Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Dec 26, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Friday, March 15, 2013

We had a lovely peaceful night in the Congo. After breakfast we revved the camper up and headed away from the coast and towards the hills. We were heading today to the Australian Capital, Canberra. I last visited Canberra twenty years ago and all I remember was that there was a lake and that it was very boring. There was no proper city centre, there was no ambience or vibe to it and it was full of pretentious government buildings and galleries. Canberra hasn't changed a bit in twenty years. It is just as soulless now as it's always been. Canberra is an administrative city, a purpose built capital, and does not have the excitement and atmosphere of Melbourne or Sydney which should really have been the capital. Canberra is quite high up in the hills and it took us nearly two hours to get there. We stopped on the way at Batemans Bay to get some food and then the first section of the road there was very steep and dramatic with loads of hair pin bends. We stopped off about half way at a place called Braidwood which is a lovely traditional old fashioned town. We had lunch here and then carried on to Canberra. It's only got a population of about 350,000 so it's not that big but the suburbs cover quite a large land mass. We hit the suburbs at about 3. The roads here are very wide and looks a little how I imagine Milton Keynes looks, very artificial. We followed Tom Tom's guidance through to Canberra Motor Village where we had hoped to get a powered site. This site looked quite good but unfortunately they were fully booked. We didn't book ahead as we hadn't expected it to be that busy. I phoned another site, Canberra South Motor Park, and they had sites available so we headed over there. This site was the other side of the city and we drove down through the main city area, down by the big Lake Burley Griffin and through the Parliament Zone. We got to the camp site which was only about 3 kilometres away from Parliament. The two ladies on reception were miserable and were the most unwelcoming and unhelpful camp site receptionists I have ever spoken to. Normally the people at camp sites are exceptionally friendly and helpful but these two looked like they both had a mouth full of wasps! I checked in and asked whether there was a bus that we could catch to the city. They didn't know if it ran at the weekend and they didn't have a timetable. All other city camp sites I have been to have always had timetables and information on public transport. The only information I did manage to glean was from a lady who was also checking in. She told me that the bus times were displayed on the bus stop which was just outside the park. With the two receptionists both looking at me like I was a turd I left the reception and found Jay who was waiting in the camper. We followed our way through the camp site to the powered site area. This was a huge site and the road in took us past the camp site pub and shop. It was all disgusting concrete with tatty tables outside. The people sat on them looked horrifying and for one horrible moment we thought that we were back in Tasmania! This camp site was like a sink estate. It certainly looked possible that we had arrived on the set of Shameless! The powered area was an extremely tatty piece of grass. We chose somewhere to go, the best of a bad bunch and tried to relax for the rest of the day. All was good until about 8pm when music started up from the pub. It was all thud thud thud. I couldn't make out any of the songs but it could easily have been Push It by Salt 'N' Pepa!  We managed to drown out the music by putting our fan on. It was very humid tonight and we couldn't get to sleep without it. Canberra wasn't doing very well up to now but it has to be experienced. I just can't do a full circle of Australia without doing the capital. That just wouldn't be allowed.       
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