Fingal Bay despite the Van and the Virus travel blog

strawberries ready for picking

hydroponic setup for strawberries

the tomato shed were empty - ready to plant now that they...

Mon Mar 9 - Day 15

Time to farewell this quiet place just north of North Haven. We left at 9:30 and set the GPS destination for “Ricardoes Tomatoes” which is just 15min N of Coffs Harbour. This is a working hydroponic farm growing tomatoes and strawberries and making and selling products made from those ingredients. Two big attractions for us - pick your own strawberries and devonshire tea in the cafe. We picked about a half bucket of strawberries and bought some jam and pasta sauce and some tomatoes. The scones, jam and cream were beaut but somehow we missed out on the knowledge that there was a tour of the farm starting at 11:00 (our coffee was delivered at 10:55) . Ah well not to worry we had a good tour watching the TV video running.

Interest Fact 16 - Ricardoes had 2 huge undercover farms empty with no tomato plants - they ran out of water last year in the drought and all plants died. They’ve since sunk a bore but the initial water was too salty and all their lettuce plants died. They soon expect to replant tomatoes. Recent rains have refilled their tanks.

Back on the road with the intent of driving to Evans Head tonight. We started looking for a lunch spot about 1:30 and wasted time leaving the highway at Sapphire Beach only to discover there are no cleared beach side areas - so back on the highway and eventually saw a rest area sign 5km ahead but as we barrelled along there was no sign to exit for the rest area and so we passed it. NSW should send people to Qld to learn how to develop and sign rest areas and look after the travelling public. Kept driving, looking, looking, looking.

Interest Fact 17 - sign seen on back of ‘Friendly Tours’ bus said -

“There are no strangers on this bus, only friends who haven’t met each other before”

Ended up in Grafton and found a toilet (just in time) and a spot where we could pull up and have a sandwich by which time we said “forget Evans Head tonight let’s stay in Grafton”. Went to the park we stayed in last October and took a drive-through site (stayed hitched). And wound down from the day’s driving, most of which was in rain.

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