Monday, 9 February 2015

Rubber Tramping

Happy Australia Day folks! -26 January

that was one HELL of a
On Tuesday January 27, 2015 I finally got the keys to my very first own car!
The day started early by packing everything into my backpack again (for the last time, in a long time) and checking out of my hostel on the corner of Chinatown in Melbourne.
I have had a whole week on my own by that time, being miserable about being alone and wanting to leave the city so bad. But Tuesday finally came!
So I took the tram to North Coburg where my car would be waiting for me. Once there, I threw everything in it, set my GPS for Vic roads in Frankston and set of!
About an hour later I arrived at Vic roads almost 2 hours too early for my registration appointment. No biggie. I walked around the industrial park a bit bought a delicious (self composed) sandwich and headed back to the car. I parked him at the far end of the parking and started to make things like home (put the sheets on my mattress unpacked my backpack and gave everything I have a place to live in the car, which, mind you, isn't that much anymore as a backpacker). By the time I finished, it was time for my appointment. That got settled fairly easy and about 45 min later I was on the road!

My next chapter had begun!

But the day was just going too good, something had to go wrong. And so it did…
Barely an hour after I left Vic roads I had an accident, so so so stupid. It happened on a roundabout and I am convinced that I wasn't 100% in fault. Completely in shock, of course, I started hyperventilating and shaking all over.
Long story short, this is a part of my adventure I'm going to remember for a long long time.
Late that night I had driven about 4 hours in total, mentally completely broken I pulled up at a campsite in Sale where I pay 5$ to stay the night. Exhausted, both mentally and physically I was glad the day had ended.
My first day rubber tramping hadn’t turned out quite the way I expected it.

The following days I drove long hours through beautiful scenery's, open country side and parts of rain forest, over mountains and rivers, I passed little towns (where the HWY just passes right trough, can you imagine?! The speed limit drops to 40km/h, but still) and big towns with a Macca’s for my daily 50cent ice-cone treat. I had nearly everything from the burning sunshine; windows down, cruise control on, music loud, life’s  good to heavy rain; scared my windscreen wipers would just wipe off my windscreen and driving 80 instead of 100 because everything was going white because of the rain.
The second day I drove up to Canberra, didn’t like it. Roundabout after roundabout, driving me nuts. So I parked my car in the centre (expensive as hell) and had my 50cent cone from Macca’s. In about an hour I had already left the capital, at least I’ve been there.
Wasn’t really pretty or anything, just really business-like. The National Capital Territory state is small, I would say about the size of Belgium with a lot of national parks. That's about all I've got to say about the place I think.


Not wanting to stay overnight in the city I drove up further north a few 100km’s to Gunning where I found a free caravan park next to a creek, in the middle of nowhere. It was great! Had a peaceful night and a hot shower in the morning!

So the next day I drove up to Bundeena, which is about an hour away from Sydney. I arrived there before noon so I had the whole day of chilling ahead!
Found a spot to park my car, right next to the beach! Parked Pumba in the right place and got out Timon (my hammock) hung him up and enjoyed life. For the rest of the afternoon I had a dip in the water, walked a bit through a part of the Royal National Park there, read and had a nap in my hammock.

 By about 5 o’clock the cockatoos started coming out of the trees, looking for anything to eat what the pick-nick people had left behind that day. Beautiful creatures and they came really close!
And got treated to a beautiful sunset

SYDNEY, at last! Driving into the city was hell, of course. Found a place to park for free near Kings Cross and headed up to the city. At first I didn’t really enjoy the big city as much as I thought I would. The driving around had made me moody and suddenly amidst all these people I felt lonelier than ever.
I walked all the way through the CBD to the Harbour Bridge, the Rocks, Circular Quay, the Opera house ending with the Royal Botanical gardens.

view from the ever so peaceful and beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens 
The next day I met up with a girl, who might be interested in going up the east coast with me, this became a very nice day. It was so nice to have company again, walking around the city with some one to talk to. We saw Darling Harbour and the Opera again. She didn’t come with me because I wanted to leave Sydney on Monday (it was Saturday at the time), which was to soon for her, and I didn’t like the city enough to stay another 2/3 days.

I drove to Bondi beach that evening, it was late so I just parked on the closest parking I found. Waking up to the nice Bondi beach right in front of me.

So the next day (Sunday) you can go on any public transport for 2.50$ for a whole day! So I met up with a guy (from Facebook again) and Cate, the girl I met yesterday) and went cruising on the harbour ferries for the afternoon. Saw the bridge, the Opera and the rest of the harbour from a very different perspective, which was very enjoyable.

sorry 'bout the thumb.... couldn't cut it off without making it
a weird picture...

But at the end of that day I was glad to be alone with my Pumba again.

Including a good cup of tea and yet another beautiful sunset.

Happy to hit the road again and to escape the busy city I took of in the morning. Drove through the city and under the harbour until I got back in the countryside.

I took a tourist drive through the great lakes national park, which was really cool and took another detour to Seal Rock bay, a beautiful little bay with a white sand beach and warm pure ocean water.

Seal Rock Bay ladies and gentleman 
That day I drove up to Park Beach just above Coffs Harbour. It had raind quite a bit throughout the day on the road and it only got worse at Par Beach with times. I went to the Aldi for a bread, chrisps, cookie, crackers and tuna then crossed the road (drove around a roundabout twice before I figured out which exit to take) to the McDonald's to continue my everlasting relationship with free wifi. 
That night it rained really bad so by the time I woke up, the beach park had nearly completely flooded. 

Which gave some pretty nice views, I'm not the best at taking pictures haha thinking this is pretty clear by now. 

Arriving in Byron bay hard rain clouds and burning sunshine alternate each other for the rest of the day.
The rain clouds came and went but I sure as hell went swimming! 

Because free camping is strictly forbidden in Byron I went to a nearby camping, after talking to some locals who told be about it. 
Had a lovely late afternoon in my hammock, a hot shower and I plugged in my laptop. 

This is what my first week rubber tramping of was. It was actually Al hole lot more than that but that all is much harder to explain, the joy and the pain I've been through in merely 6 days of solo traveling like this has brought me a long way.

Lots of love
xoxo Liza

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