Here's my first update email that I sent to friends after my stay in Woolongong early on:
For 1am on a Sunday night/Monday morning Woolongong sure is a noisy town. Definately moving on to Shellharbour tomorrow first thing.
I've spend the last two days camped out in my van here in the 'Gong as they like to call it, after an amazing four days camped out in the Royal National Park. The contrast could not be more apparent between the two places.
I did enjoy the headland walk to the lighthouse here, and the beaches are nice, but it's too much like a small city here for me to really relax and enjoy myself. Traffic, tall buildings, I'm basically back in Sydney again, but without the local knowledge, and parked in a thriving van park that never seems to sleep. Anyway this is all probably just the heat talking (26 degrees at midnight!?!) so I'll crank up the camper's air con (thank god I opted for a van with aircon) and tell you a bit about my stay in the National Park instead.
I started out stocking up on supplies in Cronulla before setting my compas south and driving on into the scrub. To be honest it didn't feel too much like I was out in the bush, there's plenty of hikers and picknickers at the stops throughout the park, and the roads are fairly solid. But once you hit the coast, you won't easily forget that view in a hurry. I took the camper up to Governor Game lookout and that was a great spot, I had lunch there and took in the serenity for about an hour. I wanted to also visit wedding cake rock, but decided to leave that to the second day as it was a bit of a walk. Instead I drove on to Jibbong point where there are a lot of ancient Aboriginal carvings, which really put into perspective how long people have been living here in Australia. Really puts things in perspective, these things you forget when you're busy in your day to day life living the hectic city pace. From there I decided to call it a day, as it was getting on in the afternoon, and I still needed to set up camp for the night, so to speak, which comes at about 8 when you're not gifted with artificial light!
I drove on to the Bonnie Vale campground, which was surprisingly busy for this time of year. I stuck up a nice conversation with some fellow van travelers and I ended up having wine and biscuits with a lovely couple who were traveling in an RV parked right next to me. It certainly had all the bells and whistles, a TV, shower and more space than you could shake a stick at, but somehow I wasn't even jealous of their sizable setup. I think the back to basics approach I've taken with my van is really suiting me. All I need is my sink, my tiny stove, this nightlight and my comfy fold-down bed that I'm currently sitting in, and I'm as happy as larry.
Anyway speaking of bed I think the van's finally cooled off a bit, so I might hit the hay. I'll keep you all posted about the rest of my van adventure when anything new crops up.
Lots of love,