Greetings and salutations readers, and welcome once more to another update in the wierd and wonderful life and times of Gary as he continues his way around Australia.
And yes, as I hinted in my previous entry we are now back on the move again - after an eventful last few days in Sydney. My final few days were taken up with chores, and doing the few things left in Sydney I wanted to do before leaving. My final night was spent with some of the friends I have made in my time there, and am now quite sad to leave behind in fact. A few of the guys from work came round and we had a few quiet beers before my departure the next morning.......
Well actually thats a lie. For some reason, i am not sure why - we decided on the challenge of a centurion - thats 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes for those of you not in the know. Now, whilst many fell at the wayside - Jammo and myself succesfully completed this challenge - our closest rival finishing at a lowly 49 shots - and both felt great the next morning - honest!
By midday on the friday I was on the road again - with Krystle acting as my guide and navigator on what would become the madest adventure to date! We began by heading to Woolongong - simply for the name, because there really wasnt anything there at all apart from a very nice beach backed by a large factory of some description! Still, we did only go to just get a photo of us by the sign to say we had been! (All photos from the roadtrip are in Krystles custody so they will be on here as soon as she gets round to updating her website and I can steal them!)
We diverted off our planned route briefly to take in Kangaroo Valley - no Kangaroos yet tho, yet being the key word.......... Here we stopped in a local pub for local people - they really didnt seem to like foreigners around these parts! It was here I also got a taste for Krystles lack of driving ablitiy, around hairpin bends, which would haunt us later on in the trip.......!
I also had to stop at the sign which simply said - "WORLDS GREATEST PIES" - i was very excited, but I am sad to report that the search for a pie deserving of such a grand title still goes on......
We eventually made our way to our first stop which was the capital city itself, Canberra. In typical backpacker style we stayed above the casino and enjoyed the free minibar for a change - plus the inclusive feast of a breakfast the next morning! Eggs benedict, hmmmm - not convinced!
After touring the parliament house and deciding this was without doubt the wierdest of cities - purpose built and without much character or atmosphere - we made tracks towards somewhere which simply had to be the opposite - Wagga Wagga - pronounced Wogga Wogga - and all because we decided we had to see an exhibiton of 200 door**** , this inland towns biggest claim to fame!
So imagine our suprise when we arrive to find nobody around, and a museum full of old tractors and farm machinery! And no door**** , nobody in the town seemed to have ever heard of them when we asked the rather strange question "Excuse me, but where are the 200 door**** ?" They simply did not exist - the rough guide book had been lying to us - and we had walked into a museum straight out of Texas chainsaw massacre! My favorite part being the Water butt - labeled up to show that it was used to store water.............!
Perhaps it was the disapointment of our failure in Wagga Wagga that lead to the next few hours of total chaos - perhaps it was bad luck - or perhaps it was just meant to be for entertainment value alone! Heading for Coomba in the snowy mountains we found the road ahead shut after driving 100 kilometers down it. So, we were forced to return to the town where we had stopped for lunch. When i say town, i mean village, and when i say village i mean place where i would not have stayed if my life depended on it - and a place where they played "My boy lolly-pop" in a pub where people just stared at you!
It was on turning round that things started to take a turn for the worst - Krystle managed to get a little carried away and ignore a t-junction, locking all wheels up and sliding across it with a mighty skid - nice bald spots were then on the tyres for the rest of the trip - and despite her attempts to continue, ( and pull out into the side of an approaching car at the next junction) it was decided best for her to get out of the drivers seat and let me take over. Now at sunset, I became quickly aware of the problems ahead when we rounded a corner and saw Skippy the Kanagroo on the other side of the road, he skipped happily across the front of my rapidly decelerating car and we missed him by inches.
However, later on - Bruce the Kangaroo was not so lucky! I slowed and missed the first, i slowed enough to miss the second, but the third was always going to struggle and smacked firmly into the front left bumper with an almighty thump - Krystle screaming like crazy. Now, i would firstly like to point out that if Kangaroos are stupid enough to follow others like lemmings, there will always be trouble - and secondly we didnt find a body, i would like to think he is ok, if not a little bit shaken by his meeting with a toyota corolla - a toyota which did quite obvioulsy show the signs of its encounter with the bumper hanging off!
After this misadventure we decided it was best not to stay in hicksville any longer and decided to get back to Canberra as quickly as possible and accept our losses. Heading from the town I found a sign for Canberra, 125 kilometers via Brindabella - Great I think, i'll take that for a route, and we can stop in Brindabella for petrol. As it turned out, Brindabella was a national park and the route to Canberra was all dirt tracks for the best pary of 90k's...... I did think I had actually killed us both at one point, and it was the longest 2 hours of my life! However the relief of seeing a sign for Canberra and the lights of the cirty was probably the best feeling of my life!!
From here on we stayed on the straight and narrow until we got to Melbourne, where we arrived on Monday morning after a night in Bairnsdale on the south coast off the Princess highway in what can only be described as a room from 1970's horror.
Reunited with Josh, Emma, Sally and Ricky in Melbourne was only going to lead to drunkeness - and it came in the form of Neighbours night. And yes , as the photos show - I did meet Harold Bishop. Today we have also done the neighbours tour, and been to the real Ramsay street - Plus we got to meet and greet with Dr Karl Kennedy himself - a true delight!
On Wednesday I took Krystle out for the day as it was her last before heading home. We went for a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson around the city - it was awesome, and I am now giving serious thought to getting one when I get back to the UK! After Krys flew back to Sydney, Josh, Sal and myself went to the open air cinema by the banks of the river Yarra - the biggest screen i have ever seen, was quite something!
Jammo arrived on Saturday with Leah, and we the boys have since been off to the golf course in Albert park, Burning ourselves nicely in the process - although at least the heat has dropped off, we hit 39 degrees a few days back. Still, our next stop is Alice Springs, which I heard a rumour about, and that may be a little bit hotter...........