Published: November 1st 2007November 1st 2007
in the van!
sitting in the front before being relegated to the back!!! ;-)
So the road trip begins!! Hungover the three of us checked out of wake up and made our way to the train station. Taking my wheelie bag up and down stairs proved to be quite a challenge and using the escalators was hilarious! (well for everyone watching!!) when we got off the train, us girls waited on the grass while Nick went and got the van. The van was awesome, not what I expected at all, its brand new, and had a kitchen in the back and everything!! (it’s a Mitsubishi L300 MWB for those who know about vans!!)
So we set off, I was in the front directing (ha!!) we went through Sydney and over the harbour bridge which was pretty cool. After half an hour or so we left the city behind us, which was brill… its so sparse everywhere, there's proper roads and stuff but we could drive for miles without seeing anyone else, its just like a road has been placed through the countryside! Every so often, we’d pass a lone house with a little old ozzie man sitting outside, or go through little villages. All the houses are gorgeous, bit like holiday houses,
obviously built for sunny weather, all with bbq’s and pools. And in stead of landscaping the gardens, if the grounds a bit uneven they just put stilts under the parts of the house to make it all the same level!! But again its like a house and garden has been placed in the middle of a field! You can see the back gardens have fences so far along and then they just stop and lead out to the fields behind!
So we drove and drove, taking ‘route 33’ and when we decided to check where we were on the map, we found we were in a random village bout 200 km inland!! Ha ha! (I kinda got the feeling I wouldn’t be map reader for much longer!!) it was a mission to get back on the right road!! we had a few stops along the way, we stopped once overlooking this massive valley, just as the sun was setting, it was gorgeous.
We eventually got to Newcastle we realised there was a severe lack of campsites there!! Our lonely planet for once failed us (!) and the shops etc were closed, but we managed to look throught the window of
in stockton (newcastle) where we watched the rugby world cup final... the atmosphere was AMAZING!!!!
tourist information place and discovered we should head across to a little island (Stockton) and yay, we found a campsite there! We were all shattered so made up the bed and went to sleep straight away!!
We set our alarms for 4 o clock so we could watch the rugby! We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere so as much as we were all imagining that we were sitting in a pub, surrounded by English people and beer, in reality, we were on our own, huddled around the only TV in the town! The TV was in the camp kitchen, and was outside, so we were sharing one sleeping bag in the freezing cold!! It was even worse when England lost, as Nick, being an Irish rugby player was set against the English winning! Needless to say, he perked up quite a bit after that!!
After the match, we cooked eggs on toast and watched sun rise. I went for a run along the beach and then we showered and got ready to set off again!
On our journey we drove past loads of little beaches and coves, we stopped at a couple, and had a few walks
beach looking gorgeous at 5 in the morning!!
down secluded beaches before getting to Port Macquarie. We went straight to the campsite, which was gorgeous and cooked pasta and sauce! we then went for a walk along the break wall, which was covered in big rocks, painted by people who had visited. They had a sausage sizzler by the pool so we sat around eating sausages!! We then went back to the van and sat drinking goon and playing cards. We went to sleep about 9 (it’s a tiring life this travelling lark!!)
I woke up on the 22nd at about 6 o clock, all my bones were aching!! I went for run along the break wall, it was gorgeous at that time, all the fishermen were brining their catch in to the harbour. there was also loads of art work from local kids on display, which was cool to see! We chilled out in the sun for a bit, then set off on our way to Coffs harbour. It was quite a long drive. On the way we stopped at “freddos pies’ a really famous pie shop just on the side of the road (ozzies love their pies!!) so we had a variety and they were
yummy!! After a few more hours of driving (by this time I had been relegated to the back.. Nat was directing!! but it was pretty cool, the bed was made up so it was really comfy!!) we stopped at a harbour, again, there were decorated rocks all along the edge. There was a beach in the distance, and I was joking that we just needed to jump off the rocks into the sea, then swim to the beach! It was really hot and after all that time in the van, we wanted to get in the sea but Nick couldn’t swim!! So they basically dared me to jump off the rocks!! It was a bit scary, but I did it ( the things I do for comedy value!!) the undercurrent was far to strong to swim to the beach so I climbed back up (the whole episode was filmed!!) there were loads of sharp shells on the rocks and as I climbed up I cut my hand!! Awww!!
After that excitement we carried on driving and soon arrived at Coffs harbour. Our first stop was at a place called ‘the giant banana’ where, u guessed it… there really was a
break wall rocks
sun setting behind the break wall in Port Macquarie
giant banana on the roof!! Inside was a shop selling lots of banana type things and we went into a little hut where they were making sweets, that bit was cool to see!! We then went to the campsite, it was a really nice one and so went for a dip in the pool.. there were slides and everything!!! We sunbathed for a bit and then drove down to the harbour, where we went on a walk along the harbour and up this really really steep hill!!! It was so windy you couldn’t hear a thing and I was slightly worried we would get blown off the edge!!
On the way back we had to dodge the massive waves spraying over the wall which was amusing! Then back to the campsite where I had my first ozzie barbeque!! (and yes we cooked kangaroo!!) ozzie campsites are pretty different to European ones, they have keys to the toilets and are kept in a lot better condition. They also have ‘camp kitchens’ which are basically kitchens and utensils etc for the use of all campers, they also have loads of bbq’s dotted around. Not only in the campsite, but as your driving
the really really steep walk up!!!
along, next to the picnic benches on the side of the road there are often bbq’s too!! The bbq was awesome, and was lovely to watch the sun set by the side of the beach with a couple beers. We then went back to the van and played word association till we fell asleep!!
As you may have guessed, living closely with 2 people for so long, I soon gained the reputation of being an accident prone disaster, and therefore basically their main source of entertainment!! Nick constantly ripped it out of me for saying “wow” and “that’s amazing” all the time! (yup, just like you guys at home do!!) and laughed at me for exaggerating, getting us lost, saying stupid things etc and everytime I tried to prove them wrong, it got worse!!
The next morning we drove to Nimbin, known by reputation as the weed capital of Australia and it was an amazing place. We parked up at this rickety old campsite and had a swim in the pool, I tried for about an hour to perfect my handstand, with Nat and Nick scoring each one out of ten! (I only reached 8.5… you would have thought they
'gwarky' my kangeroo, looking at real bbq'd kangeroo meat... awww!!
would have humoured me!)
We then went for a walk in the town, it was amazing, there were about 6 shops each side of the road and one pub, and it was like going back in time to a little hippy village, everyone was wearing long colourful clothes, shop windows were decorated with rainbows and drapes and the people were all absolutely off their rockers!! We went for an afternoon pint in the pub and it was surreal, everyone was in a little world of their own!! People kept trying to sell us ‘cookies and chocolates’ (im sure they wern’t talking about a nice box of Thornton’s!!)
We went back into the same pub later that evening and it was like a soap opera, real life jerry springer! people from the same family were shouting at each other, everyone was completely stoned, we just sat in amazement watching it all trying to work out what was going on at the same time as trying to stifle our giggles.!!
The next morning, on the 24th we set off for byron bay, just a couple of hours away, I was actually allowed to sit in the front for the first time in
days!! Wow!! (and I only got us lost twice!!!) on the way we saw the "giant shrimp"! basically a big shrip on top of a building... random!?!?! so we arrived at byron at 12ish and after we put our stuff in our room (the three of us got to share a 5 man room) we headed straight for a walk in the town, it’s a pretty cool surfing town, so that’s basically all its geared up for! We watched zoolander and then went out for dinner, we went to a place called cheeky monkeys, its basically the only bar in town and it was full of entertainment, they had goldfish racing on that night, so people could bid on the gold fish of their choice and race them along the water at the front! The English fish won of course!! He he!! As soon as that was over, everyone just jumped on the tables and started dancing!! It was cool, there were loads of nationalities and we stayed there till about 2 o clock. Me and Natalie then headed home and as we barged in to our room, talking loudly and laughing, we suddenly realised, there were two people sleeping
in the beds!!! After confirming that we were actually in the right room, we decided to sit out side for a while and chatted before going to bed.
The next day, the 25th, we were going surfing! Wooo..! so we got up and went to the mojosurf hut, the van picked us up at 12 and drove us to lenox head. There were about 7 people on our course, and 2 instructors. They spent about 10 minutes showing us how to warm up and get on the board and then sent us out into the waves!! The waves were massive, even the instructors said they were big!! And they came at you in all directions, it was pretty scary!! I can see how surfing would become completely addictive, it was pretty easy to get onto your knees, standing up was the hard bit, but you just kept wanted to try and try again. 4 hours passed in a flash and when they called us in for a break I didn’t want to leave! Although you can feel your body getting knackered but you just want to keep going!! So after a short break, some photos and an orange, we went
one crazy crazy place!!
We did another couple of hours, and my day continued much the same…literally paddling out, finding a wave, almost standing up, absolutely stacking it, coughing up sea water, then paddling back out again!!
To be fair, I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting to be able to ride some serious waves! but at the end of the day but it was great and I even managed to stand up a few times!! Ha! but we’re gunna hire boards over the next couple days (as long as we don’t ache too much!!).
When we got back, we were all shattered so we got a cup of tea and watched ‘point break’! We then went out for a couple of drinks that evening as it was Nicks last night.
The next morning nick left and me and nat chilled out at the beach, it was boiling, but at about 3 it started to rain so we went into a café had a coffee. During the time it took to drink a latte, the weather went from ‘spitting’ to a torrential thunder storm! thunder, lightning.. you name it!!!
We waited about an hour but when it didn’t stop, we
knew we’d have to make a run for it!! It was hilarious, but we ended up not caring and jumping in puddles!! Arriving back we were drenched but luckily it was still hot so we sat on our balcony and watched the lightning!!
Then next morning we decided to hire surfboards, ha! we got the proper ones rather than the ones you learn on and just carrying them to the beach was a mission in itself!! We managed to ride a few waves but the water went from so deep to shallow, it was hard to tell if we were surfing or had just grounded on the sand!! He he! We had a little sunbathe but got eaten alive by sand flies, so called it a day and went back to the apartment. We sat outside drinking beer and playing drinking games with our new room mates for a while, and then headed to cheeky monkeys again! It really is a crazy place! Met jakub and his mates.. the place seems to be inundated with Irish people!!
The next morning me and Natalie got rudely awoken by the hostel owner, unknown to us, the clocks went forward an hour so
we were late checking out!! Oppps!!! So we scrambled our stuff together and locked it away… We still had our boards so decided to give it another try… however it was just too windy to even think about it!..boards were flying everywhere.. I might even make a special blog of the injuries I pick up along the way over the year!! Any way, we had a bit of time on the beach before heading back and packing our stuff up.
We took our stuff to the bus stop to get the overnight bus back to Sydney. The coach wasn’t full so we managed to have a couple of seats to ourselves… still it was so uncomfortable!!! We arrived in Sydney at about 7 in the morn and checked back in to wake up. Our rooms weren’t ready so we fell asleep on the cushions in the communal area! That day I sorted bank and all that fun kind of stuff! And then in the evening me and nat went down to the side bar with all the free tokens we had accumulated!
So back in Sydney! Im heading down to Melbourne tomorrow… another overnight bus…another story… woooo!!!
stealing the newspapers in byron... shhhh!!
of love guys x x x x
There are more photos below