roadtrip recap – byron to sydney

We drove back over two days through towns I’ve heard of forever.  Trouble was, that by the time we got to many of them, we were over the hours of freeway and couldn’t be bothered to stop for long, if at all. Just wanted to get home.

In hindsight it would have been better to do it all in reverse. Drive up, holiday wedding holiday, fly back. We were tired.

When I spend any length of time in Byron I think I want to live there. I really don’t. Both ends of the town there are one lane roads in and out – traffic jam in paradise twice a day every day! The town itself is always packed. Locals, backpackers, and high end tourists. Strange mix. The weather is tropical, beaches beautiful, and all of the many eating places are queued up. Always.

We stayed somewhere different this time. A fairly newly built house, very hot but with a great outdoor area. Positioned for the cross breeze and with a small pool that you could walk right into. No ‘cold cold’ dip your toe and take your time submerging…

At night, in bed, you could hear conversations from houses away. No, I couldn’t live there. You could also stand in the driveway though and see the whole universe in the sky….can’t do that in the inner city!

Day one of the drive and after a goodbye coffee and muffin (Hello – you can hardly just call that a muffin. It’s a Large work of gastronomic art. One flavour per day and today’s had big chunks of chocolate and a banana goo in the middle, still warm and runny OMG) from Top Shop, a short detour for a 1km walk in a national park to some falls. Drive drive drive then lunch in Grafton, a hipster café that the others had coincidentally eaten at on the way up (we found out later)! I don’t know why, since Sydney has changed so much, I wasn’t expecting country nsw to be like that…  Next stop was the Big Banana. I’ve been telling the offspring for years ‘it’s not that big’ but little one needed a refresher – didn’t remember visiting when really really little. A few photos and onwards. Petrol stop in Macksville, population 4,500 (I think the sign said) many of them surely at the petrol station it took so long to be our turn. Finally to Port Macquarie and a swim for the little one at Town Beach – one of several beautiful beaches they’re blessed with. At this point we’ve almost caught up with the others and end up at the same old-school motel just down the road. Ah Woongarra what a great night we had. Such friendly Sydney escapee owners, serene walk on the waterfront across the road, and fish and chips all round. Who wouldn’t slow down and be calm there…

Day two let’s go home. I had the old-school motel breakfast just because I wanted to see if it was really going to come through that hole in the wall. It did. And it was good. We didn’t stop til Newcastle. Another swim and a recommended bagel for the little one. A drive around old stomping grounds, sadly unrecognisable…could have been another place, a life time ago.  AND HOME – strange how you can be tired and keen to get there, restless once you are.

😉

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small town of the south

 

That’s as cold as I ever want to be. The cramps in my calf, and my traps screamed heart failure and yet, back in familiar climes, all is well. Anxiety monster latches on to anything and feeds. 

Anyhoo…we sprinted from car to gallery and, burst through the door with flourish, turning all heads within. Eyes up from coffees and breakfasts, to assess the newly arrived. Bizarrely, to my right and glimpsed in peripheral vision (do Not make eye contact and it didn’t happen), playing guitar is the food blessing waiter from last night! Different venue, very different role – same clothes but hey I don’t have a problem with that. Just a real Fawlty Towers moment. 

I believe this town runs on people in single digits. The manicurist’s friend owned the lunch restaurant, worked in the dinner venue, served in tomorrow’s lunch spot. She surely must know this singing peace sign sharer as well. He showed no surprise at our explosive entrance, or at seeing us at all – just flashed a V with two fingers between strums on our way out. No eye contact on way in, I flashed a smile to his V, rock on he returned without a change of facial expression. 

And then the long drive, not home til the fog lifts.

 

Small town of the south

Misty organic paddocks

One winter visit