day one

The sun was warm through the windscreen as with car packed we set off to drive from one side of our continent to the other. Roughly about 4,500 km each way, if we drove direct with no diversions or sight seeing side trips. Am curious to see the mileage at the end, it will have to be over ten thousand kms, and that’s in less than five weeks.

The wildflowers and whales have been beckoning for a few years but compulsory lockdowns got in the way. Now with all borders open there are so many out and about, trying new adventures in our own country. Of course there are many road work stoppages as local councils work tirelessly to repair the flood damage.

Leaving home a chunk of rainbow glistened amongst the clouds. We’d had a heavy down pour last night which washed away all the obstacles and today burst promisingly upon us. The roadside flanked by masses of yellow wattle, our first native plant for the tour! It felt like a guard of honour agreeing that this would be a fun adventure indeed.

Morning tea at the Ulmarra riverside park, forgot the cafes wont be open 8am on a Monday morning after their busy weekend. Refuelled in the township of my old alma mater where the kind attendant adjusted the tyre pressure while cracking kind jokes about the changes made in the five years since I graduated …

net pic

the lovely ‘old’ new school that looks like it was lifted from UK – the Anglicans seem to rake in the funds, they have the largest and fanciest school and church in my village.

Then a lovely lunch at the Uralba bakery. A village where I used to buy my pottery but today there is none is sight; just artworks and antiques.

Booked into my accommodation at 2pm, they had been calling since 9am demanding the exact time of my arrival … fortunately my phone is turned off when I’m driving. Coz frankly I have no idea how long a piece of string is, what a daft question. Road trips are meant to be done at a leisurely pace, with no schedule or time pressures so not buying into their angst.

Drove around town a bit, saw the golden guitar but it was a midget compared to the Big Prawn in my hometown. This is a big rural city has loads of shops, banks and bars, it oozes wealth … but there is a dearth of cafes. It is riddled with decorative murals, statues and footpath plaques to commemorate the country and western musicians that attract so many tourists to this town.Tamworth is also prone to flooding but they have parklands and market gardens on the floodplains so the city is surrounded by greenery. Draping the CBD with this verdant greenbelt makes much more sense than building it out for residents and businesses to go under every few years like Lismore. Tamworth residents get to drive a bit further through lush relaxing greenery.

Now off to sleep excited about what tomorrow will unveil. Sorry NO comments as I will have no time to respond, and across the Nullarbor I’m told there is no wifi/phone connection at all. I will post as the spirit leads me so stay tuned for more episodes.