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…

Impressions of a National Capital

Raining and overcast, our introduction to Canberra is one from inside buildings that can keep us dry. We visit the National Capital Exhibition. We learn that Canberra's land was once sheep paddocks. That a referendum was held in 1899 as to whether Australia should be a single nation. Australia voted. A majority vote in all states and Territories, Tasmania the highest, Queensland the lowest, in 1901 it become a single nation. Australia's constitution provided for a capital. Many sites were considered. In 1908 the land that Canberra now stands on won. Seven hundred names were proposed for the new capital. The local aboriginal term 'kamberra' meaning meeting place won. The capital was named in 1913. It sat within a newly proposed Territory – Australian Capital Territory. Designs for the new capital were invited from around the world. Chicago based architects Griffin and his wife were successful. Designed in a triangle with the parliament at the apex, all the important buildings sit within this.

We visit the War Memorial. It reminds of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance. The view makes me think of Washington DC. Names to be remembered adorned with poppies, a museum sits underneath. I learn that Robert Menzies was Prime Minister in 1939 Australia; of Australia's part in war and of Japan's involvement in WWII. I learn what a kamikaze is. A letter on display sent home by a soldier in 1939 is my favourite item. Many stories of war, many planes on display; there is sadness about so much fighting. There is a lot of information in this building. Too much to read in one visit… I imagine an easy resource for any Canberran school children needing to do an essay on war!

We browse the museum and the National Portrait Gallery. We see pictures of Barry Humphries, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and other famous Australian celebrities. Of early pioneers and important people throughout history. Queen Adelaide's story catching my attention, I also learnt that the left handed Margaret Court was taught to play tennis right handed, earning her 'the arm' nickname. Seeing a picture of Nancy Wake, it made me smile to already know of her story from Melbourne's shrine of remembrance :-). I was also able to put a face to the man that has had many call me 'Miss Jane' – Norman Hetherington of Mr Squiggle fame. Got a lot to answer for that man ;-).

We follow Canberra's tracks. Mt's Ainslie, Pleasant and Black Mountain with its Telstra Tower allow us to view the city from various vantage points. It looks smaller from above. And very green. The design of the city is easy to see. As are the roads in and out. All the major buildings can be distinguished. The Telstra Tower holds Canberra's highest post box. It reminds of Melbourne's sky deck. From Mt Pleasant we can hear the bells from the National Carillon. Its home is Lake Burley Griffin. It is Canberra's central point. Cyclist, walker and jogger friendly, many routes wind around. We find a globe memorial dedicated to Captain Cook at Regatta Point. I learn Captain Cook first named Botany Bay 'Sting Rays Bay' and of the ships used for his voyages – the Endeavour on the 25th August 1768, the Resolution and Aventure in July 1772 and the Resolution and Discovery in July 1776.

Across the lake we reach the parliamentary quarter. Driving this route, with different buildings placed at strategic points round the lake it very much feels like we are driving through a giant's playground. We find the aboriginal tent embassy by old Parliament House. It has been there for over thirty years. The parliamentary quarter also holds Reconciliation Place. An area dedicated to recognising reconciliation between indigenous people and Australian settlers. Taking us naturally back to the lake, we find an international flag display. Belgium and the United Kingdom noted, we find Germany and Poland's flags missing! It is a nice spot there. Peaceful and very spacious, it very much has a capital feel.

We take a trip to parliament. This leads us to Eric, our guide, who is very informative. Telling of its history he informs Parliament House sits on a hill that was physically lowered by 20m so the politicians did not sit too high above the people they serve. That grass covers the roof to help it blend into the hill above. He tells of many clocks in the building. Over 2000 of them. They hold lights. If so flashing, members have four minutes to get to the relevant house to vote. For then the doors lock. So set at four minutes due to the oldest member taking 3 mins 45 seconds to get to the House of Representatives from the furthest away point in the building :-). This story made me smile :-). Our tour ending we sat in both houses and listened. We hear talk of recession, criticisements of the last party in office and of a plea for assistance for drought affected farmers. Similar talk to back home, it reminds of happy Scottish Government times.

Exploring a lot by car but making sure to walk the town centre centre, in the throngs of rush hour, with people heading home, it had a really good feel about it. Our feet taking the honour walk, finding flame trees, reading about Ainslie's sheep and the other side of midnight, Canberra has delivered a most interesting four days. Immersed in a bit of art and culture, learning Canberra's history and of many a person's story, learning exactly what a carillon is, I really enjoyed my stay. All apart from the entrance to the Telstra Tower enjoyed for free, it has the added benefit of accessibility to all. I would love to work in Canberra. You would also probably leave a bit healthier than when you arrived!! I liked it :-).

An Eventful Journey and Possums Eating Spaghetti!

From Nimbin we decide to head back towards Gosford to restock on some oil. Raining and not really feeling like assembling a tent at 7pm we decide just to keep going and drive it all in one go. Back on a road we've already driven at Coffs Harbour, we use a cheeky free wifi stop in McDonald's and I attain two mosquito bites for the pleasure… Ben gets nothing!

It gets progressively darker. We stop in at Coolongolook Roadhouse (now that's a mouthful and a half!) and Ben genuinely manages to lock the keys in the car for the second time! Having had the pleasure of crawling under the car last time to cut the spare keys off their cable tie, it is now Ben's turn to find them ;-). Successfully opened, back in the car, I switch from channel to channel on the radio. We hear a man and a woman talking with a very spooky background being set. Called 'foreign bodies' it totally freaks me out but Ben loves it! Letting the driver choice win, I put my headphones in. I use the time to listen to some music and manage to get into the 'blogging zone'… :-). With a new phone (that is already driving me nuts…!) I check in with the world. Txts from two of my friends make me think of Glasgow. Talking to them makes me miss Scotland a little bit… 😉

Finishing my 'back on the farm' blog, I pull out my headphones and look at Ben. I can tell something is wrong. He tells me the car is not quite right… We shudder to a stop. We use the last of our oil and fuel up. We drive past a sign telling us we are reaching the last fuel stop on the highway. I ask if we should put some diesel in the car… Also how many litres we need to get us there…? I get an x equation out to try and work this out (my standard grade maths teacher would be proud!) We work out we have enough. We drive past the sign marked 'exit' without buying any diesel and choose our fate… We drive maybe six minutes along the highway and come to a pretty abrupt halt…. “Are you serious?!” is uttered out my mouth. We only have twenty litres of unfiltered oil left in the trailer. It is 1am, we're stuck on the highway, it's raining, it's cold and we're getting tired. Ben pours it in unfiltered then bleeds the lines. A most scary thing to do on the highway with big trucks passing you at significant speed… The car starting, all being well we begin our journey again. Ben is sure we didn't run out; that there is oil left… A reasoned discussion later we conclude it is an oil filter problem. I love how this road trip is teaching me all about cars and mechanics! Learning a lot! Unfortunately, during this discussion, Ben manages to miss the right exit…! Bless him. A u turn later we roll in just after 2am… It was actually amazing to lie down on a bed with a doona (duvet for the uk equivalent 😉 ).

We spend a couple of days in Gosford relaxing. We head into Sydney and wander. I take Ben to his first wagamama experience. Topical in the news in Australia, I get asked by two schoolgirls to do a survey on violence, alcohol and shorter licensing laws. They asked the wrong person ;-). Studying social policy, I could have written them quite a lot! I manage to restrain myself ;-). We manage to catch a few movies whilst here :-). Twelve years a slave and the Great Gastby. Actually loved the Great Gatsby. Especially the soundtrack. A little bit underwhelmed by twelve years a slave though, maybe it is the oscar buzz that surrounded it that contributed? A little bit long perhaps though I did love Brad Pitt's character in it :-).

Reorganised and refuelled, on my list for a fair wee while, I put forward the notion of a next stop of Canberra. Ben happy with that plan, we head out on the Cumberland Highway. Not a sausage in sight but there is much traffic… We pass through the Southern Highlands. Past a sign telling us Goulburn was the first inland city in Australia then stop in at the 'big merino'. Like the big banana this is one of Australia's 'big things', and is a pretty sizable sheep named after the wool it produces. You are able to look through its eyes. Its view is of Coles and Bunnings! Perhaps better to see it rather than be lamb chops within it ;-). We get five out for some duck and fire sign related banter. We drive through a pretty impressive u shaped valley. Sparking some chat about glaciers, we stop at Weereewa lookout and make a picture. These Europeans are rubbing off on me – I now say 'make a picture' rather than 'take a picture' ;-).

We cross the border and arrive into Australian Capital Territory!!! Another Territory down, I get quite excited about this :-). We do our usual campground phone around for the cheapest option. Alivio Tourist Park wins this game :-). We arrive and having bought a new tent in Aldi for $50 after breaking the pole of the last tent, spend time assembling it. The sky remains orange after sunset. Unsure at first if attributable to the light from bushfires or red ground, it was the result of light emanating from the many streetlights surrounding us. We make dinner. I manage to drop the entire pan of spaghetti straining the water off… A quick, cheeky possum has a nibble before I can clear it up. For it is an offence to feed a native animal in Australia. Much cuteness though, and the closest Ben has ever seen one. Canberra a little bit colder then previous places visited I bed down with my hoody and sleeping bag for comfort hoping there will be sunshine tomorrow… 🙂

Have You Been to Granny’s Farm?

I got back in the car after my yoga class. I had had a bit of a stressful morning. I looked at Ben and asked him if I seemed calm. He got very confused by this question and thought I had asked 'am I Pam' or 'am I ham…' Crazy Belgians ;-). He told me he was ready to leave Byron and wanted to go to Nimbin. Renowned for being an alternative, easy going hippie town, and knowing there was a market two days later (I have a thing for markets… Perhaps due to picture and cheap food opportunities) I was happy to roll with this. Until he said the words 'I want to stay on granny's farm'… Maybe it's just me, or remembering playing granny's garden on the BBC computers at school and the memory of the cackling witch in the corner of the screen if you lost living on but these words did not fill me with the happiness that I'm sure they should…

With some trepidation we headed on our way. The journey there took us progressively nearer towards big, grey rain filled clouds. It looked like we were going to be able to test how waterproof the tent is… Passing Possum creek road, goats having sex and a cow with an interesting eye, we were welcomed into Nimbin by a love heart… Aww. Arriving into Granny's farm in the dark and the heaviest rain encountered yet, met with some advice from a tree, we assembled the tent with Ben fashioning some impressive tarp work for shelter. We wandered Nimbin's Main Street in the dark. Many people lining the street, hearing the musical tones of a drum circle, we tried out the local pub. Bottles of NZ summer on offer for $3.50, we gave it a whack… Not the best I have to say… I ended up on cider and Ben on Coopers. Much better :-). With an interesting band providing entertainment, singing about Satan, we watched a drunk aboriginal man dancing, an English boy doing the two step and an older lady flow about the floor to the same song! Eclectic ;-).

Woken in darkness the next morning, working out why, it appeared to be the result of a very noisy rooster… All I know is that if it is still dark it is most definitely not time to get up yet…! My first thought, 'I don't know whose idea is was to stay on a camp site with farm in the name…' I know exactly whose idea it was… ;-). Genuinely, me and Ben then both said at the same time 'why hasn't a backpacker killed the rooster yet…?!' This of course leading to pondering as to whether it did actually happen with regularity and what number of rooster this perhaps was on the farm…!!! Falling back to sleep, ducks waking us next, one waddling its way near the tent, to me it did not even look like a duck… Met with a 'what on earth is that?!' awakened into civilisation, crawling out of the tent I was then genuinely met with the biggest turkey I have ever seen in my life!!! It was huge. And very very noisy. It should hide at Christmas…! Got to love noisy farm animals in the morning ;-).

After one of the better showers I've had, we went driving about the region, winding through the hills and mountains and lots and lots of green. Finding a very tasty chocolate zucchini muffin at Lillian Rock market the next stop called 'dirt on a shirt' was a little bit strange and actually quite scary for me… The next town of Uki was much friendlier. Some pretty good pies, some cute little turtles, a funky mural on the wall and a quirky little bookshop, I bought two just because I liked the covers – tied to the tracks and the electronic elephant (I am hoping this might inspire some African adventures 😉 ). Venturing on, finding Mt Warning in Wollumbin National Park, similar to Uluru the mountain is a sacred place. To the Bundjalung people; who ask you not to climb to the summit. We walked the lyrebird track. Taking us through the trees I learnt about lyrebirds (which incidentally Ben told me a face a 10 cent coin), that the palms in the area were called bangalow's in New South Wales and piccabeen's in Queensland and that the local barred frogs and hip pocket frogs would have a croak off consisting of 'eh eh eh' and 'ok ok ok'. I'd love to hear that ;-).

Having a fairly spectacular failure of an attempt at making risotto (note to self: always use risotto rice) we were able to see Nimbin in daylight and sunshine the next morning. Having not really liked the feel of it in darkness, it surprised me with a totally different feel from the night before. We wandered the market, found some funky turtles and learnt of its history in the museum. Overall not quite for me, finding it to have just a little bit too many people in such a small area, it is not one of my favourite stops on our road trip… I still appreciated its story though and in the end, despite some noisy animals, quite liked Granny's farm :-).

Until next time… Road tripping on 😉

Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out… :-)

Byron Bay, a popular hippie hangout between Brisbane and Sydney on the Gold Coast was the destination of choice on the GPS before we left the farm… Slowly meandering our way there as road trips should, we encountered the legendary night manager Charlie in Tara caravan park, found more veggie oil on Fry St of all streets, crossed the Great Dividing Range mountains, drove Lockyer Way (apparently so named in honour of a famous Australian rugby player); found a sign informing that Dundee in Scotland was only 16,263km away; had fun finding the spare keys after locking them in the car; found a place called Moo Moo that yes played on its name and was covered in all things cow related and tried a new fruit called a rambutan. Most tasty. Very much like a lycée.

Reaching Byron Bay, opting to stay in Broken Head Campsite, right beside the sea, the sounds of the waves travelled up the slopes the campsite lay on. Significantly cooler than Queensland but easterly facing with not much shade, there were some pretty hot mornings by 8am! Enjoying a morning on Tallows Beach, having acquired a vest top tan and attempting to even this out with strapless tops, I quite paradoxically managed to burn an interesting shape on my back and outline my bikini mark on my leg apparently missing it with sunscreen… Not quite what I intended to achieve… ;-). Finding two snakes, a duck sign (got to love the sign banter), returning to the beach that my relatives took me to last year, a wander round town found street art, funky shops, a tasty Mexican restaurant and an amazing campervan sporting 'if people were meant to pop out of bed we'd all sleep in toasters'. A van right after my own heart… Also climbing the steps at the pass in Palm Valley and having the best veggie burger I have ever eaten at the Top Shop cafė, it was most nice to relax there for a couple of days.

Focusing on relaxing, and knowing it was still on my bucket list, I made a conscious effort to undertake a yoga class before we left. Due to timing, a purna yoga class ended up my class of choice. New to me, the instructor introduced it as an easy going restorative class. Given many props of a chair, a bolster, two rugs, a belt and a brick, I certainly didn't feel alone in my work…! Given the option of an opening pose to relax into, I lay on my back, tried to zone out the world and focus my attention on the class. Not too much work, used to harder classes, it was good to feel the relaxation through my muscles. It is also the first time I have ever used a chair as a prop… Whilst missing the energy and exercise of Hatha yoga, undoubtedly the best thing about this class was the chavasanah. All through the class I had found it hard to keep my mind still. Concentrating on my breath in the beginnings of chavasanah it finally managed to empty. The instructor walking us through the colours of the chakras, orange had a particularly relaxing effect on me. I left the class feeling relaxed and stronger in mind of things that had been floating that day in my head. A definite good choice for a reintroduction having not managed any yoga since July last year, and choosing an intention that has stuck with me past the bounds of the class, I have decided to try and make more effort and time to practice it when I can.

Rolling Back Onto The Farm

We have just spent a week on a farm near a city called Roma in Queensland. The soil a bit redder than New South Wales' brown, Ben and I have been driving tractors, mustering cattle, making cattle feed (most dusty a process!) and enjoying not being in a tent! Ben, familiar with most tasks having been there previously, it was a bit of a new experience for me. Many machines needing a little bit of help getting started, I've learnt how to effectively jump and pull start a variety of items. I am now most confident I could do this all by myself ;-). I've also started my first generator by pull. Then repeated the act. Many times. A bit sceptical at first that I had the power, with some help from Ben and some focused energy, I was more than a little bit surprised (and most proud of myself) when it burst into life!

Helping to dig out a dam, Ben doing solid work moving pretty wet sludge by tractor, I've been rolling and compacting soil on the dam wall to strengthen it. Think of any song about rolling… I've had it in my head… 😉 Pretty hard work for little legs, after the first day I felt completely off balance with a hard worked left leg and right arm! By day three I had mastered reversing and learnt to let the tractor do most of the work! Laying water pipes requiring the use of concrete making skills, it served as a reminder of doing the same on the farm in Batchelor :-).

Back on farm time, managing quite a few sunsets and a sunrise, on the 'new things' list I have eaten kangaroo sausages, feral pig pork chops and been to my first spit roast. Beside a pretty lake with a jetty, the kids good subjects for pictures, enjoying a relaxed afternoon with good chat, it pretty cooly ended watching the stars from a kayak in the middle of the lake… 🙂

The stars so amazing, on our last night we decided to do some open air camping. It was the only night there were clouds… Carting half a kilo of rump steak, pumpkin and red wine, Ben took me to his favourite spot on the farm. By a cliff edge, with a pretty impressive view, I showed Ben how good barbecued pumpkin is and convinced my wine was evaporating on me, decided to drink it quicker…! Yes the resulting effect of this was that I got a little bit drunk… ! I swear it evaporated ;-). The sky clearing, from a significant only star to many and waking as sunrise appeared, it was a pretty awesome way to say goodbye to the farm.

Adding some new favourite moments to the Australia scrapbook including ducks and bacon, spotting bush lions on lime trees; finding out how sneaky badgers can be; feeding potty calves by hand; learning that there are maps which you can scratch off the countries you've been to (I really want one!) and the amazing blue sky with white fluffy clouds, my favourite moment by far was driving the property. So big, with many paddocks and open space, cows, emu's and kangaroos aplenty, there really is something quite liberating about rural, outback Australia. Much land; much landscape, it truly reminds what an awesome 'Aussie' experience I've had… What I've appreciated the most and can't imagine not doing… I now can't imagine not having seen a kangaroo in the wild… To not have woken up to wildlife starting their day around me as the sun rises, missing the middle of outback Australia or not having learnt of its story. To not have had the Northern Territory stars envelope me in a world of light down to the horizon, making me feel at the centre of the universe. To not have driven through the 'middle' land between all the cities and appreciated Australia's size. To not have seen the different cities and colours and times of the seasons. To not having learnt that the wet season is not the best time to go swimming in Crocodile inhabited waters but is the best time to see waterfalls Australia wide ;-). To not have met all the amazing people that I did. Not learning of their stories… Imagining how different my life would have been if I hadn't left Scotland… Amazing :-).