucy was a bit more hesitant in those early days, especially if the waves at the edge were a bit stronger than usual. However, with a bit of coaxing she was soon enjoying the water as much as the more adventurous Mimi. And how they loved racing around on the sand after their swim!
The next day, Saturday, was the day of the wedding. As we were traveling with limited space for formal clothes I had one outfit only that was suitable for the event, and as it was to be a church ceremony I had bought a hat especially for the occasion. It was a small confection made almost entirely from tiny white feathers. I’m not much of a hat person, but when I checked myself in the mirror I thought it looked quite chic, and I was glad that I’d bought it.
Like all weddings, the service was lovely, and it was moving to see our old friends taking the plunge into matrimony. Also like many services it was quite long, and we decided to stop by the caravan on the drive between the church and the reception venue in order to check that the dogs were okay.
All was well in the annexe, and I went into the van to fill their water bowl again. While I was in there I caught sight of myself in the mirror and decided I didn’t need to wear the hat any longer, now that the church proceedings were over. I took it off and combed out my hair. Much more comfortable.
After seeing the dogs safely ensconced in the annexe I hopped into the car and we headed to the reception. We spent a happy few hours with the bride and groom and their guests, and when it was all over we headed back to the caravan park.
When we unzipped the door to the annexe we were surprised to see no dogs inside. The door to the van slightly open and I realised that in my hurry I hadn’t closed it properly, and both dogs had taken themselves into the van.
When I stepped into the van it looked as if there had been a snowstorm. White flakes covered every bit of the floor.
I had left my hat on the bench, within reach of any determined dog! And now two dogs stared at me innocently from the seat where they lay.
I told you travelling with dogs is fun.