Another state, another adventure.
Hey folks, it’s Pat the Patriot camper trailer again – here to recap the past few months after Amba and James explored the state of New South Whales.
(If you missed Part 1: QLD you can read it here.)
First stop - Newrybar, a few kilometers from Byron Bay, perched on the hilltop of a friends incredible Macadamia farm hosting over 20,000 trees.
The weather fears they spoke of in QLD came crashing down without any mercy as soon as we crossed the boarder. Here we endured our first wet week.
And when I say wet I mean non-stop flooded out - wet. I heard them whispering thanks for being on a bed high off the ground! The first day they woke to ankle deep water – turns out James didn’t peg me right.
With a few adjustments and a couple of towels we were back in action.
The silver lining – this weather gave them a chance to catch up on the endless admin which had accumulated since the start of the trip. The number of schools gifting the books to their transitioning students is increasing weekly and the backend admin has become almost consuming. It wasn’t too long until the weather passed and they made the most of it by getting back out on the stand up paddle-board at Byron Bay’s The Pass - always a favourite break, especially out of peak season.
Their time spent in the Hinterland also rebooted their infamous health kick, endless delicious organic options making the healthy choice a no-brainer.
After 10 days in the Hinterland, they night hoped down the Northern NSW coast, stopping in Grafton, Bulahdelah, Newcastle and Gosford – each for a night, visiting schools in the day. As Sydney-siders they've explored these places many times before.
Despite the speed they knocked this stretch over, the memories shouldn’t be overlooked. Time with friends, family, and an odd-encounter of a 1am random solo act singer in Bulahdelah made it nothing less of a hoot! The singer woke the entire campground (who remained startled in their tents) with his grand opening of, “And now for a song of freedom!...” and proceeded to sing at the top of his lungs for close to an hour.
Initially entertaining as he sang to the birds but very soon became annoying and slightly frightening as he sang about conspiracies that had us considering engaging the police.
A good laugh, now that we realise he was actually an old man on crutches and far from a threat.
It’s these stories which really bring the trip to life. The funny, challenging and unforeseen moments that build the ups and downs and keeps life interesting.
There has certainly been many highs so far. Mostly they are found simply in the moments when pausing.
Often I see Amba and James pinching themselves when they look around and soak in their whereabouts.
Sadly our trip has also included some very sad downs, with the passing of James’ grandmother and Amba’s grandfather. But we have a feeling they are now often with us along the road reminding us to take it all in and live life to it’s fullest.
After all, what’s the point?
Sydney marked half way on the tour – the perfect point for me to have a rest while these guys continued visiting schools (now 200 in total) and caught up with friends and family in their home town.
A real treat after they’ve lived away from home for near 5 years.
We all got the chance to rest at our next stop – Berry, just south of Sydney. School holidays meant getting through admin backlog and time to recuperate with family before the next leg – The NSW South Coast.
The greenery of the South Coast never ceases to gain too many wows.
The iconic Australian wildlife, Kangaroos, echidnas, goanna’s, deer’s and foxes continually crossing our path.
Amba found herself utterly nostalgic in Merimbula, being able to share the area with James for the first time.
Especially Wolumla where she spent her early childhood years, visiting the small country school where she first started out. A nice little pic to capture the moment.
James found this leg a little more painful, as a surf injury had him limping for days (excuse the pun). He landed on a sandbank, hurting his ankle - the worst part - it was perfect surf and his first wave. I can confirm he's now fully on the mend!
Amba's family who still reside here shared a great local tip to spend our last few nights in NSW off the beaten track at a glorious spot – Saltwater Creek. It is their pseudo-honeymoon after all – why not have a weekend in an area without any schools nearby?
I think it’s safe to say NSW was enjoyed thoroughly.
The familiarity of the state made it feel like home, and had been perfectly timed to chill out in their own backyard (NSW) for the school holidays.
Now on to new territory as they cross the boarder into Victoria….
Touch base after the next state folks :)