Back by popular demand … It’s me (well at least 1 person – Kerry – missed my informative ramblings).
I can’t believe how fast the time is going now, and also how much distance we have covered in a short amount of time. To date we have travelled over 17,000km’s and have been on the road for more than 121 days. We have stayed in 50 places, which means we have set up the van that many times, used 50 different toilets in caravan parks (not to mention numerous other hideous public amenities about the place) and have crossed 4 state lines. We are just over half way and while I am now beginning to wonder where our lives are headed when we return to Perth in March, Wayne is not giving it a second thought. He is still pondering how the hell is he going to ‘catch a fish’.
Once we left Evans Head we had made the decision to go inland to Sydney rather than down the coast. We feel like we have seen so much of the coast that a change of scenery would be good. This meant that we would bypass Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie and head to Tamworth instead. First though I wanted to catch up with a beautiful friend of ours whom I hadn’t seen for quite a few years. Unfortunately we only got to spend breakfast together but in that time we still solved all the worlds problems, including plastic surgery, chicken necks and daughters !! We met up at Woolgoogla which is between Grafton and Coffs and it was beautiful. If we had more time we would have stayed longer. Not many pictures as we only stayed the 1 night but Wayne still managed to take some pictures..
Drive to Tamworth via EVERYWHERE
Basically, we took a wrong turn. Or several of them as it turns out, not that Wayne will admit that. He of course blames the GPS (doesn’t everyone) even though for once I think it was correct. Anyway.. we spent a lovely 8 hours in the car this day (lucky we were full from breakfast). We did however cross some beautiful country and skimmed through some very pretty towns. We hit Nana Glen and I knew it rang a bell and then I remembered Russell Crowe had property there, couldn’t see his property or Russ himself, but I’ll claim that as a celebrity sighting anyway :-). We double backed through Nana Glen (hence the 2nd wrong turn) and made our way to Dorrigo. This drive was mainly up and down the mountain range and it was gorgeous I’ll admit. There were numerous properties dotted throughout with some spectacular views. Unfortunately during this drive Olivia developed a huge ear ache that didn’t pass for a couple of days, so while Wayne and I enjoyed the drive, Lulu did not.
We also quickly (and by quickly I mean, we added yet another 30km’s onto our trip) went to see the Wollomombi falls. It was pretty impressive by it’s largeness but not much water :-(.
We eventually arrived in Tamworth and immediately I loved it. The main street is full of nice trees, cafe’s and shops. It just has such a nice atmosphere that I could live there (I say this about many places). We checked into another BIG 4, and Olivia’s ear still wasn’t the best, so it was a quick dinner and time for bed. We got up early the next day and hit the Gold Guitar Museum where they have a display (Wax display) of country singers old and new, and also a new Don Bradman exhibition which Wayne spent a lot of time in. It was interesting, if not a little dated.. (I’m a country snob clearly).
After this, Olivia’s ear was EXPLODING so after trying unsuccessfully to get an appointment with the 3 GP’s in town, it was off to the hospital. All was ok and after spending almost 2 hours we got our script and headed into town. By this time we were pretty hot and hungry so decided to eat first. We had some lunch at a cafe called Vivaldi’s and all of a sudden Wayne jumps out of his seat and say’s ‘oh mate, I’ve got to get a photo” I had my back turned so didn’t know who he was talking too, only to hear this person say ‘You’ve gotta ask me mate’ .. I turn around and it was…….. suspenseful music…… Not Keith Urban, Not Kenny Rodgers (as you’d expect surely being in Tamworth) but … CARL BARRON. Sure, you may laugh but we love him. I mean LOVE HIM. We often just say one of his jokes, and have watched his dvd’s numerous times. He was very gracious (and tiny and cute) and after I got over my initial shock and embarrassment of Wayne, I quickly jumped up and put my arm around him for a picture (not good when a guy has a smaller waist than your own).I even said to him “is it HOT HOT, or HOT HOT”.. a line he says in one of his DVD’s.. shoot me now.. I don’t know what happened to me. Turns out he was also eating in the same cafe, so I didn’t move for the remainder of our meal as I was wearing SHORT SHORTs that looked terrible and I was too embarrassed to get up and pay for the meal as I would have to walk past him. Thankfully my charming husband pointed out that he wouldn’t be looking at me anyway ! .. I’ve passed my use by date.. can’t even get a tradie to wolf whistle now.. that’s a blog for another day!
After this we walked up the hill to the Music Hall of Fame. I had great hopes for this place. Not sure what I expected, something a little bit glamorous or Nashville inspired (I haven’t been to Nashville) however it was a tiny old building, with half the lights turned off and we were the only patrons. There was a lot of information about country singers that I hadn’t heard off, apart from a few. The girls got bored very quickly, although Wayne and I made a point of reading every article and looking at every mannequin. We paid $14 after all !
After this we did another walk, this time down the hill where we found Buddy Williams and Slim Dusty (bronzed statues).. By this time Sarah was crying, she was very hot, it was almost 40 deg and Frankie was well and truly overdue for her nap. We headed back to the van for a swim and a rest.
During this visit to Tamworth, my Dad agreed to meet up with us in Bathurst and to keep it a secret from Mum, so we ended our Tamworth stay early and quickly headed to Dubbo.
It didn’t take long to get to Dubbo and again it was a hot hot day. We arrived at the caravan park and set up and then I had a melt down. Over nothing in particular but everything and everyone made me very annoyed, so Wayne took the girls to the shops and then to the pool. I think I just needed some space and some air to breath. Either way, I didn’t get to see the Dubbo Gaol and this was entirely due to my “sookiness” for lack of a better word. I did enjoy my time alone though.
The following day was ZOO day and we loved it. It’s a great Zoo for those who haven’t been there. The girls and I wanted to ride our bikes around but Wayne disagreed and said ‘No, we’re driving in air conditioned comfort’. After about an hour I was glad that I didn’t push him on the bike idea. Every woman, every man, every family that were riding bikes, were the most miserable people you’ve ever seen. Red blotchy faces, sweat streaming down their backs, families yelling at each other, wives saying ‘you take the caboose’.. Thank heavens we opted to be lazy and drive. It was once again almost 40 deg with not a whisper of wind.
The animals were great. We went to a few ‘keeper talks’ and the girls found them fascinating. For instance did you know that an Elephants ear weighs between 30 – 40 kilo’s and the veins in their ears are as thick as our fingers ? The Giraffes and Elephants were my fav. The Tiger was pretty amazing too.. We have some pictures..
Time to leave Dubbo and drive to Bathurst to meet Mum and Dad. We were all very excited, and the girls dressed to impress. We were meeting them at their hotel room so the girls had a plan to knock on the door and say ‘Hi, we’ve run out of sugar, do you have some?’ but of course this all went out the window in a sea of giggles. Mum was very surprised and Dad was happy to see the girls too. We didn’t do much this day, just caught up with Mum and Dad and then the following day (today) we hit the shops in the morning, did the Mount Panorama obligatory lap of the race track (at a whopping 60km’s) and then took the girls to an Adventure Playground. I love the old buildings and architecture of this place, but once again not enough time to explore everything. It’s hard keeping the kids entertained also. Especially Frankie. We are still in Bathurst as I write this.. We are planning on spending some time in Parkes and Cowra before making our way to Sydney in about a weeks time. This past week has been really very busy, but the end is near.. Soon we’ll be able to relax a bit more once we are with family and friends.. hint hint.
So, that’s about it. My biggest concern right now is trying to find time and a cinema that is showing Breaking Dawn part 2… Once I’ve seen it, i’ll be able to sleep well again 🙂
Until next time…
Rod & Win,
Heres one for you guys I couldn’t pass up, “You might be a Redneck if……… you drive a Razorback”