. To be fair the car thermometer said 7 degrees and it was obvious we needed our Ethiopian airlines socks with our flip flops.
To Erica’s amusement after cooking the sausages (snags as the aussies call them) I was soon playing Frisbee with no one. This consisted of me throwing a Frisbee at an object sprinting after it then throwing it again. I was a bit like a labrador puppy but with a tasty amount of belly meat. It soon got to 9am and it was time to try and find internet or a telephone to get hold of our van company and see what the situation might be. The good news is that there are two pieces of glass in our windscreen so it wouldn’t kill us. I’d suggested the crack came from a chip that was already evident, in reality I realised that it actually came from a chip that we had incurred. I soon phoned again to try and get an estimate of cost and was told it may be $250. Shit the bed that’s half our van rental cost.... but not quite as much as an insurance package would have cost us. Anyway we soon found the famous lookout point to the 'Three Sisters’ and through all the mist and fog could see.... well just mist and fog really. It was a major disappointment as we had planned to do a good few hours walking to work off some of the sausage weight but as we were dressed even in our Ethiopian socks and flip flops we were still freezing.
We decided to try another lookout and headed off only to find we still couldn’t see anything. I was on my own by this point and climbed a rock which I imagined would be a great view. If only it was clear. I got back to the van and found Erica in the back reading. As we headed off we found a hitchhiker who we readily took in, The Lady was chucked in the illegal beds in the back while our new Brazilian companion (whom was a little muddy that’s why he didn’t get the bed) got in the front seat
. He had spent the night in the ‘Grand Canyon’ just to get a picture of the sun breaking through the forest. The poor guy didn’t get anything apart from fog and mist. He was soaked to the skin and had slept in a bivvybag, that takes me back. Anyway after an exchange of details we dropped him off, deciding that the Blue Mountains had done nothing for us so we decided to head for Canberra, the capital of Australia. Somewhere we never envisaged would be on our route from Cairns to Sydney but with the underlying plot from the Lady needing to visit Melbourne it was kind of en route. I suggest we stop to see if we could find a plug socket and check our e-mail at a nearby town. Thankfully we asked the staff at the place I used to hate and were given a table with its own plug socket and free wifi connection, I splashed out on a cheeseburger for $1.95. Lots of e-mails and lots of reads of blog. Travelpod had decided to make us there featured blog and this month we have had over 3,000 hits. We had lots of e-mails from my mum and dad, our professional colleagues and other things to sort but tried to respond to as many travellers as we could in the relatively short time we had. Seriously guys thank you for taking us over 10,000 hits we never realised when we set off we would have this much interest in what we have been doing and we have realised just how many different places we have been to off the beaten track, we have had lots of e-mails and new blog followers we hope we can keep you occupied
. Keep it up guys it is the only thing that keeps us on a blog a day (although our top commenter Stevie T seems to have gone missing.... as does Sharks.... and Greg & Graham.... and Vic.... and Dil.... and Nat.... but at least Jan and Ian are still there, I think they are in Indian now, only joking guys thanks for making the effort to keep up).
Anyway after our cheesy burger Erica convinced me to drive back up the hills back into the Blue Mountains as the weather was glorious again, I did and my word she was right. We visited lots of lookouts, Echo Point, Govett’s leap, Evans lookout, Perry’s lookdown and Anvil Rock and all were amazing. Perhaps the funniest was when we got to a rather remote one with no tourists and I got Erica to take an "artistic" photo of me over the most glorious scenery, she was nearly weeing with laughter..... (is that what the sight of me naked encourages!). Anyway anyone can have a copy on the back of a payment of $50 or £30.
At about 3:30pm we decided to try and make Canberra before nightfall although this looked increasingly unlikely. I’ll tell you what though it was an amazing journey, the drive from the Blue Mountains to Goulburn (the sheep city) was truly stunning we saw so many birds, parrots and Wombats in the wild we were amazed
. The scenery was out of this world and the changes so rapid yet subtle. From rolling hills with sheep and new born lambs to plains as flat as Belgium (come in Bert) or Holland. As the sun set we were still well out on the road but it was an evenings drive that neither of us shall ever forget, we loved every minute and our followers from Golborne will have to forgive us for missing the photo of the sign “welcome to the city of Goulburn” (locals actually pronounce Golborne like Goulburn) it was also a lovely city and somewhere I think we could both live, an almost rural sheep farming city. Anyway we then headed off to Canberra and perhaps a meeting with the Jelly Ghost doctor from Vietnam. The last leg provided us with one of those moments that so typically in Australia that cannot be captured on camera. We descended with a purple sun in a clear sky that died just showing the city lights of Australia’s capital city. Just bloody magic. We eventually found our decided campsite in the dark, a council owned campsite with electricity, hot showers, again just bloody magic. We are able to charge a now dead laptop a camera with enough power for maybe two more photo’s before tomorrows exploration, just what you need when you need it.
I asked a guy if I needed to register or pay, he was actually deaf so I needed to let him lip read, he suggested he had booked for three nights but I think he thought I was the warden. In the end he gave up set up site plugged the laptop into someone elses power and cooked a spag bol..... with a $1 tin of spag bol and a $30 bottle of boutique Hunter Valley Shiraz, now that is what I call travelling. We then noticed our deaf friend then get into his sleeping bag.... on the ground in the middle of the campsite, no tent no valuables, no nothing, just another grey nomad but with less than we have seen another grey nomad in Australia, what a race of people, before I came here I knew Australians were great travellers, but my word we are English and not the soft southern variety, this guy must have been bloody freezing. It was 6 degrees when we woke up this morning.
I woke today possibly about 4am and had to read until it was time for the morning urination session at about 5:30 and the very first light started to break. I had read until this point but it wasn't long until Erica woke up at about 06:00 and she agreed we should get going following many morning patterns of a few hours drive a full day somewhere then a late afternoon drive and arrive in the dark (obviously as we are not allowed to drive our vehicle in the dark due to the risk of hitting the roo’s we are not doing.... obviously). We got in the front seats and the crazy couple from last night were just starting to get a fire going. We set off but noticed the chip on our windscreen had in fact become a huge crack..... with our insurance policy this was a major problem. We drove for about an hour and a half across majorly misty landscapes which were apparently some of the best views in Australia. A bit of a let down but the night before had been amazing. We arrived in the heart of the Blue Mountains in a place called Kaloomba. We settled down in a local park and cooked sausages and put some tea on