Monday, November 28, 2011

The Big Adventure Begins

The Journey has begun.

There is no itinerary for the next 3 months.

We're winging it.

Happy Days.

For me, planning just takes all the fun and spontaneity out of the adventure. I actually can't think of anything worse right now than having to adhere to a schedule, the very thing we are trying to escape from.

We would like to be in Alice Springs for Christmas but other than that we'll just see where the mood takes us. A lot of what we do will be depend on what the wet season brings up north as well as how the 6 individuals in our family cope with the pace of travel.

We are onto Day 3 though and travelling along rather nicely. Everyone is happy. Not a single "Are we there yet?" from the kids and Matilda the Caravan is doing us especially proud. She is towing nicely with her wheels still firmly attached to her axles which is a bonus.

The ground rules were swiftly put into place within the first hour of driving. I will promise not to be an annoying backseat driver or give the Pianoman a hard time with his atrocious caravan-reversing skills and he will promise not to point out or comment on every spec of dirt to the kids whilst driving through the countryside. I think if we can adhere to these simple rules we have a very good chance of reaching our 10 year anniversary in December. The kids have promised to limit their shenanigans to areas outside of the car and do whatever we say by the time we count to 3. We have had to start the count many times but haven't got to 3 yet. I don't know what we will do if we get to 3. Any suggestions?

So here is a bit of what we have done the last 3 days.

We left Sydney looking like this

But within a couple of hours we had driven through the beautiful Blue Mountains and the view was like this as we picnicked at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah.

Then into Gold Rush Country followed by the beautiful wine country where we spent our first night in Orange. I wish I had photos to share of this part of the trip, the scenery was spectacular and the quaint country towns with their period architecture were charming, but I was too busy enjoying the view.

Day 2 took us to Parkes where we visited the amazing 64m diameter Radio Telescope where live images of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon walk were received. What is less well known is its role in rescuing Apollo 13 on its journey back to Earth by monitoring the radio signals from the stricken spacecraft. We also got to see a 3D movie on Mars which the kids loved.

From here we travelled on to Outback NSW. And just 2 days out of Sydney we arrive at the Bogan Shire where we camp along the Bogan River and mixed with the local Bogans. I'm not being rude, this place actually exists!

I was very curious but I managed to stave off the urge to ask the locals whether the derogatory word "Bogan" originated here or what they thought of sharing their name with this delightful term. All jokes aside, Nyngan has been a real surprise package and we are staying here another night. We have literally spent the whole time chilling out by the river with hardly a soul to be seen. The local Bogans are so friendly, it's a place where they call you "Darl", tell you casually to mind the brown snakes in the river and have signs out the front of their Milk Bars like this:

We are heading towards Broken Hill tomorrow and have been told there is not much between here and there so we could be in for a long drive tomorrow. I'll leave you with some pics of our stay here in lovely Nyngan.

The Bogan River looking fresh and teeming with life after the rains.

The Bogan River at Dusk

The Whippet

Blue Eyes trying his luck with yabbies

Feeding Fergus the Donkey

And Cecil the Camel

More mud action

The face I get when I suggest its shower time.


  1. Sounds like a great start to a grand adventure. I still get that face when I suggest it's bath-time ... and then can't get them out! Safe travelling.

  2. Just found your blog via another one, via another one! love your enthusiasm and great photos too. you are doing what I've always wanted to do but....
    I've bookmarked you in my 'fave blogs' section so I can follow your journey! We live in the Mackay area of Qld. I'll look out for your gorgeous green and white van along the roads and YES... it is a beauty...

  3. Looks like the perfect road trip already, love that pick of bogan river. Love that you're taking the whippet along too!

  4. Your kids are just beautiful. It sounds like it is going to be a fantastic trip.

  5. What classic shots, Mel! It sounds a grand adventure indeed. I am really looking forward to seeing it unfold. J x

  6. You're having a fantastic experience! Love the sculpture park. What a stunning setting.