Day 47 – Return to Umina Beach

Trip Start Jan 11, 2012
Trip End Apr 14, 2012

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Where I stayed
Lesley's House

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, February 26, 2012

We got a little bit of an earlier start today which was good we have nearly 700k to go and we are all ready to get home. The hardest part about a road trip in Australia is finding a descent cup of coffee.  Thank goodness Lesley purchased an auto-drip coffee maker for us and talked us into bringing it on the trip with us.  Eric and I drink our good coffee in the morning but by around 2pm I am ready for a pick me up.  You can go to a coffee shop or even a McDonalds and order coffee but what gets delivered is a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee, as the great Arthur Dent would say.  A black cup of coffee is ordered as a long black and what you get is an espresso shot with hot water poured over the top.  It manages to taste burnt and watery all at once.  Eric will drink it but I just go without.

We were still traveling the New England Highway for most of the day today.  I was amazed how much some of the landscape reminded me of New Hampshire.  We even drove through a region called The Granite District.  We had so much fun looking at the scenery and stopping to snap a photo whenever we saw something weird or interesting.

The first oddity we came across was a town called Deep Water.  We are not sure why it is called Deep Water because it is landlocked and has no lakes or rivers near it.  The town was completely empty and kind of eerie like a town out of a Stephen King novel.  It was 10am on a Sunday morning and not a single person or car anywhere in sight.  Deep Water's claim to fame is their annual scarecrow festival which must have happened recently.  There was still kid’s paintings and artwork of scarecrows hanging on buildings and one lonely scarecrow resident sitting on a corner in the middle of town.

Before lunch we managed to get pictures of the balancing rock, The Big Tractor, The Big Chicken, a painting on the side of a building of a women sitting on a toilet and some beautiful countryside.  The drive was gorgeous through rolling valleys filled with sheep and cattle ranches and over small mountains.  A lot of the towns had English and Scottish influences so we saw lots of different architectural styles.  We drove through the town of Guyra which had a sign boasting that it was one of the highest towns in Australia at a whopping 1330 meters or 4335 feet above sea level.   

We pulled into the town of Tamworth, which is also the name of a town in New Hampshire, for lunch and to see "The Big Golden Guitar."  Tamworth is the country music capitol of Australia.  We had a great lunch at a sidewalk café in the city center (this was way better than the club we dined in yesterday) and then headed over to see the Guitar.  Some big stuff in Oz is just out in the middle of nowhere and we will happen to stumble upon it.  Other big stuff has visitor’s centers and gift shops and even theme parks attached to them.  The Big Golden Guitar has a lot of hoopla surrounding it including a pretty impressive country music shop and a wax museum.  We got our photo and moved on down the road. 

The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful.  The land flattened out and it rained most of the day so we made good time back to Lesley’s house.  We had a nice relaxing evening and watched cricket which amazingly I am starting to understand.  Ryan and I wiki’d cricket and read the pages and pages of rules and how to play.  Now we are now fans of Australia and I am starting to learn the player’s names and positions or posy’s as they say here.  It is quite a time investment to watch an entire cricket match.  A One Day can take 9 or 10 hours.  Tonight’s match was a short affair; well at least the second half went pretty fast. 

Our road trip was a total 3405 kilometers through two states and numerous towns with funny names.  In Australia the car trip counters only go to 999k’s and then it turns over to 000.  It is sort of a big deal so every time we turned over we would count it down and celebrate our accomplishment.  Some of the towns we passed through or near were Bundaberg, Gin Gin, Nanango (we called it nana-go), Toowoomba, Goonoo, Goondiwindi, Boggabilla, Wallabadah, Murrurundi and towards the end we went right through Gloucester.  We had a great Aussie road trip.  Thank you Lesley for driving us around your country.
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Sue Glazier on

We are really enjoying your travel accounts, they are the first think I read whenI go online. When does Eric have to leave?

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