Bit of a delay in this one, no excuse really, just lazy, apologizes.
We have become trailer trash. As the temperature dropped to 2 degrees ‘tenting it’ just lost all remaining enjoyment. I can put up with rain, but when one wakes up not able to feel anything from the nipple down we decided to bring life under canvas to an end, for now. As you know money is tight so the only real accommodation option open to us is static caravans on campsites. We have both decided that we are too old for hostels; the loud music, constant ‘strange’ smells, and over use of the high five, it’s just not for us. I say us, it’s me really, I’ve reached middle age about a decade too early. I even found myself eyeing up a nice beige cardigan with wooden buttons the other day, nice …
So we are trailer trash, and while I’m ashamed Megan’s taken to it like a duck to water. Checked shirts, denim shorts, fag out of the corner of her mouth, and a baby hanging off each arm. Wish I had taken a picture.
Trip wise, we had heard mixed reviews on Canberra, most people saying it’s not worth visiting and to be honest, when we were only ten minutes out of the capital and still in countryside we thought they might be right! Can you imagine anywhere in Europe where you’re ten minutes from the centre of a capital city and you are the only car on the road, driving through open country dodging the local wildlife? It was a bit surreal.
We stayed with Megan’s uni friend, Alex and her boyfriend and thanks again to them for sharing their house, food and butterscotch schnapps (it got a bit messy). Canberra although the capital is actually only a small town but one of the most interesting we have visited; so many museums, galleries and historical sites. We started at the national gallery and then moved on to the old and new parliament houses and the National War Memorial. Amazingly we could park pretty much right outside the parliament building for free, imagine that at Westminster! We took a guided tour around both parliament buildings and learnt a lot about the political make up of the country. I thought it was going to be a snooze fest but I was actually upset that the tour came to an end, basically because I had so many questions and didn’t understand half of what was said. Megan had to sit me down and explain with the aid of pictures, mimes and even roped in two Korean tourists to react to key political events to bring history to life.
During this time we checked into a hotel for a night purely because one of us wanted to watch ‘The Wedding’. Megan took a bit of convincing but in the end she agreed it was worth the extra money and going without food for three days.
After Canberra we moved slowly up the coast to Jervis Bay, a place I wanted to visit because it was the name of my first ship. Yes, it’s a little sad but the picture below put a smile on my face even though it was raining. Totally worth it.
Unfortunately the weather dulled what we are told is one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, but from what we could see it certainly had potential.
Every onward we pushed further inland towards the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. It was quite a steep climb into the mountains so neither of us was surprised by the smell of burning coming from the Land Rover. Problem number 68; a burning smell when climbing up hills and turning very tight corners. The smell is down to a new oil leak dropping onto the hot exhaust pipe and burning off. At the moment we are thinking of a way to prevent this: fixing the oil leak involves taking the ‘new’ turbo off the engine, far too much effort, wonder if chewing gum will work…?
Not letting the delightful scent of burning oil distract from the amazing views, the Blue Mountains were simply stunning.
We stayed in trailer number two and used it as a base to explore the area. Actually, we checked into a hostel first but checked out pretty quickly as it was a sh*&%ole. We’ve never done it before but it really was that bad so we walked out after 30 minutes, and as Megan loved the trailer life so much we found another one for half the price of the hostel and twice as clean.
We saw lots of this:
Some of these:
And views like this:
We are currently in Sydney staying with friends, Katie and her partner John. We have been really lucky with offers of accommodation from long lost friends… I say offers, we just turn up and knock on doors and say ‘surprise!’
I’ve been to Sydney before but it was Megan’s first time, so we did all the major tourist sites in a few days. Luckily Katie’s house is on the north side of Sydney so the train into town across the harbor bridge and by the opera house ticked off some of the main sites on the to do list.
We enjoyed Sydney and even though the temperature dropped to the coldest May morning in fifty years Katie and John’s hospitality, warm spare bed and great cooking made our four days pass far too quickly. Again, we can’t say thank you enough to them for their generosity.
I’m currently typing this as Megan packs the car, as we are off to Newcastle today. However, with the temperature forecast to drop to five degrees tonight it’s going to be a strain to get going again… How long do you have to stay somewhere before you can claim squatters’ rights?