DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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30 May 2013

The long and winding road

I had such a wonderful time on the 1500km trip from home to Tricia's. I got up at 12.30am, had a cup of tea and a crumpet, organised myself and drove out the driveway at 1.45am, heading south. The trip to the Gold Coast, which usually takes two hours, took only 90 minutes at that hour and by the time I reached the southern end of the Gold Coast it was 3.30. I pulled over and had a walk around and a cup of coffee, then crossed over into New South Wales at around 4am. I drove down the Pacific Highway until sunrise, then turned inland at Grafton and headed for Armidale.

This is the road from Grafton to Armidale. It's lined with thousands of tree ferns and other rain forest species and winds up across the Great Diving Range, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Climbing up through the mountains, the long and winding road overlooks some spectacular scenery, and then, out of nowhere, a red light!
This photo was taken at the summit, from a lonely lookout, where the trees parted to give the perfect private viewing of the clouds below, with mountain peaks poking through.

The New England Highway is bordered on both sides by trees with either autumn colours or bare branches; it is spectacular. The countryside is brown, in sharp contrast to home where consistent rain over summer has kept everything beautifully green. I was surprised to see quite a few businesses and shops with closing down signs, and two pubs for sale. I haven't seen that before. A sad sign on the times, I guess.

Lunch was had in Tamworth and I happily drove on with short bursts of loud singing, interesting and  intelligent discussion on Radio National, the window down, then up, and stopping occasionally to take a photo or two. I wanted to reach Tricia's before dark so apart from one stop to fill up on fuel and one for a toilet break in Mudgee, I drove on. Sure enough, I pulled into Tricia's driveway just after five. She was waiting, the fire was blazing and hot soup was ready to be served.

Tricia with Johnathan by the fire.
Lunch with Tricia and David.

Tricia is looking after her grandson Johnathan at the moment. Yesterday, Tricia, Johnathan and my nephew David, all went to the Megalong Tea Rooms for lunch. This little cafe deep in the Megalong Valley has been operating in the same location since the 1940s. The menu is simple, delicious and mostly home-made. After lunch David helped us with the shopping for the workshops and then took the train home.  

I'm not sure what we're doing today, Tricia might be coming down with a cold so it might be a day of knitting in front of the fire. Poor us. LOL


26 comments:

  1. Glad to hear that you got there safely and are enjoying yourself!

    I love the New England Highway, it is an absolutely delightful drive. Last time that we went along it, we stopped to pick a few apples from one of the many trees.

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  2. So glad you're having a nice time with Tricia! I can't wait to hear more and I hope she stays healthy so you can have more fun together. :)

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  3. The road you traveled looks lush and green. I try to hit the road early when traveling but you get going really early. Have fun and I look forward to hearing more about your time with your family.

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  4. I love the New England Highway, especially in Autumn when the leaves are turning. We drove it many times when we lived in Melbourne and came home to Brissy for holidays.

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  5. Waiting to hear more news about your trip and love to see more pictures.....

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  6. I love that you are independent enough to just get in a car and go and enjoy the drive. My husband flips whenever I say im going home (bush) on my own. Its not like I haven't done the trip a hundred times and if he were with me, I would still be driving. I love going on trips by myself and I would especially love to do your route. Saw it once in a big rush and would love to have taken my time to stop at all those little town and admire the scenery.

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  7. What a lovely way to spend a day, in front of the fire knitting and chatting. Enjoy your stay.

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  8. Knitting in front of a fire sounds like a perfect day.

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  9. What a long but lovely drive!

    Enjoy your time with your sister - so special.

    Deanna

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  10. Thanks for sharing the photos. I've never been to your country and always enjoy your pictures. Good luck with the workshops!

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  11. Wow I can't believe you drove all that way - what a trooper! Tricia's grandson is lovely. :-)

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  12. Oh I love the Armidale area - very glad you got a good run and time to gaze at valleys (the universe has stop lights that are not so apparent lol).

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful drive, can just picture it in my mind. Hope you have a lovely stay with your sister and enjoy every minute of it. Pam xx

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  14. How brave you were driving such a long way alone, so glad you got to your Sister,s safely! Have a lovely visit!

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  15. Thank you for sharing this lovely drive with us. I'm glad you made it safely. You are a brave lady to go that distance alone.

    FlowerLady

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  16. Sounds like you will be having a wonderful time. I so enjoy seeing your pictures of Australia as I will most likely never see it in person but I think that if I were to ever decide to take a really long plane trip it would be to Australia. (Over 10,000 miles from New Hampshire to Australia and 22 hours by plane.) Enjoy!

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  17. I have been reading your posts for a couple of years and love them

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  18. Umm... what is the purpose of the red light in such an isolated place? Hidden entrance? Long truck coming your way? Animals crossing? A curious mind would like to know.

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  19. Ahhh sister time.. Relax and enjoy , Rhonda!!

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  20. Its a lovely drive the way you went and with mobile phones these days, its not so scarey. Wouldn't like to break down on the New England Highway but you were on it during the day. Enjoy Joy

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  21. Megalong Valley brings memories of The Hydro Majestic, The Paragon in Katoomba, Leura Falls - home for me. I lived in the Blue Mountains for 12 years but that was almost 30 years ago now and I've not seen Megalong since then. I'm sure it would have been on the cool side but what a lovely trip for you ... and all alone. Brave girl.

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  22. I love that trip down the New England highway! We take the same route down from the Sunny coast to Bathurst. I can't believe you did it in one day!! And by yourself too. Hope you have a lovely visit with your sister.

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  23. Love a solo road trip - so good for clearing the mind, almost meditative. And nothing like a good ol' sing-a-long in the car!
    We have towns with a lot of closing down/for sale signs in nthn nsw. I think the past couple of years has really battered some of the smaller towns. Murwillumbah is one that comes to mind, lots of empty shops, but there are many others. Hard times for many with so many natural disasters to contend with as well.

    From what I've heard since being back at work though, things are starting to pick up for business in our town.

    Have a wonderful time with your sister in the mountains , Rhonda. Would be chilly there now . Enjoy that fire :)
    x
    Megan

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  24. Hi Rhonda,
    I'm so glad you arrived safely in our cold area. I was wondering if you would come by train or car. What a lovely road trip you've had !
    As Barbara said, "sisters..." it's the best feeling to be with one another. Mine is half the world away, and thanks God for Skype, we have our laughs on internet now. I don't know where I would be without her. I am here in my sofa, imagining the totally loveling evening you are spending with each other, what a warm feeling !
    I am so looking forward to meeting you on Sunday,
    Corinne

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  25. That looks like such a nice drive! I'm an Aussie in Canada at the moment and I love seeing bits of home (even though home is actually the West side, but it still looks more home than here!) That whole drive sounds like something to do one day, maybe starting at the top and down and around to Adelaide and maybe even across! Have a fantastic time with your sister and family.

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  26. Wow, that's beautiful country! Hope you have a wonderful trip. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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