Monday, 3 July 2017

Day 1 (Adventure are you sure?)

What happens when you start dreaming about owning a campervan and have school holidays come up in the same month. Apparently if you're me you book a rental van and plan an escape. And by plan I mean book a rental van and think 'WINTER BE DAMNED I'll drive north'.

That's pretty much how this whole thing started.

As I was talking about maybe doing this I mentioned to a friend that the one location I was feeling pulled to was Bellingen. It's a place I've loved for years and the only place I've ever seen a spot that I could imagine putting mums ashes. 'Do it' she said 'take your mum and go' and so we did.

Sunday we went to grab the van at 930am but instead of the original plan of leaving as early as possible, my deciding to take it easy the day before (mistake #1) meant we finally got on the road by 12. It took me about 4 hours to realise that we needed to figure out where we were going to stay on the first night. We travelled off the motorway towards the coast to no avail. We even looked at staying in a caravan park but being Sunday they were all closed.

Cut to another 45 minute drive with the sun chasing us finally pulling up just after dusk in Wingham.

We pulled up next to a sign that said overnight camping, and jumped out of the car.

It was freezing and smelled weird. As we turned everything off we realised why. 1000s of bats were barrelling through the air. And that smell was bat poo.

We weren't the only people staying there. There was two caravan setups and one very loud obnoxious drunk couple in a car that started fighting so horrendously that we wondered if we should call the police. And then they passed out.

Hamish cooked our sausages while Jack and I set up the van for sleep. Once we had eaten we jumped into bed for warmth and read our books. We then fell into as good a sleep as three people crammed into a double bed inside a van on a freezing night can.

When we woke we realised we had parked in the only muddy shaded part of the ground so I moved the van to the other side and cooked breakfast made coffee and charged our phones (mistake #2).

I accidentally left the battery running after the move and it had run it flat.

Cut to two hours later 5 phone calls, one walk through a nature reserve to the local NRMA only to be told we should have called another number....

We were on the road.

We made it to Bellingen by 3 and parked in the showground. We wandered into town to grab some supplies and the kids had a paddle in the pristine river.

I really love it here. I'm wearing a light jumper, the sounds and smells are of people playing guitar and horses. I can't wait to wake up in the morning.

I hope our travels tomorrow find the spot I'm looking for and I get to let go of mums ashes. I hope we either find a better place to stay or we come back here and explore this little town again. I hope the car starts in the morning.

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