We left Dalmeny after a night of rampant wind and occasional rain. But by the time we made it past Bega and into Moruya, the weather had become sunny.
We stopped at a little market and I bougght a kilo of prawns for $13 and a whole smoked trout for $5.50 – cheap compared to Melbourne! (And as we’ve been spending more on petrol than accommodation, I didn’t feel too guilty.)
M bought a book on winemaking (I have my fingers crossed) and we got a loaf of fabulous sourdough. We went to a cafe where M and I shared fruit toast – we had bought museli at a health food co-op in XXXX which turned out to be so truly devoid of any taste other than cardboard that I had elected to go without breakfast at all. I had my first Eccochino and M had a coffee.
Moruya was a pretty cool place. We didn’t get back on the road until 11am, but vowed to clear Sydney before finding somewhere to stay for the night. We were valilant and pressed on, even though by about 1pm I was drooling at the thought of prawns on fresh buttered sourdough. ‘
At about 3pm we detoured off the freeway to Mt Keira lookout. We apologised to Vanee as he did his best to climb the hill, having to sit in first gear to get to the top. The air at the lookout was crisp, and the view of Wollongong was spectacular. I assume that, from the amount of boring souless houses I could see through the binoculars, the lookout might offer the most flattering view of the town. M says that ‘the truth is that Wollongong is one of those towns that have heaps of soul – just watch Aunty Jack‘ – so I am probably just being a cynical cow.
There were huge ships out to sea that looked like matchboxes. The surf looked good. We got stuck into our prawns and trout, as a wedding party gathered around us. They seemed to be waiting for the bride and groom. They were all shivering in their glad rags in the cold mountain air.
After eating a most wondrous lunch, while looking at the killer view, we scooted back down the mountain and merged back on to the freeway. M kept on driving, waving away my offers to drive.
We didn’t stop after that. We did some obligatory nuffing around in Sydney, where the road signs are strategically arranged to give you the least information possible, but finally got on our way via Hornsby.
A quick investigaton of Brooklyn left me lusting to visit it again on the way down. Brooklyn and Tilba Tilba are now high on my list of ‘Excellent Places I’d Like To Live’. Unfortunately there are no camping grounds in either Brooklyn, or the nearby, almost-as-lustworthy Mooney Mooney.
We battled on and took the turnoff to Toukley, where M’s mother lived for many years. The first few times I met her she was still living in Toukley – where there is both lakes and surf. Directly off the highway before the part of Toukley that we are familiar with, there was the most soul destroying six or seven acres of the most vile McMansion style excuse for architecture that I’ve ever seen. Each house bore down upon the next, with tiny gardens and hulking garages. Everything about them screamed UNSUSTAINALBE LIVING- expensive to heat, time consuming to clean and expensive to keep cool. And you could forget about having a private area for a spot of nudie sunbathing. Gah. M and I projectile vomited at the lot of them and drove through to familiar territory.
We didn’t visit his mum’s old house, for fear of what might have transpired in her absence, but continued on to the Budgewoi caravan park, where M is now finishing off the prawns and smoked trout. I belligerently ate two minute noodles for dinner, as I’m feeling a bit out of sorts after two nights of really bad sleep, which have left me exhausted and itchy with eczema. I am such a princess! The mattress in the van is so thin that my hips and shoulders and feet go right through it to the wooden base when I’m lying on my side. M, who doesn’t have hips, is not having issues. Tonight I am going to add a sleeping bag into the mix – I’m going to lie on it, on top of the mattress, and see if that helps. Goodnight Australia.