so David and i have started our road trip to the tip along the east coast of Australia. i had been looking forward to this for so long, especially for the liberty of going and stopping where and when we please. it’s quite a luxury after 6.5 months of being dependent on other people for transportation! although technically that is still the case for me, it seems that driving ourselves around has proven to be a little more complicated and frustrating than expected. we’re working with a map that’s not detailed at all, meaning that half the time we’re going into a small town i can’t give any directions because i have nothing to go on. we’ve also had a few issues because of that, trying to find our free rest stop for the night… but it’s all part of the fun i guess! it’s really much better than i’ve just made it sound to be. i swear!
so our wicked really is wicked. we’ve got the Jimmy Hendrix van, which kicks ass and says “ridin’ down the highway of desire” in the back. it may not be as good as another van we saw that said “ride the punani” but heck, it’s Hendrix and that rocks! we’ve spent two nights in it so far, and it does the job quite well. of course it’s not luxury, but i’ve had much worst beds on this trip!
we started our trip with the hell of getting out of Sydney and then made our lunch stop in… Toronto! yes, that’s right! i saw it on the map and we just had to go. it’s a small mining town near a beautiful blue lake… same same, right? then we took a beach break in Newcastle (birth town of the 90’s band Silverchair) and got sandblasted while walking the shores. a really nice town with the first stretch of golden sand on this trip. that night we slept at “Ayer’s rock”, a rest stop along the highway with a building shaped like Uluru and washrooms closed for renovation. that night we ate lamb steaks in a balsamic sauce with a great salad. not too bad!
the next morning was the first time that i had to urinate with kangaroos watching me, 5 to be exact! all staring in my direction (somehow a lot less intimidating than urinating in public in China, but just as distracting!). they were so cute, joeys and all! so i told David to get up so that he could see his first kangaroos. after some pictures and big smiles we ate breakfast and headed out to the surf town of Crescent Head. there we had lunch and watched locals battle the rocks to get to the waves. we made our first attempt at a night spot in Alstonville but they had changed the rules about overnight stays and so we parked the van in the rest area near Bangallow on the side of the highway. it was kinda noisy with all of the trucks going by but with this spot being so far away from any big towns i got to see the most stars i have ever seen in my life. it was just incredible! the milky way was stunning and there were stars filling nearly every inch of the 180 degree of the sky. i never knew stars could show up so low in the sky…
today we drove into famous Byron Bay, only 8km away from where we spent the night. today is David’s birthday: he’s now 26! we’re celebrating his birthday by visiting two surf towns (here and Surfer Paradise) and by spending the night in Brisbane for some good food, good drinks and a good night sleep. right now he’s shopping for a board, as a present to himself. hopefully he’ll find a good deal somewhere!
on driving on the left side of the road:
David has been quite good at adapting his driving to oz. at first he kept saying that it was really weird but now he seems to be quite alright with everything, although we did end up driving on the wrong side of the road again today! haha. at least now he’s mastered the “signalization-wipers” issue (they are inverted over here)… at least, i think he has!