Sunday, January 27, 2013

Home Sweet Home!

Sunday 27th January, 2013

What an incredible 14 days we have just had.  We arrived home late yesterday afternoon, tired, but so happy to be home.

We had an amazing time away.  I reckon we must have walked hundreds of kilometres and I have the sore, aching feet and knees to prove it.

We left Adelaide on Sunday 13th January.  When we woke the morning was overcast and shortly before we left home the rain came.  We met Katie, loaded up the car with her suitcase, said our farewells to Kahra and Darrin, and we were off.  

Driving along the wet highway

Our first planned overnight stop was Mildura, which is in Victoria. 

At the Victorian - South Australian border

The rain (drizzle) stayed with us until we got to Mildura.  As we passed through Renmark I got to show Katie the houses where I lived while growing up as a child there, the schools I attended, where I worked at my first job and a tour of the town.

Old Renmark High School

My first job

My late grandparents' farm house and farm

She had been to Renmark before on many occasions, (when my parents were still alive), but she was too young to remember much of it.

When we got to Mildura we booked into a motel and then went off to the Hogs Breath Cafe for dinner.  Katie was a little disappointed as the weather was too cool for her to go for a swim in the motel pool.

Pork Spare Ribs just fell off the bone

We all shared this amazing dessert....Strawberry Rocky Road

We were up early the next morning and after eating a hearty breakfast we left Mildura. 

Mildura is a large country town situated on the Murray River.  This river divides the states of Victoria and New South Wales.  Once we crossed over the bridge we were in New South Wales.

Our plan was to reach Bathurst for our next overnight stay.  We stopped in Hay for lunch and then made our way to Bathhurst.  After lunch we took a walk down their main street and came across these snake deterrents for sale.  I had to find out why they were selling them. 

The young lad said that Hay was notorious for King Brown snakes.  Apparently they come from the Murrumbidgee River which is not far from the town.  He couldn't say that they definitely worked though.  Another quirky thing New South Welshman do is reverse their vehicles into parking spots.  No good for me.....I am hopeless at reversing.

Shortly after we were in the car and on our way again.  It was a very long tiring drive.  There was not much scenery to see as you drove across the Hay Plains.

Katie wasn't too thrilled about sitting in the car for almost 9 hours.  Thank goodness for DVD's, the IPad, her Iphone and the frequent stops we made.

Taking photos of yourself helps pass the time

Finally we arrived in Bathurst. 

Tony was very tired from all the driving.  Here, I must say that even though I do drive, I don't drive in the country or on long trips.  The reason is that I am afraid of falling asleep behind the wheel.  Somehow, just looking at the road ahead hypnotizes me.  Whenever I am in the car I am so fully relaxed I have no trouble falling asleep.

Once we booked into a motel we went off to a local hotel for dinner.   Back at the motel it was early to bed for us all.  Katie was so looking forward to the following day as this was the day we drove into Sydney.

Hotel for dinner

As the motel didn't provide breakfast we had breakfast at Macca's.  We then went to the racetrack at Mount Panorama.  Here in Australia, Bathurst is famous for it's car racing track for the V8 cars, them being Ford and Holden.

The racetrack is built on a public road and so speed limits do apply, though for some cars that were there you wouldn't have thought so.  We drove around the track twice much to Katies delight.  While going around she rang Kahra and gave her a minute by minute description as to where we were, eg up the mountain, through the cutting, around the esses, down Conrad straight.  "This is so fun, Mum," she said.

Katie takes pole position

From Bathurst we headed off to the Blue Mountains and Katoomba.  

At Katoomba we went to see the "Three Sisters" and have some lunch.  As we couldn't book into our motel until after 2.00pm we were in no hurry to leave.

The Three Sisters

Finally we headed off down the Great Western Highway and into Sydney.  Katie was so excited.  Around every bend she was expecting to see the Harbour Bridge.  When she finally spied the Bridge her eyes were like dinner plates and her jaw dropped.  As we got closer and ready to cross the Bridge she said, "Nanna, I am going to cry."

Sydney skyline

Katie's first glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Crossing the Bridge

We soon found our motel in Brookvale which would be home to us for the next seven days.

We unpacked the car and decided to go into Manly and see about getting some weekly travel tickets.  We stopped off first at the Warringah Shopping Mall as I had forgotten to pack the gizmos that allowed us to download our photos from the camera onto the computer.  We managed to buy one there.

From here we drove into Manly and went to the wharf.  We were able to buy Katie a weekly travel ticket but was told that it was cheaper for Tony and I to buy ours each day.  Katie was itching to get on a ferry and travel into Sydney.

Instead we walked down Manly Corso to the beach and to have some dinner.  We found a very nice Mexican restaurant, Mex & Co, where we enjoyed some great Nachos.  

After dinner we walked across the road to the beach.   The beach had lots of blue bottle jelly fish washed ashore.  It was the first time any of us had seen these little creatures.

This is a fish and apparently it eats the blue bottles, so we were told

Some locals said that they were poisonous, others said just to be careful because they give a nasty sting........we stayed completely away from them.  Some of them had really long tentacles.

We ended up walking back to the car and drove back to the motel.  It was an early night for us as tomorrow the real fun starts.  


  1. I'm having a wonderful time looking at all your photos. Thank you for bringing me along on your trip. I've always wanted to see Australia, but never made it. The blue jelly fish and that lttle blue fish are so amazing. I've never even heard of them. I will be posting on my blog soon, and will have an award there for you to pick up. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  2. Judy, I have an award waiting for you on my blog. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  3. Great photos of your trip. The 'breakfast' shot has me drooling as bacon is unheard of here in Switzerland!