Day 15

There must be something about night-time when you are camping in the great outdoors. On this trip at any rate I am sure we are destined to have interrupted sleep until we reach Brisbane. The culprit last night was the mother of all thunderstorms. It was windy too, so much so that I could not sleep for fear our tent would take off (not much chance of that, I hear you all cry) that we would be struck by lightning. Thankfully neither happened and eventually we both dropped off. An alarm from a nearby business would have woken us if we had not already got up. Then we went to the Country Music Museum in Tamworth. More of the same really and frankly the only people we had heard of were Slim Dusty, Keith Urban, Adam Brand and a couple of others. Interesting all the same. What was also interesting was our drive from Tamworth into the New England region of New South Wales. Not long into our drive the blues skies of previous days were replaced by clouds, though not many, and the temperature dropped to 20-21 as we climbed into the Great Dividing Range. Armidale was the next big town we came across and after that the roads got windy and even more windy. We stopped at Ebor Falls and soon after we came across a strange sight. It was 2pm and the mist just rolled in suddenly and we could hardly see the road ahead at some points. Joy was driving – thank God, I hear everyone yell – and I too said the same as conditions worsened. Thankfully after a break for lunch in Dorrigo it eased and I took the wheel for what I thought would be an easy run into Coffs Harbour. How wrong could I be. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down and after being high up in the mountains for most of the day, we needed to make the descent towards the coast. A little bit more mist, more steep descending roads and quite a lot more of windy roads. At some points I am sure I heard Michael Caine and the cast from the Italian Job singing this is the self-preservation society (if you don’t get the joke watch the film, the last part, and you will see what I mean. Eventually, after what seemed like an endless nail-biting descent, we made it to Coffs Harbour. We had a drink to celebrate the fact we had just driven across the continent of Australia. WHOOOO. We found a nice campsite near town and decided to set up tent for a few days to recuperate and perhaps catch some sun and swim with dolphins. I cannot believe we made it. We are close to our final destination and I am sure there will be a few more trials and tribulations before we reach Brisbane. Stay with us and hopefully (now Joy has worked out how to put them in) there will be some pictures to go with each day’s blog soon. Cheers for now.

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