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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.

I'm SUPER thanks for asking!

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 6 February 2008 | Views [1087] | Comments [2]

Eli Manning wins the MVP! GO GIANTS!

Eli Manning wins the MVP! GO GIANTS!

Day 27

I confess we didn’t want to leave suburbia behind. Scott’s bathroom was bigger than my bedroom in New York City, nevermind Nomalita. But it wasn’t just the amenities that made our two days in Coffs so nice, it was the comfort that came with suburbia. I’m a city girl through and through, but with the ability to do everything comes the responsibility to do everything, and the guilt if you don’t. In Sydney, if I wasn’t out discovering a new bar, going to a gig or attending one of the gazillion festivals and free events the city puts on I always got the feeling I was missing something. Same thing in New York, and funny enough, same thing camping. Instead of events and gigs, it’s bush-walking trails, undiscovered beaches, elusive wildlife and all the other amazing things you’d most certainly miss if you spent the morning playing computer games in the van.

So with Coffs came the ability to lie on the couch with a movie and waste a day at the mall totally guilt free. I won’t get another weekend like that until I visit my parents on Long Island.

So we s t r e t c h e d the morning of Day 27. Took long showers (thanks Scott!),read the American Democratic Primary debates on CNN.com, played more video games — even watched one of my favorite movies: Lost in Translation. Rain: what an enabler. But by 4 p.m. we had to bid the comforts behind and hit the road. We were losing light and we needed to make some serious headway back to Sydney.

Daniel, Ricky, Steve, Karl and I arrived in Crowdy Bay National Park at 6:30 p.m. Stray hitchhikers, you ask? Not exactly. Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington are the masterminds behind the greatest comedy podcast of all time: The Ricky Gervais Show. They accompanied us through the rain, keeping me in fits of laughter and entertaining Daniel enough to help him stay awake on the road. Rickygervais.com or Itunes — you’ll thank me in time.

Crowdy Bay was indeed, crowdy, and not just with humans. We joined throngs of other campers and a herd of roos at the rainsoaked campsite. It was beautiful though; mist covered the tops of the mountains jutting out from the sea, and the green bluegray waves crashed up on jagged rockpiles to our left. It felt very Mists of Avalon, and I half-expected the Lady of the Water to appear out of the clouds. We made like kids and played with shells and rocks for an hour before heading back to the van to make dinner and hit the hay. We needed to be up early Monday…Superbowl Monday!

Day 28

“How long is the game,” Daniel asked.

“Oh, you know, long,” I answered.

“How long?” he asks, not giving up.

“Maybe three hours? About three hours,” I answer, lying through my teeth. I know the the last two minutes will take a half hour alone.

We’re back in Forster, and my first Superbowl Monday is upon me. (It’s Sunday, always, at home.) Superbowl XLII New York Giants vs. New England Patriots; Daniel’s first Superbowl ever. Normally I wouldn’t make such a big deal about watching but after Jeff came over ranting and raving about the come-from-behind Giants and their almost-win over the New England Patriots, I had to watch. This was New York vs. Boston, after all, and no matter how many miles away I may be, I still want to kick Beantown’s bum.

So we settled in for the long haul at a pub in the lakeside town of Forster. It was 10 a.m (and little did he know he’d be there ‘til 2). I’ll spare you the details of the game, but suffice it to say it was one of the best football games I’d ever watched, a real nailbiter, and the underdog Giants pulled through. 17-14 — a game that will go down in NY history.

With me giddy and Daniel satiated, we hit the road once more, and this time for my final destination: the Hunter Valley. I’d been looking forward to wine tasting for a month, and it was finally time. A full day of wine, cheese and chocolate? This is pretty much my heaven. We were a ways away, and finally made it to the Hunter Valley YHA around 6 p.m.

There are things rain does to a van, namely get it very, very dirty. So when Michael, the owner of the fabulous (and built from the ground up, I might add) YHA, offered us an ensuite room we gratefully accepted. Less a hostel, more a retreat, the hostel was a lesson in rustic perfection. A handbuilt wooden sauna and full-on pool area beckoned to the left, an old barn housing laundry and a living room-like bar loomed on the right, and in front of us stretched a glorious, house surrounded by a gorgeous continuous porch. The place was packed from the atmospheric wooden picnic tables on the porch to the cozy couches in the bar, with fruit pickers here to pick grapes at the vineyards. They were here for the harvest and would be until March. I was impressed, to say the least — it had been pouring for a few days now, and soaking wet shoes and wellies lined the porch to prove it.

We spent the evening in the bar for the hostel-sponsored pool competition. Winners won a case of VB and $20 — not bad! I’m proud to say Daniel and his teammate Alex made it to the final. Superbowl day indeed — wins in both football and pool!

I’d say we both went to bed happy :)

Tags: ambassador van, relaxation




GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!! It's tough being in Boston this week!

  Heather Feb 7, 2008 1:20 AM


Hey Robin, Did you go to Crowdy head as well as crowdy bay? It's probably my fave place in NSW. (from your pics on the beach, Diamond head was on the left, Crowdy head was on the right).

  stowaway Feb 9, 2008 1:21 PM

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