“it’s all part of the adventure…!”
this was the quote that became the theme and anger management mantra on the great ocean road trip of march 2014 when three american ladies conquered the beautiful tourist trek in a completely shit (anti-wicked) van with a pot smoking santa caroling all the way. it has stuck with alicia and i as we kicked off our coastie road trip to see ‘straya in all its beach and country glory…FINALLY!
mayhem is a word that comes to mind whilst gathering supplies, exchanging and accepting various ideas, saying goodbyes to the melbs crew that alicia has established these past 9 months and that i have been lucky enough to connect with since our first light bulb clicked on about this journey back in december. i have been calling on my patience and learning to accept that sometimes people hang onto things..meaningful things, but things that take up room in a tiny car that has no actual room. turns out, i am my fathers daughter…i have adopted a simpler life of gypsy ways and less becomes more and always less stressful for me personally. leaving on tuesday, 15 july (our previously set departure date) turned into leaving on thursday, 17 july which was worth the wait as our already full of personality car, powla charade, received a custom graffiti gift from a dear friend and artist to send us off in seattle style. it was a late start when we did finally fuel up and get out of the city where our goal of getting to beautiful wilson’s promotory resulted in two failed attempts at setting up camp in the pissing rain and brutal wind, giving in to a cheap motel for the night in forster, which as i learned in my tassie travel days in november, is worth splurging for sometimes. our gear did not have a prayer for drying out, but the hot shower saved our souls and our sense of adventure was again warmed and restored.
our first camping mission impossible was followed by a cold night of camping and surviving a rain and wind storm in mallacoota, VI. where although we came out of it a bit frozen and wind blown, wouldn’t be the coldest we would find…weren’t we on a journey towards sunshine and queensland warmth?! compasses a little worse for the wear, we found ourselves in cooma, NSW and found snow…and a cute pop and granddaughter duo making a legit snowman. another splurge for roofed accommodation on the cheap and we found random friends at a hopping small town bar, doubling as our motel…joy. the journey continued and we were en route to canberra where the capital of australia reminded us of the capital in the hunger games. we decided to get cultured at the national museum of australia which i found myself completely lost and found in. so much knowledge and history to consume, as a history buff and museum nerd, i was in my element. eating lunch curbside outside the old parliament house resulted in some humorous gazes from passers by and a few excited comments from school children on field trips and educational tours…calling our car a hippie car…which she is and yes, we must be too. the smiles on the youth faces sparked a hope in me that they too, someday, will get to experience something like the path we are on.
onward to sydney. again feeling spoiled, i entered the city where my australian travel adventures began last spring (american autumn). we pulled in after nightfall, doing our best to navigate the bondi beach neighbourhood to find alicia’s friend alex’s place where we were to have dinner and crash for the night. oh that night. it turned out to be a beautiful one with the most amazing group of italians, eating amazing pesto lasagna and baked ziti, playing music, drinking heaps of cheap wine and i somehow found myself comfortable enough in this group of complete strangers to pipe in and sing some oldies…one small leap for my stage fright. we made an american style breakfast for the crew the next morning to thank them for the hospitality and teaching us some helpful italian phrases like “la cucina è chiusa” (the kitchen is closed) and “prego!” (for saying hey you and basically everything including thank you). we explored bondi beach in daylight and the surrounding areas of watson’s bay and with a request from alicia to find the place that you can see the views you see on the post cards, off we went to luna park where my navigating did not disappoint. opera house, harbour bridge, circular quay, check check and check! my beautiful little love olivia, who i worked with at the warradale back in adelaide, was gracious enough to host us, having just moved up to sydney, meeting her amazingly theatrical housemates was a real treat, cooking dinner for them was well received…my chicken fettuccine wins again. keen to see her cute new digs and check out some neighborhoods made for my hipster kind, we discovered newtown where i could absolutely live someday. rooftop bars are apparently the place alicia and i seem to be lucky enough to experience together when we are learning new cities. can’t complain. i even got to meet an incredible old friend of my girl vanessa’s (adelaide beauty and bestie) whilst painting the town red. new to sydney, i got to play tour guide the following day for alicia and liv so a walk through hyde park and the NSW state library (where i found a safe haven my first week in syd) was on the cards before hydrating ourselves back in newtown for happy hour. life is beautiful, it’s a small world after all. all i know right now is…this road trip life is my style.