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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.

Big Rocks and Port Muh-Quarry

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 1 February 2008 | Views [801] | Comments [1]

The Rock Roadhouse! A lesson in kitsch.

The Rock Roadhouse! A lesson in kitsch.

Day 24

It seems like not that long ago I was walking down Macleay Street in Potts Point, Sydney, popping into gourmet cafes and swanky bookstores. Now I’m sitting in Kempsey, NSW, on the Macleay river popping into the van. Only 300 K away and a world of difference.

It’s almost 7 p.m. and the temperature has finally dropped. The scorching upper 20 degree heat has been menacing all day and the AC has been getting quite a work out.

So today. Today was a driving day. We started off from Nelson Bay early in the morning, heading for the Myall Lakes. According to Lonely Planet, the Myall Lakes form the largest natural freshwater system in NSW. I’d seen plenty of ocean on this trip so far, but as far as lakes go, nada. It took a bit of convincing, but I got my way. Lake day it would be.

But first, we stopped at the LP recommended Rock Roadhouse. Essentially a huge replica of Uluru with a gas station and fast food. Brilliant. In fact, it was so brilliant, that I got out my newly charged camera battery and chucked it in my camera. Hit the “On” button and…nothing. Tried again. Nothing. “Please come back to me, please come back,” I silently begged. Nothing. Sigh. To Canon it would go.

Soon enough, we were on the Lakes Way, surrounded by huge, shimmering blue-green lakes to our left and dunes leading to the ocean on our right. We stopped for lunch at a picturesque spot on the banks of Lake Wallis.

Now extremely unhappy and annoyed about my non-functioning camera, I looked up in surprise as three kookaburras and two magpies joined us for the meal. We watched intently as the kookaburras tried to shoo the magpies away. Laughing, squawking, whatever you want to call it, they seemed to say “These are our scraps! Out!” One particularly eager one even hopped on the table and stared me down as I cut up red pepper for our chicken sandwiches. I shrieked, and he flew back up to his tree. That’s right birdie, “My sandwich!”

By afternoon we reached Port Macquarie. I opted for a 50 cent Micky D’s soft serve; Daniel went for a tandoori pie, and soon enough we were off once more. Port is the kind of town you live in. We were ready to get somewhere more off the beaten track…

Which has now somehow brought us to the Macleay River in Kempsey. Most notable thing about Kempsey? It’s the home of the famous Akubra hat (says LP, of course), which, is that Aussie hat. The Crocodile Dundee, Aussie swaggering Aussie hat. You know the one.

Tomorrow we’ll get to our final Northward destination of this journey: Coffs Harbour. Home to beaches galore and the Big Banana, but more importantly, home to the other half of Daniel’s IT team, with whom he has worked with remotely from Sydney for 8 months but never met in person.

Scott, Will, here we come! Hope you don't mind a huge van parked in your driveway...

Tags: ambassador van, on the road

 

Comments

1

The replica Uluru is actually the last remains of the infamous 'Leyland Brothers World'. I've got some more pics & info about it in my post:
http://journals.worldnomads.com/stowaway/post/820.aspx

  stowaway Feb 9, 2008 1:16 PM

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