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March 14th 2014
Published: March 14th 2014
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Day 4: "See you when I see you!"

Driving around Sydney could be very expensive had I not have a portable GPS with speed and traffic light radar data. This Cabrio is not equipped with the Sat Nav option. Police is barely seen on the highways or roads around or outside town. But my GPS warns me almost at every two blocks about the existence of such devices. They are everywhere like Starbucks in Seattle. No wonder, Australians are law abiding citizens when they are on the roads. There are barely any SUV's in Australia. Instead, UTE's are everywhere. It is a sedan married to a pickup bed. Australians love their tricked out cars. Ford and Holden are in fierce rivalry in producing muscle UTE's and sedans. Where can Australians enjoy their modified UTE's and sedans given so many speed traps around?I may have found the answer.

The 132 square kilometers Royal National Park is 30 kilometers south of Sydney, of the Princes Highway South toward Wollongong. It is a relatively unspoiled hilly bush land hosting rainforest, heath, waterfalls, and creeks. Australian Cedar and the larger Eucalypt species dominate this park. Tree height reaches up to 30 meters or more. And, rich ferns, wattles, and other medium-size plants cloak the grounds. At one of the highest vista points, rolling bush land spans all the way to the horizon. Greenery is not the only thing that this park has. Many twisty roads can be found here. Cutting through the lush hilly bush land, these snaky roads connect the inlands with the secluded beaches that dot the eastern shoreline. The best of all about this park is the fact that there is not single speed radar! I had a prejudice about any convertible because my experiences before this Cabrio were limited to the convertible from Hertz.

It didn't take long for me to start disliking convertibles. They twisted like pretzel on the highway cloverleaf interchanges. They horribly understeered over tight turns. Even worse on zigzags, they wobbled like a sail boat in a hurricane. Utterly numb and joyless! So it is a stark revelation for me to experience this Cabrio. Because the experience this car gives is nothing like the other convertibles do. A tricked-out Yamaha motorbike appears very fast on my rearview mirror . I figure the best way to enjoy these foreign roads is by following the rollercoaster pace of a local rider. So, we switch the pole position. With the top and windows down, the gear shift pattern of the rider can easily be heard as the bike's exhaust produces the popping sound. We devour the zigzags and a few hairpins together at tingling speeds.A few sinuous rubber marks proof that we are not the first to discover this driving nirvana. On a short straight stretch, he looks back to gauge the distance and gives a friendly wave. Then, he accelerates fast again inviting me to follow. The exciting chase continues. Coming out of the lush part of the bush land, we arrive at Bald Hill vista point. The glistening ocean beacons many riders and drivers to sit and relish the breathtaking sweeping view of the crescent shoreline and sharp cliffs. A mother and a father with their small daughter are sitting on the manicured lawn holding each other hands watching surfers in a distance riding forceful waves. Steve, the rider, is from a nearby town Engadine. His ride is a Yamaha WR450F with motord kit. Over some green tea and snacks we exchange our driving and riding stories. He recommends me to climb the nearby Mt. Kiera. Among travelers, we don't say "good-bye", we say, "see you when I see you." We shake hands and part.

When I visit a place, an impression is formed inside me. Often time, the impression can’t be explained logically. It can’t be broken into different categories nor be assigned weighted values. It is just is. In this regard, Sydney is very inviting and welcoming. 180 nationalities now call Sydney home. Undulating landscapes, artful gardens, history-telling structures, modern skyscrapers, charming urban villages, delicious ethnic foods, lively night life, and friendly people are framed in an endearing postcard setting. And together they provide kaleidoscopic life and culture that are unique to this place. Driving through Blue Mountain World Heritage Park, Mt. Wilson, Sydney downtown streets, and the Royal National Park was truly unforgettable enjoyment of driving!
Driving Vacation

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