Crescent Head to South West Rocks – 49 km (by bike)
We are on the traditional territory of the Dunghutti People
We had noted Blackfish Coffee on the way back from the fish and chip shop last night and its early opening hours. Apart from the fact that Wayne’s request for a toasted bagel was forgotten, it was a great find! We ended up staying longer than intended, partly waiting for the bagel, but also because we got engaged in conversation as we were leaving with a group of people sitting at a table outside. Then, Justin, the owner, come out to chat with us about our trip and his coffee and offered us an espresso on the house. Paul’s assessment of the single origin bean from Tanzania was “fabulous” (9.5/10)!
So, it was after 9:00 am by the time we started back down Pacific Street to Loftus Road, which runs parallel to the Hat Head National Park Beach. We could hear the surf pounding beyond the dunes, but had no view of the beach. We then joined Belmore River Right Road which we stayed on for much of the rest of the ride. Although we later realized the cycle route was on the other side of the river (Belmore River Left Road), it was a lovely, flat and quiet riverside road through attractive farm country. A few kangaroos were spied in the distance, seemingly at home beside the cattle. We stopped in the village of Gladstone, where we enjoyed a second breakfast in the cafe gardens on the bank of the Belmore.
We had to go off the CycleWayz route to find accommodation for tonight at South West Rocks. Dinner was at the Country Club. Such clubs (for service, social or sporting purposes) appear to an intrinsic part of Australian life and, we are finding, often have a decent restaurant and bar. We just have to sign in as guests and show ID.