Despite a lack of sleep and a definite non-lack of alcohol in my bloodstream, I got up around 9am to get another lift from Dave. He was visiting his parents then heading into Newcastle itself (via Gateshead). We stopped at a couple of signs so I could get my photo taken in this city with a second-hand name, and had a very brief walk around.
Newcastle is quite small and very expensive to buy property in. There are two beaches, some good surf, a KFC in an old bank building and a port. Dave’s dad regaled us of tales about his youth and described how the streets and buildings used to look. He’s a great old guy – wonderful to chat to for a while. The city’s fairly modern-looking in a seaside-town way and it’s nice to get a perspective on what it was like sixty years ago.
Coal is still shipped from Newcastle, by sea in huge tankers. Looking out from the coast there are dozens of these ships just floating there at anchor waiting to load up. There was a 25km drive from Newcastle to Swansea (where the resort was) and these vessels could be seen offshore right along the route. It was like a waterborne scene from Independence Day – they way they all just sat there quietly as if waiting for some kind of signal.
Lunch was back at the resort with a bunch of my new friends. I basically chalet-hopped for the two nights taking advantage of people’s hospitality – something that Aussies are overflowing with as I’ve already mentioned. I tried my best to chip in with food and beer so I don’t feel too guilty!
More partying occurred. Well I just had to make as big a dent in the alcohol stock as possible. It’s the done thing.
I believe karaoke was involved, but I don’t think I was among the guilty.