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Day 60

Posted by on February 28, 2024

Start:  Urunga

Finish:  Coffs Harbour

Distance:  18

Total:  965

I was back on the bus this morning, returning to the small town of Urunga where I ended my walking day yesterday. However, this bus ride was quite different than my trip yesterday with Damien and the empty bus. 

My day began with a scheduled 8:19 pickup at the bus stop about a 10 minute walk from my motel. As I was waiting on the bus a couple of middle school-aged kids, dressed in their uniforms were also waiting. When our bus pulled up and I got on, much to my surprise, the bus was packed full of kids going to school. They were all dressed alike in their uniforms.  I went toward the back of the bus looking for a seat. I finally asked a young male student if he would move his backpack and share his seat. He was very nice and said of course. The kids were all well behaved, but of course were doing kid-things like playing games on their phones, giggling and laughing, and generally just being kids. After riding along on the bus for about 30 minutes, I got curious why these kids were riding so far on the bus. I asked the boy I was sitting beside and he said they go to a private school in the country.  

Once we got to the school, all the kids got off and there were only three of us left on the bus. The driver said his bus holds 46 students with the elementary kids sitting three to a seat, and the high schoolers two to a seat. This all helps explain why all the city busses have “School Bus” posted on the front around the time school starts and ends. There are no school busses as we know them in the U.S..  The city busses are used as school busses.  Also, the whole bus system in Australia is government subsidized. I guess that’s how they can afford to run me around for an hour yesterday on an empty bus. 

After the morning’s school bus ride to Urunga, I had some breakfast at a cafe across from the bus stop and then started walking about 10:00. Most of my route was on backroads but the freeway was nearby. The last 5-6 miles found me on a bike trail beside the four-lane. 

Tonight I spend my second of three night in Coffs Harbour. Tomorrow is my last day off before the finish line in Brisbane. I’ll get there 16 days from today. JB. 

Getting photo bombed on the school bus.
Aussie entrepreneurship at its best.
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1 month ago

I can’t believe you only have 16 more days!