Just before Good Friday we move on, hanging around in Glen Ines, a small laid back town with Celtic roots. Many shops on the main street are about 100 years old and charmingly painted. Some European trees in the park show their autumn leaves, a rare view in this part of Australia. By lunchtime, we are convinced that the weather South-East will be good for the weekend and we head for the Wollomombi National Park, hosting one of Australia's tallest waterfalls in a set of gorges joining each other to a nice valley with thick forest.
Despite of the long Easter weekend almost no one hangs out on the campground. After gloaming sunset, we stay on Checks Lookout, watching the sky to darken with excellent views of the Southern cross, a sparkling Milky Way and some shooting stars before the moon rises in the East and brightens the cold nights. Burn my remaining tobacco in the campfire. Smoked more than enough. I'm back on Checks Lookout for a marvelous sunrise. That feels quite different without fags. And eventually, I get to see one of the rare Lyrebirds!
The nearby New England National Park is stunning, providing awesome lookouts from the tablelands down to the hilly area and the Pacific coast. On the Southern side of the rocky cliffs where the sun never shines, we see the Antarctic Beeches again with their thick moss covered trunks and branches in the thick rainforest. And a black snake with a red belly beside the trail, apparently one of the most poisonous snakes on Earth. Where's the snakes head, and how's that fool walking in the jungle with flipflops and short trousers again?
On the way back to the coast, we stop one last time for a little walk in the rainforest, or rather for a viewpoint on the forests canopy level in Dorrigo National Park. One more time breathing the odor of the jungle and its incredible green and vivid thickness.
Back to the coast, back to traffic lights and humans, back to “Wicked” camper cars. We drive until Lennox Head, some 20 kilometers South of Byron Bay and have a good swim in a fresh water lake beside the beach. Paul is tired of driving all day and just wants to get home today. I have just two more nights until my flight back to Kuala Lumpur, and decide to cycle back to Gold Coast, just for the sake of cycling a last 100k's for this journey, and breathing Australia for a bit more. Arriving in Byron Bay during the Blues festival without pre-booking is kind of hopeless. Even the campgrounds (50 Dollar a Night for a little tent!) were booked out, yet I can find me a quiet spot an a commercial area outside Byron Bay for free, with heaps of mosquito.
Take off early on the next morning, even before sunrise. Dark clouds from the shore, yet luckily I get to Gold Coast with one shower only. Last night out in Broad Beach - Paul and me have Japanese and Indian diner and beers at a live gig in a bar. "Let me go on... like a blister in the sun..."
Yeeha! Big big thanks to Paul for inviting me, for accomodating me and showing me the beauty of Australia's National Parks off the beaten track.