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Published: November 28th 2018
Day 9: Glasshouse Mountains/Gold Coast (150kms)
On the morning of Day 9, Shaun woke up early to meet Douwe and climb Mount Beerwah. It was a very challenging climb but they had lots of fun!
After their hike, Shaun had a shower in our AirBnB and we left for the Gold Coast. We had planned to have dinner with Ria, a lovely retired woman, one of our first hosts in Australia, with whom we stayed for almost a month when we arrived!
We stayed in a different AirBnB and Shaun was very annoyed at our host who was very racist and just kept making inappropriate comments. We left to have dinner with Ria and her daughter, Cassie, who was 8 months pregnant! We had a very nice time together.
Day 10: Gold Coast/Coffs Harbour (320kms)
On the next day, we drove to Coffs Harbour. We left the state of Queensland for New South Wales, driving past Newcastle and suburbs named after Welsh cities such as Cardiff. On our drive, a stone flew to our windscreen, creating an impact and later on, a big crack. Luckily, we had paid to have our excess reduced to zero so we didn’t pay anything.
We had a fish and chips and nice little walk on Coffs Harbour - and even a lovely ice cream afterwards! Then we drove to our accommodation: we stayed in a self-sufficiency farm! That was an interesting experience!
Everything is recycled, and I think that apart from gas used for the stove and the oven, the house was indeed self-sufficient thanks to rainwater and solar panels. The disgusting part, of course, was the toilet, which was basically two holes (I’m sure you can guess what they were for) and the up keeping/cleaning wasn’t done properly because it stunk terribly the whole time.
We cooked a meal exclusively with the produce from the farm: an omelet with duck and chicken eggs and all the vegetables from the garden. Shaun went to buy some food (he needs his bacon!) at the closest supermarket - which wasn’t so close, while I walked in the garden with our host, Christina, and she explained me lots about her farm.
The cute thing was the pets, there were three cats and two dogs so both Shaun and I were happy! Shaun spent time playing with the dog (who was a mixed breed and had some dingo
blood!) and I spent time cuddling with the cats. One of the cats actually slept on our bed which turned out to be a mistake as it probably had ticks and Shaun ended up with a tick in his neck. Taking it off of him at 4am when he realized was not a nice experience!
Day 11: Coffs Harbour/Blue Mountains (530kms)
After our night at the farm, we drank a quick coffee and went on our way to the Blue Mountains! It was a long drive and the traffic was bad and we didn’t arrive until the evening. We met with Douwe and the three of us stayed in a YHA hostel in Katoomba. After making dinner, we went for a walk to see sunset at the lookout in town. We were a bit late as the sun had already started to set but the view of the Three Sisters (three big rock formations) and the Blue Mountains was beautiful. We had an early night. On the next day, the guys had decided to do a hike that was deemed dangerous by some of the hostel staff and I decided not to do it.
Shaun realized that night that
we were supposed to give the car back the next morning... it wasn’t a problem as the rental company had said we could keep it for longer but still, it reflects badly on our ability to follow the days of the calendar!
Day 12: Blue Mountains
After giving the rental company a call, Douwe and Shaun left around 9.30 and stopped next door at the police station to grab a police beacon as advised by the hostel staff. They then drove to Blackheath and started their walk from Evans lookout around the canyon via Rodriquez pass. I was a bit worried because of what the hostel staff told us but when they came back at around 5pm, they said the hike was easy, not dangerous at all and that there was no way they could have gotten lost. It had been a long hike, though, as they had walked for more than 20kms through the forest. They were exhausted but they had fun!
After they had a well deserved shower, we went to a little bar restaurant called Station to get some nice pizzas. The restaurant was very busy and loud but the pizzas were nice.
Day 13: Blue Mountains/Sydney (70kms)
The next morning, Shaun and I left early to see a nice lookout in Blackheath before starting our drive to Sydney. We had to give our car back at 10am and we arrived just on time! After sorting out the car and filling an accident report for the windscreen, we walked to our hostel. We stayed in a YHA again. We went for a walk in Darling Harbour and had lunch in the Eating World food court in Chinatown. When we came back to the hostel, Douwe had arrived. I felt a bit under the weather so I had a nap while the guys walked around Sydney and Shaun asked for bus passes in New Zealand.
Douwe, Shaun and I had dinner at the hostel (Shaun and I had leftovers from our lunch in Chinatown) and went for an evening stroll to see a lookout point on the famous Opera House. It was a longer walk than expected but the view on the city and the Opera House was worth it!
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