The next few days were a mix of sunshine and rain so I didnt get too much use out of the hostels rooftop loungers.
I spent a lot of time walking around the city – which I quite liked – despite not expecting too (after talking to other travellers who didnt really like the place), but time is of the essence, so I packed my gear and moved on again (not getting a chance to drive over the SHB as it was closed for resurfacing )
Next stop was Manly: its a nice beach and town just north of Sydney. I got there in a smidgeon of rain and with strong winds…all made up for by the fact that it was heaving with totty competing in a Surfboat competition! Pretty crazy event launching the boats into the surf as it crashed onto the beach.
I had to leave though, as it was all full of the beautiful people and I dont fit in.
Heading north I stopped at Putty beach, but couldn’t get in the campsite as it was fully booked. Sat on the beach for a while, then headed along the coast trying to find somewhere else. Eventually I gave up and headed into Terrigal, where I booked into the YHA hostel (using a girl called Kim’s phone…thanks!) nice bunch of people here – irish guy and some english. Had a great time playing in the surf that afternoon: big stuff and a crazy ‘reflection’ wave from the shore, so just as you prepare for the wave in fron, you get smacked on the back of the head by the one from behind!! We all headed to the local bar/hotel that night : it was packed with lots of girls in full slap and guys in vests (singlets) had a canny night, then left them there and went for a walk and sit on the beach by myself. Eventually when I got back to the hostel I watched the tennis with Kim.
Next morning, I said my goodbyes, packed and headed into Gosford to pick up my coat and beanie which were being sent from Foster YHA (I’d left them there a week or two ago) $22 later and were reunited
Heading further north I drove the Gateshead, into Newcastle, where I eventually got parked and headed into the tourist information place…only to bump into my new found stalker: Kim! Lol …she had picked up her kids and was spending the day in the ‘toon’
There’s not a lot in Newcastle and few links to ‘OUR toon’ so I left, bypassed Wallsend, passed Gosforth and Warkworth and then stopped in Hexham for fuel! …weird!
Still raining as I headed West (gonna start heading inland towards Alice Springs) so I stopped in Denham – a little town with little interest…. I stayed in a caravan that night as my tent was still wet and it was raining. ,..and I got a special deal.
Up early and continue West on the Barrier Highway I drover as far as I could, wthout falling asleep. I was going to stop in one roadside rest area, but the mud and amount of ants was bewildering…so I continued on to Meadow Glen ….which didnt have the mud, but did have the ants
…I slept in the car.
Up very early and onwards thru Broken Hill (stopping for groceries and to book a flight from Heathrow to NCL on my return) and to Yunta, where I parked in the town (not that there was much of one) and chatted to a couple of couples who had also stopped for the night. Nice guys (grey nomads) so we shared a beer and watched the trains passing thru. and took photos of a great sunset.
After tha it was to Port Augusta, via Peterboough and some lovely scenery(chatted to a couple at a monument pass while making coffee) bought a rear wheel cylinder for the car as I think the one is leaking slightly and I dont want to be caught when I get into the outback (It’s ‘Australia Day’ today) then North up towards Coober Pedy though I still havent decided which way to go
I stopped at Woomera (the Aussie range and nuclear testing facility) in a barely used campsite. chatting to a couple of aussies and a dutch guy that evening – one of the aussie girls gave me a map for the Oodnadatta track, so after ringing the guy at the Pink Roadhouse there, I decided to head that way tomorrow (its featured in one of my 4×4 mags and looks interesting)
Another early start (is there another kind?) and I headed to Roxby downs, let my tyres down a bit and started on the Oodnadatta track …turs out its a big wide gravel motorway, so not technical at all.
Was nice to pass Lake Eyre and some great scenery, but at last I arrived at the Pink ROadhouse.
Tags: 1, alice, aussie, australia, chuggy, chuggys, hostel, island, nsw, oodnadatta, outback, oz, surf, sydney, tour, toyota, Travel, trip, victoria