Day 37 - Bede's farm to home in Sydney

Trip Start Apr 17, 2012
Trip End May 27, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It got down to 0 degrees overnight but we were cozy and warm under three doonas. As soon as the sun hit the van just after sunrise it began to warm up inside. It jumped 25 degrees in less than an hour. The van is awesome like that, if it's cold outside but sunny you can close all the vents but have the sun shining in through the windows and it gets quite hot. By 9am we had to open the door and close curtains. The great thing about Bede's farm is that it's surrounded by hills and mountains yet it's fully North facing so in Winter after enduring a cold night you can almost always guarantee you'll warm up provided the sun is out. It was turning out to be one of those nice days so we ate breakfast and enjoyed the property. 

We walked around to where the house used to be and imagined ourselves there a few years ago, we had some fond memories of the old location. Our walk then continued on down to the creek which for the first half of the past decade has been dry, it now had a nice stream of water flowing down it which was good to see. It still needs more though plus a good flood to wash down some of the debris and muck. From here we wandered over to the dam which was the fullest we had ever seen it. The house and shed in the new location are shaping up quite well. The house is being rebuilt better than before with internal skinning and 2 bedrooms, kitchen and 2 living areas - both with fireplaces. It looked comfortable enough but once it's finished it should be quite nice.

Before we knew it, it was midday and we still has a 4 hour drive to get home. Now the woes of going home were becoming real. We kept our heads up and made it as much of a fun experience as possible under the circumstances after 37 days of pure freedom.  We packed up the van and dragged ourselves into action. On the way out it was interesting to see how much the place had changed since our last visit. So much bush had grown since the end of the drought that some parts were unrecognisable. A lot of the track had washed away too, 5-10 years ago we used to bring the van and 2wds up here quite regularly but now it was a challenge requring some clearance to get around some washed out bits of track which made it much slower than it used to be but we got and and re-shut the gates.

And so we were on our way home. The first thing was to get some coffee on the way somewhere, Ilford had nothing so we kept going on to Running Stream where we stumbled across a little cafe restaurant called Foxwood Farm. Here we grabbed some toasted sandwiches and coffee - it was awesome. The menu was all yummy hearty food which looked great for eating in on a cold winter's night. We will have to go back there some time. By the time we hit the road again it was after 2pm and we still had 200kms to get home so with food in our bellies and caffeine in the system we marched on towards Lithgow. The van was still quite heavy so for some of the big mountain climbs we had to go right back to 2nd gear and 15km/h which hurt our time. Then after Lithgow, we took the Bells Line as it's better for us getting to the Northside - more killer hills - more 2nd gear.

The rest of the Bells Line wasn't too bad as we caught up to a chain of traffic which we were able to keep up with so it was pretty relaxed. At 4pm we got home. After 8000km and 37 days we had done 4 border crossings in 3 states. Over 20 crossings of the Murray-Darling and their tributaries, zero roadkill, several days and nights without showering and some hair-raising and scary moments, as well as a whole wealth of happy, fond and lifelong memories we will treasure forever, we were now back home. Before we had even finished unpacking we found the showers too tempting. I did 2 x soapings and a triple shampoo - I never felt cleaner!
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