The Last Leg of the Road Trip

It has been a most interesting couple of weeks since leaving Canberra… Busy, seeing a lot, much banter has of course occurred. To share some of the madness, here is a snapshot of what we’ve been up to…

  • I’ve broken one of Ben’s records… The number of days he has spent in a city whilst he’s been in Australia… What did I break it with?! Four days! A country boy at heart telling him that I was just starting to like Canberra he said that he was feeling like he needed to leave… I am most proud of this record break :-).
  • We spent two nights in Deua National Park. Arriving by sunset then darkness, moon and stars, the familiar shape of a wombat walking along the side of the road got me out of the car to admire its cuteness! A campground all to ourselves and with another wombat to keep us company, resourcefully cooling our alcohol in the river, we had some lovely chilled out days here :-).
  • On the morning of day three we tried to start the car…. Found ourselves a flat battery… I walked to the top of the road and anticipating a long wait took Dracula with me (I know, I still haven’t managed to finish it…!) No cars were to be seen or heard… Knowing the ranger was the last person we saw four hours ago who may not have been a ranger at all for all we knew, the beginnings of a plot of a horror movie rang panic in my head… The wait began at 12.32… At 13.24 the rumblings of a car were heard in the east. They rumbled closer. A man in a very nice jeep appeared. He gave us a jump. Quicker than anticipated, I was only just starting to get back into my book… Much gratitude :-).
  • A group message from Scotland pertaining to wombats and thongs in the outback has kept me in a good mood and made me laugh a lot 🙂
  • We spent a couple of nights in a nice little town called Moruya. Met by a woman called Jane (a good start in most cases 😉 ), she is one of the friendliest receptionists we have encountered :-). Settling our little tent down for the night, we were most definitely usurped by a king of the road pulled by a truck! Thought we’d seen it all, a couple of hours later I found another one just reversing beside our tent! Em, keep to the caravan sites if you please ;-). Swanky swanky. A sure case of TV Burp's 'fight' if ever I saw it…! Finding the driver’s wallet the next morning beside our tent filled with approximately $500 I played the good citizen card and returned to him. Me and Ben both agreed that the man in our neighbouring tent who watched the reversing RV shouting ‘are you serious’ and who kept uttering 'kill it' referring to a barking dog from one of the other sites perhaps might not have been quite as helpful…
  • We went veggie oil hunting in Moruya. Obtaining two drums from the cafe we had lunch in, the third place we tried – cafe on Vulcan told us he uses animal fat… Perhaps not to consider if you are a vegetarian or vegan and they tell you the chips are vegetarian/vegan friendly…!
  • We enjoyed a very nice beach and some very friendly animals in Mimosa Rocks National Park. I also enjoyed my first hammock experience :-).
  • Can all mammals swim? This is a debate that has been had as well as money nearly being placed on the right answer… Madness.
  • We spent a rainy afternoon watching the TV series ‘Black Books‘. Gifting it to my sister but never watching it myself I really enjoyed it! :-). Though Ben did try to get me to watch it by telling me there was a Scottish person in it… Telling him I was pretty sure Dylan Moran was Irish it took until it started playing for him to believe me…! That old scotland vs Ireland debate again…! 😉
  • We spent a terrible night in Wonboyne caravan park… Offered a piece of concrete (how do you pitch a tent on concrete?!), at the end of a road, no privacy at all, asking to move to a different spot the response we encountered was just ‘no’… That’s customer service for you… It is one of the worst night’s sleeps I’ve had on the road trip…
  • Making spaghetti bolognese in a caravan park that has apparently gained some overly friendly animals we can only assume through many people feeding them I came face to face with a big kangaroo buck. Finding most kangaroos encountered in the wild pretty friendly when a big buck is face to face with you this is a pretty scary moment. I looked at it. In confused exasperation I reminded it it was a herbivore, said it wouldn’t like turkey mince and with Ben’s third attempt of a tap on its nose it finally bounded to the other side of the road… Little bit scary!!!
  • Reaching the New South Wales/Victoria border we decided to return to Sydney through the snowy mountains. Comprised of the Snowy river, Koscuiszko and the Alpine national parks it is pretty spectacular scenery. Reminding of Scotland (could easily have been sitting in the Cairngorms or Boat of Garten), finding the highest point of Australia (Mt Koscuiszko) we also found frying pan road (I wonder how many tourists have a frying pan to hand ;-)) and a big trout. Admittedly not a lot of snow to be seen, both Ben and I would like to go back in the winter.
  • Whilst in the snowy mountains we pitched up at yachtsman’s point. Lots of space, a beautiful lake with kangaroos bounding about, we sat and enjoyed the scenery. I may or may not have finished the bottle of Tia Maria I bought in Moruya… It was the latest we have ever assembled the tent… Waking in the morning, watching two emu’s walk past the lake our view went from beautifully scenic to caught in the middle of a storm… This picture does not capture the ferocity of the weather. Very very heavy rain and a pretty intense wind, we were both sure the tent was going to crumble under the pressure… Ben bracing from outside and me from inside it withstood the worst of it and emerged unscathed. C’mon the aldi tents!
  • We stopped in at Yarrangobilly caves and made use of their thermal pool. A steep half a kilometre track down and back up and not quite as warm as either of us was expecting, it was still a very scenic spot for a pool 🙂
  • I attempted to make scrambled eggs in a pan that was definitely not non stick. Stuck to the pan and the plastic tool of choice starting to melt, it smelt so much like what we gave the chickens on the chicken farm that I couldn’t eat it… Ben ate all 7 eggs then I fried another two which was much better :-). How to get rid of 9 eggs in half a hour…!! Madness!!
  • Being sure to cover all mainland states and territories no matter how anomalous they are, we enjoyed some time in Jervis Bay on the east Coast. The bearer of the whitest sand in the world apparently! I managed to read 200 pages of my book (a small miracle) and got scared out of my skin when a man walked behind me on the beach and said good evening…!!! Why walk behind?! Wide berth in front please. Too engrossed in my book, in my surprise the only reply I could manage was ‘fucking hell’. Apologies…
  • Owing to Dracula, I’ve learnt of ‘don’t buy a pig in a poke’ and thanks to Wikipedia also of its European equivalents… Attributed to the Scottish in the book, aware of the metaphor, I had never heard that turn of phrase before. Have you?
  • Swinging back through Gosford to gratefully return the car I learnt that wild turkey, wine and cider does not go so well together… Telling Ben that I needed irn bru to fix my head the next morning it wasn’t until a day and half later in Sydney that I was able to source some. It was actually amazing! Better than I remember it ;-). Loving the import aisle in Coles :-).
  • Spending a couple of days in Sydney before Ben unfortunately has to go home we made it to Bondi Beach (a little underwhelmed. Much smaller than I imagined and have seen much prettier beaches), enjoyed Tracks at the cinema and tried some new Mexican food of gorditas and chickpea patatas – they were most tasty :-).


Not done a lot eh? 😉 Eight weeks after it began, 7114km later, spending only $100 on diesel the road trip has unfortunately come to an end… Throwing a message in a bottle into the water just cos we can and after a sad goodbye at the airport, I have sent Ben on a new adventure asking him to say hello to the UK for me when he travels through Heathrow. I’m going to really miss his company. It has been most fun. I hope we can have mark 2 in Europe one day…

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