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A car journey north, escaping the rain. 21st may - 25th May.

Written on: Thursday May 21st, 2009

21st May 2009:

Up and out of the (shit) hostel by 11am and I went to withdraw my third of the cash for the car, I was only doing this now for two reasons:

Firstly, my internet banking has kept locking me out since entering Australia, you wait till I get back to the UK and talk to them!! GRRR.

Secondly, I had been thinking long and hard about not getting the car and going my separate ways, which was basically down to the other night.

But I thought long and hard about it before going with what was best and getting my money out and walking back in the rain.

All our stuff was in McDonalds so once I got back there we went and bought the car and then loaded it with our rucksacks and stuff for the trip ahead, including shopping that we then went and bought.

We then went to Bondi and walked on the beach and looked around before being ushered in to the car and off to buy camping equipment for the trip ahead.

We eventually found a little shop; we racked up a huge bill buying new sleeping bags, a stove and a blow up mattress. The bill totalled 90 (45 each for me and Becky).

It was getting dusk so we got driving, getting out of Sydney as the sunset and heading North-west to a campsite I simply hand-picked from the map. It has not stopped raining in the 3 days since we arrived in Australia.

The campsite was near Windsor and took 4 hours to get to, we arrived at 9 after stopping at a village social club to ask directions, which was scary.

We arrived at the campsite, it was dark and raining and we were the only ones camping tonight... $14 each total rip off too.

Set up camp and got in the tents, still raining and raining... bed.


22nd May 2009:

Ok I will not mention every detail about the next two weeks, which is down to the constant arguments and problems caused by this road trip so I will be editing it for reading purposes.

Ok, 6am... rain teaming down and the wind blowing the tent left and then right, we decide enough is enough and get up and pack up while the rain is having a small break and decide to get going early, after a shower and three lots of beans on toast.

Becky was now having toilet and stomach issues however I put this down to the two days of McDonalds previously.

We all felt so tired.

Setting off we went north up a marvellous road to Singleton (where we spotted the first of many road-kill kangaroos), this road was windy, step and wet a bit like a rally track and the views spectacular from almost every mountain road... Becky enjoyed the views – AS SHE SLEPT.

We drove on to near Tamworth (spot the English place names yet?) stopping at Scone for a Scone (for Becky) and a cheese sandwich for me. Rob had a pie and chips.

Named the car Matilda, well Becky did.

Got to Tamworth but could not find the site I had selected for tonight's stop. (Our map is now classified untrustworthy and therefore I will do it myself from now on.)

I earmarked another near the town of Manilla. So far every town looks American, like Texas or something, all very odd. We reached Manilla and found the site called Rivergums.

It was a great little site this time we set up camp and set up a fire but had to blow up the airbed by mouth after we left the pump attachment at the other site in the rain.

About 10pm Becky pointed out the sky to me:

It was nothing short of marvellous, seriously, we were in the middle of Australia, almost in the outback, there really is not many lights to disrupt the view so imagine it... Well you simply can't.

The sky was covered from top to bottom, in front of us and behind us. I actually got a sore neck looking up for so long; I used this time to think a lot. The sky was nothing short of spectacular – so much so I had a tear in my eye, yes me!

Becky and I got back to our tent after this to see a possum outside our tent; I took photos of it as it climbed the tree to the left and then walked past Matilda (the car) and up the tree on the right. It was a cute animal and the first random animal we had seen on the trip to date.

Once back in the tent Becky and I confirmed that we were now officially an item. Becky had finally given in to my charm. ;-)



23rd May 2009:

Up at 12, needed a lay in.

We drove again today up from Manila to a small town populated by 500 people, called Ashford. We went via Inverell to shop in a Woolworths.

We witnessed a great sunset after shopping driving on the main road to Ashford from Inverell. We also saw our first alive and bouncing Kangaroos, there were about ten of them grazing by a gate a little way back from the road. It was near Bukkulla.

We set up camp which was basically a campsite on the village green, in the middle of the town. It looked so odd a local police man came to check that we were not up to no good!

We ate burgers, bed by 11pm. Ashford full of hill billys.


24th May 2009:

9am: Got up.

11am: on the road.

It was interesting today though... well it wasn't until...

We got the blue lights from a police highway car heading towards us as Rob was speeding on the main ENGLISH highway – it slammed on its brakes and went to turn around. Please bear in mind it's basically outback and forest along this road in this part of Australia!!!!

Rob then accelerated away looking for an off road before pulling in to and driving down it, it was at a slight angel put running alongside the main road. Becky and I looked left and saw the speeding police car going back the other way after us, lights flashing red and blue, over taking cars.

We stopped, waited 20 minutes then I found a way on the map to get us out of the place we were in but not via a main road. We pulled on to the main road then over on to the left of the highway and up a side road there, when we saw headlights coming straight for us. It was a police car... oh no we were doomed, running away from the police too... but then once Rob had already pulled over and sat in wait the police car drove past the officer not even looking in our car.

We turned round back on to the main highway and drove in to the next town (Warwick) and out the other side. We had actually avoided the cops. Haha

We drove in to the mountains again and found a campsite near Aratulla. This site was on a lake surrounded by mountains and a National Park. We set up camp again, took some pictures of the sunset over the lake plus set up a camp fire.

As we set up the camp, parrots came down to feed on bread Rob had thrown to them, first it was one parrot, then two, then 10, bright green pretty parrots.

Cooked Jacket potatoes (which burnt), then chilled and went to bed by 11pm after drinking wine.