Sydney and Beyond – Winter Madness

Au Revoir

You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day

By Lindsay Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac

We watched a beautiful sunset over the lake and village on Saturday night and packed and left Sunday morning. We have let the apartment for six months so there really is no turning back. Mr. Gato DU kicked into life first start, shuddered then lowered his head forward towards the Bruce Highway. We were going south – first stop Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast to visit with old friends Ron and Sue Quain. We were booked into Treasure Island Holiday Park, not because we like water parks or screaming kids but because it is located near Ron and Sue’s home. The Gold Coast is something else but a walk along the Broadwater in the morning and the view towards Surfers is worth the time and effort through the morning traffic and diesel fumes. Sunday evening was a most enjoyable and convivial catch-up with the Quains. Like many, due to Covid, we had not been able to get together for over a year. It is one of life’s real pleasures catching up with old friends over a glass or two. Besides, Ron and I can BS each other about how good we were as cricketers in our Auckland days.

The Broadwater – looking towards Surfers Paradise. Photo courtesy of Scout

Monday morning saw us back on the Pacific Highway, Sydney Bound. Our plan is to spend Easter and three weeks at Narabeen Campground then about a month in Northern Victoria – a region we have not spent much time in before. It seems odd as everyone else is going north for the warmer climate in Queensland and Northern Territory. But we have been delayed in making our usual foray to Sydney in January as we have had the “Americans” with us until the end of March. Tammy, Glenn and the grandkids – Pippa, Seb and Jess – stopped on the Sunshine Coast before returning to Boulder Co. after three months in NZ.

We have followed this route south to Sydney before. The first hour or so’s drive through the Gold Coast is hellish and I am reminded of my previous musings. It seems easier just to repeat these as nothing has changed – certainly not for the better. So here is something from January 2019:

“To my mind the Gold Coast can be described as the glamour coast, surfer’s paradise, shopping centre sprawl or shithole – take your pick. Certainly the 150 kms of M1 that goes through it is as unpleasant a drive as it is possible to find. I have driven through a reasonable number of countries in the world and Aussie drivers take the cake as the worst anywhere. Tailgating, absence of use of indicators, speeding, speeding while tailgating, driving 20kms below the speed limit in the outside lane, constant lane changing, constant lane changing while speeding and just general rudeness are the norm. These traits seem to be taught at drive school. Otherwise the Pacific Highway is a quite pleasant open highway”.

Some nervousness has set in as Brisbane has been declared a Covid hotspot after an outbreak there over the past week and Gold Coast is implicated. We think we are ok having not been near the hotspots and being in NSW while it all takes off is more settling. We will just have to wait and see. Meanwhile we are now in Reflections Campground (yes there is a campground by this name) in Evans Head. Already Scout has found us a bush and beach walk, an hours yoga with a fellow camper who teaches and a very nice cafe near the river. The yoga was great, the coffee ok and the bushwalk happens tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Sydney and Beyond – Winter Madness

  1. Hi Judy and Alan
    Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) with children and grandchildren scattered all over we have to get about. That’s our excuse anyway.
    Love to you both
    M and M


  2. Great reading news of Mr Gato experiences once again, and looking forward to seeing you both when you get to Sydney..keep well and drive safely not like those luneticks.
    With our love.
    Thea and Andrew


  3. Hi Margaret and Mike…what wonderful adventures you have as you travel. We so enjoy your travel tales. Have fun as you venture South.


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