Finding the Wizzard of Oz
14.06.2009 16 °C
After two days of frosty air and two nights of shivering to sleep, it was a relief to be on the road heading in a northerly direction. The best part of this van deal is packing up is so easy! You just unmake the bed, stow the blankets under the seats, fix the bed back to two benches, and throw the gear that you chucked in the fronts seats back where the bed was, then you’re good to go! No taking down a tent, rolling things up and packing things in. The kitchens stationary in the trunk so that never gets taken out, and that’s pretty much it. Simple living.
The drive today is from the Blue Mountains to Coonabarabran, central New South Wales. We thought it would be a good idea to drive a bit inland, see some of the country before we drive the coastline. Good choice. The country side is breath taking. Rolling green hills, with greener pastures full of cows, sheep, and... Yup, KANGEROOS! Unfortunately there are so many, they end up road kill all too often. We started counting but gave up after only an hour. Before we start talking about kangeroos, I would just like to say, that today was my first time driving on the left side of the road!! I did pretty good as well. The drive took about 9 hours with me driving about 8 of them. Apart from the occasional mistake of hitting the windshield wipers rather than the blinker, I did ok :O) It does take a bit of getting used to though. It’s just awkward having to use your left hand for everything. And speaking of road kill, I nearly hit a wallaby myself... I say nearly but I stopped well before and we got to marvel him as he hoped across the road. We are so excited about seeing Australian Wildlife!
We stopped off for lunch in Wellington, had a picnic in a park by the river. Wellington is a tiny mining town in the middle of nowhere, so tiny it was Saturday afternoon and everything but the grocery store was closed down. There was just one main road with shops and businesses, the kind of town you picture in the western movies. Lucky enough, Rob and I were sporting our cowboy hats and eating our pink ladies (the yummiest apples in the WORLD). I had to laugh at ourselves. We looked like proper cowboys, a little too john wayneish if you ask me. We got to the caravan park in Coonabarabran around 6pm. Supposedly somewhere around there is Australias biggest telescope, but we were to pooped from the long drive, and we were pretty sure it was closed anyways. Another cold night, so we showered and went to bed early. No fresh flowers in the bathrooms :O(
In the morning after coffee and breakfast, we headed up to Mount Kaputar, remnants of an old volcano, also, from the top you can see a 360-degree panoramic view of New South Wales. It was breathtaking! And I mean that literally. We did a few different hiking trails, all had steep inclines over rocks and un even surfaces. Not meant for beginners. It did get our hearts pumping and definitelytook our breath away. The view was amazing... AND... We got to hang out with a family of kangeroo. They were near one picnic area, and didn’t seem bothered by Rob and I, so we sat with them for a good 20 minutes. I'm not certain, but it seemed to be a family. There was definitely a mother with a joey in her pouch, joey who was playing shy and didn’t pop his head out, and another young adult. The one we were uncertain of was an older male. Father? or just another kangeroo close by? I'll have to look up their social habits.
From there we made our way to Moree, our last inland stop. This is a well known area for its thermal spas and the caravan park has a few of their very own. I'm just excited that it’s warmer!! No shivering tonight and I can throw on the flip flops! wooohoo. But the thermals spas are exciting too. The water is full of minerals and is derived straight from the ground at 39 degrees Celsius. I was expecting them to be natural rock pools, but they look just like regular swimming pools. However, you can actually feel the difference. My skin feels great. These places are a big hit with the elderly community for the health benifits, hence everyone here is 55 years or older. A bit awkward! Hopefully we get another soak in the morning before our long drive out to the coast. Next stop, Coffs Harbour.