We were cruising down the east coast, me and a friend called Funny Bunny. While staying in Coffs Harbour, we went to have a look at the Big Banana. It was kind of disappointing and Funny Bunny still believes that we didn’t see the REAL Big Banana, but a small dodgy one.
Not being huge fans of Coffs, and with spontaneity ruling, we decided to leave the same evening and got two tickets for the 9pm bus. With the help of slightly drunk locals, whose help we didn’t actually need, we found the bus terminal. All good.
Outside the terminal we saw many of the biggest cockroaches so far in Australia. Very memorable. And then there was our bus, which was going all the way to Sydney. We declared our wish to stop halfway, in Port Macquarie, then climbed onboard, sat down and pretty much fell asleep within two minutes.
Next thing I know I woke up, it was pitch black outside and it was 1am. One problem – we were supposed to arrive in Port Macquarie around midnight! I started shaking Funny Bunny, telling him that we had probably missed our stop. He was sleepy and cool. “Don’t worry,” he said. “We’re probably just a bit late.”
But soon he realised it was an hour later, the bus kept on going and there wasn’t much to see outside. He went mental. Gasping the fact that we were somewhere in the middle of f***ing nowhere between Coffs Harbour and Sydney, our first reaction was to get off the bus.
Power nap to Newcastle
Five seconds later, however, we decided it best to keep quiet in case we were kicked off the bus. The map wasn’t very promising, showing that we were probably somewhere in the middle of a national park, a long way from civilisation. In an extreme situation like this we did our best to adapt – we went back to sleep.
After a while the bus stopped. It was 3am. We decided it would be the right time to go and talk to the bus driver. We were in front of a food joint in the middle of nothingness. Funny Bunny went inside to get some coffee and to do some research on how far out we were. Results were not very reassuring. We were far away from everything.
There was a bunch of people hanging outside having a chat. It turned out that one of them was our new bus driver – they had switched just before Port Macquarie, explaining why we hadn’t been woken at our stop.
A friendly lady who had served Bunny then came to our rescue. She asked the driver flat out why he hadn’t woken us. That came a bit as a surprise, but then we told him our story. The driver wasn’t happy, not at all. But the bunch he was hanging out with was very helpful and cheerful, they made fun of us and we were chilled enough to laugh with them.
One of these happy campers came up with an idea. We should be dropped off in Newcastle from where we could take a train back to Port. So that’s what happened. We were in Newcastle at 4am, after a short power nap on the bus of course.
And there we were, 4am, totally unprepared in a new city, hundreds of kilometres away from the place we were planning to go. But we kinda liked the place. So here we are, in Newcastle. Until further bus rides.