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25 and Under...and 23...and 22 I'm trekking southern Australia in the World Nomads Ambassador van with my little brother & his girlfriend. This should be interesting.

Just One of Those Days...

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 19 January 2008 | Views [1105]

Australia Rock in Narooma!

Australia Rock in Narooma!

Day 11

Well, today was just one of those days.

Let me preface this post by saying we have had absolutely perfect weather the past 12 days. Could not have asked for better.

Today, finally, it rained. And not even a lot, it was just one of those cloudy, dreary, rainy days. After 12 days of sunshine it was actually a nice change. It just meant we weren’t in the mood to do anything. A movie day, if you will. Except it would be cheating if we popped into the movies, wouldn’t it? Waste a day in Australia numbing our minds with Will Smith’s latest zombie thriller or Jennifer Garner’s latest rom-com? No, we wouldn’t do that.

We started off from Cape Conran at 9 a.m. ready and willing to do a morning’s hike in Croajingalong National Park. (Say it: Crow-ah-jing-ga-long.) We drove down to the small entrance town of Mallacoota, for the coastal walk, but first we were all in desperate need of a quick shower. Problem is, after showers, one gets clean. And when one is clean, one doesn’t exactly want to do a sweaty, dirty hike.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “So, the road to the hike should be this way.”

Jeff: Looks at his watch. “How far down is it?”

Me: “About 15 K. Hmm, that’s kind of far.”

Jeff: “Yeah.”

Me: “Do you guys really want to do this hike?”

Crystal and Jeff: “No.”

Me: “Me either.”

Jeff: As he turns the car around, “Ok, let’s go.”

And so we were off. No real agenda for the day, just to get, you know, somewhere.

What ended up happening, inevitably, is that we went where the road took us. The first place being New South Wales. We pulled over in the no man’s land between the two state signs and bid farewell to Victoria.

The first town we reached in New South Wales was Eden. Of course, this immediately reminded me of Eden Falls, the Desperate Housewives town, which then reminded me of Teri Hatcher, which then reminded me of her daughter Emerson, and eventually to the disturbing fact that I know way too much about celebrities. I smiled at the fact that I haven’t read a gossip column in more than two weeks. Driving down these idyllic highways, you really do feel far from reality.

We had a quick lunch in an idyllic little picnic spot in Eden and were on our way.

Ironically, the drive today was perfect in the rain. Green pastures spread out on either side of the Princes Highway, soaking up the rain as if there were no tomorrow. The clouds overhead gave everything a misty glow, and I felt like I was in Northern Scotland.

An hour or so after Eden, we reached Bega. Little did we know, Bega is the hometown of the Bega cheese factory. Five minutes later, we were in. We tried about 10 different kinds of cheeses — tasty, extra tasty, rye, pepper rye, chilli rye, pepper slice, 19th century, cheesemaker’s choice, etc. The winners were cheesemaker’s choice and 19th century by a landslide. Upstairs, the factory had set up a small cheese museum with the original 19th century factory rebuilt upstairs (it was only a small room).

I bought a cow postcard and an ice cream and we were on our way.

Our next stop, though short, is, I think, a stop everyone should make if they’re heading down this way. I’m talking about the town of Narooma. First of all, it’s a gorgeous spot. Montague Island is visible in the distance, and the lakes surrounding the town let out into the Tasman. Picturesque cliffs and rocks jut out from the jetty, and with the misty clouds overhead it all looked straight out of a fantasy novel.

What we were there for though, was Australia Rock. Apparently a certain rock had been blown out by the wind and water, and the resulting hole looked exactly like Australia. They were right. We each took turns hopping up into it and moments later three new Facebook pictures were born.

Since we’d already driven so far, we decided to push on until Pebbly Beach, in Murramarang National Park. Our last stop would be less than 400 K to Sydney. Finally, at sunset, we arrived to find kangaroos happily munching on dinner. After a few photos, so were we.

Tomorrow…hopefully some sunshine!

Tags: ambassador van, misadventures


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