This past weekend Bear and I got went on an adventure – a madcap 2000 km road trip from Queensland to New South Wales and back again to pick up Bear’s car, Duc. We had fully intended to do the wickedly long trip in one straight shot, but after 22 hours of driving, Bear surprised us with a mini-vacation and turned our road trip into a holiday.
It was so much fun!
The cab of our ute was full to bursting with all sorts of healthy snacks to keep us going while we drove through the gorgeous New South Wales countryside. I roasted Brazil nuts with rosemary and sea salt, made venison meat balls, curried eggs and flourless tahini cookies, sliced good strong cheese and nitrate-free sausage, and filled containers with fresh snow peas, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, and Lebanese cucumbers. We were set!
The first half of our trip was spent in total darkness as we drove through the night to arrive in Milperra by 6 a.m., so we entertained ourselves with audio books from the library and I kept Bear awake with numerous cups of raw cocoa mochas.
Once Duc was loaded onto our trailer we headed north again, through the smoke-filled Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley, still hazy from nearby forest fires.
By the time we arrived on the outskirts of Tamworth, we were knackered and very, very happy to pull over to crash in a motel for the rest of the day.
Turns out Tamworth is the Country Music Capital of Australia and when we saw the gigantic gold guitar out front of the Golden Guitar Motor Inn, we embraced our inner dorks and simply had to stay there.
We could’ve stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast or a posh hotel with entertainment options, but sometimes you just want a clean, quiet place where you can stretch out in air-conditioned comfort and do absolutely nothing.
This place did the trick, and they totally won me over when they handed me a bottle of milk for my afternoon tea, and invited us down later for complimentary wine and beer. Yep, that’s my kind of hospitality.
It was early afternoon so we luxuriated in long, hot showers (is there ANYTHING better than a hot shower after umpteen hours in the car?), took naps, and cozied up on the couch with strawberries, tea, and dark chocolate.
Not bad at all.
For dinner we craved cold drinks and comfort food and found both at the local BBQ joint: Bibs and Ribs. Amused by the crocodile decor – including crocodile head toilets that, when opened, revealed the open jaws of a tooth-filled croc mouth – we eased our aching selves onto wooden seats and sipped cold beer (Bear) and an icy mojito (me). The drinks eased our aching joints and stressed muscles and when our food arrived we were so relaxed we could hardly stay awake long enough to eat. But fish and chips and BBQ chicken can tempt even the most tired traveler, and we happily tucked in. We strolled back to our motel and were sound asleep by 7 p.m. and slept a solid 12 hours.
There’s nothing like good food and good sleep to set you to rights, and the next morning we were back to our perky adventurous selves, ready to head out on the open road to see what we would see.
I can’t wait to tell you about our adventures, from stunning lookouts and a cherry tree farm to Australia’s version of Stonehenge.
What is the best road trip you’ve ever taken?