Tuesday, 1 December 2009

driving in the natural air

There is something iconic about driving in stinking hot weather, windows down, music loud enough to be heard over the wind and engine noise. It is something that air conditioning in cars has robbed us of ... for Maria, Heidi and I, 1650 kms in 2 and a half days at 85 km/h, windows down the whole way from an hour out of Melbourne ... much more enjoyable than we imagined it might be.

I frequently leaned my head out the window and inhaled deeply. The smells of the countryside were good food. I got so hot in the afternoons on the passenger side that Maria retreated to the drivers side rear seat to leave me alone in the front. The overnight at Governors Hill in Goulburn has become a regular stop. The '2 star' restaraunt nearby has had its last patronage from us though ... I knew I was in trouble when I asked if the fish could be grilled, and the order taker/chef (who would have looked more at home in the mechanics shop) told me he wasn't sure because the it came frozen.

The beach front park at Coffs was a differnt story ... went for a walk on the beach after we got in after a 700k day and we opted for a self cook dinner. We were wondering why it was getting light so early until we realised that in this part of the world we are probably a 1000kms east of Melbourne, but in ther same time zone, so the sun is up at not much after 5.

A little highlight on the way was stopping at New Italy. Only an hour or so short of Byron Bay, this oasis cafe has great Italian coffee and deserts, but more sugnificantly has a museum and pavillion celebrating the Italian migrants that settled in the region a hundred years ago.

"parked at New Italy, nearly there ..."

We dropped Heidi with her friends in Byron Bay and have had an amzing 24 hours in Brunswick Heads. This place is incredible. We've eaten very well, gone for an early morning walk, a bike ride, I've had a few swims in the surf, we've wandered around the local shops, caste a line in the river chasing the huge fish that you can see in the glassy smooth flow, cooked, and generally just pottered around at snails pace.

... and we've settled well into 'grey nomad' observation/fascination mode as we did on our first yurting adventure.