ga Oscar's Adventures: Two Days On The Road

March 17, 2009

Two Days On The Road

We're just outside the seaside town of Narooma, parked up and enjoyiong a freshly cooked lunch of laksa noodles in a public rest stop in the Bodalla National Park where, set in a small gravelled loop amongst the eucalyptus trees, there are barbeque pits, picnic tables, a water point and sites for campers and tent. All of this is well maintained and free. Why can't laybys in the UK be like this, instead of full of lorries eating greasy food from burger vans that should be shut down by Food Standards?

But let's leap back a day to our departure from Sydney. It was another typical slow start, but that's only to be expected when travelling with a baby. Oscar is "one bodies work" as Rachel likes to point out, leaving me to do the cooking, portering and driving. We finally got checked out of the hotel at 9:30am but rather than hare off to the Britz camper depot we sat in the sun and had breakfast al fresco.

After we were replete with scrambled eggs, bacon, croissant and toast we headed off. We've got the knack of Sydney's public transport and skipped the obligatory monorail ride (that should be the last time you read that word in this blog) and walked the 10 minutes into the CBD and caught our train from Town Hall. A half hour later we were at Britz's yard and sorting through our belongings and trying to shoehorn a month's worth of clothing and baby items into a camper that was designed for a fortnights use at the most. It's a good job Britz gave us a free upgrade when they saw Rae, Oscar and baggae train (i.e. me) arrive in their office.

The camper has all the mod cons - an airconditioned drivers cab, a TV/DVD player (which reads AVI files!), battery and mains powered electricity, microwave, fridge, cooker, toilet/shower and beds for 4 adults. We've positioned Oscar on the drop down dining tablette where there is space for his pop-up travel cot.

With all the necessary preparations made we hit the road and plodded painfully through the suburbs of Sydney until we hit the Princes Highway, where we continued to plod along. I expected a modern highway, but it's my fault for not believeing Google's Street View which clearly showed a main arterial route passing through commercial and housing zones. It's not too different from Highway 101 in Northern California, or what the old A14 would have been like before every town and village between Birmingham and Cambridge had a bypass built around it. Where I was bemoaning our progress at the start I was singing the praises of the Princes Highway not long afterwards because we weren't cut off from AUstralia and got to see the views and people of the south coastal of New South Wales that driving down a walled off super-highway would not have rewarded us with. Sure, we'd have got there an hour quicker but we could have been anywhere in the world.

And so we came to Huskisson, on the shores of Jervis Bay, on Monday evening. It was a great deal later than I had hoped to arrive so we didn't get to see anything of the white sand beaches (which are the whitest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records) until the morning after. The campsite we were booked in was stunning - set on the shores of one of the inlets that feeds the bay our spot was right on the waterfront, facing a mangrove swamp, where Oscar could see the fish jumping and pelicans gliding in for a snack. Once Ozzie was fed we took him for a paddle in the pool but the air was chilly and so we opted for a barbeque instead. With mummy and daddy fed up it was time to tuck the boy in to bed and for us to sit quietly outside, enjoying the Milky Way above us and the alien noises coming from the surrounding bush, watching a movie and enjoying TimTams and tea.

Tuesday was a much earlier start because Rae and I woke up with the dawn chorus. We shouted at Dawn to get her to shut up but she was having none of it. Half an hour later Oscar woke so we started making preparations to get going, and by the time we'd checked out it was 9am and the roads were clear. The satnav said we had 180 kms and 2-3/4 hrs of driving to go and this far south where the roads are empty and the towns over 50 kms apart I'd soon shaved off 30 minutes.

And so here we are, in a rest stop near Narooma with 15 kms to go!


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