From St Kilda to Kings Cross is 13 hours on a bus, sang Paul Kelly. Well apparently, from Sydney to St George is about four days in two cars and with a range of companions. Aimee was a total gun on the driving, and especially entertaining when she got excited every time we drove over a bridge. (Spoiler: we drove over quite a few bridges).
After driving from about 1.30 to 8.00pm on Thursday we stopped for sleep and steak sandwiches in Coffs Harbour. That is one sleepy town! Even the lure of a cover band that sounded like karaoke couldn’t keep us up.
Friday morning we continued northward, via all the Big Things – the Big Prawn and the Big Banana. Caught glimpses of the ocean through the gorgeous lush hinterland around Ballina and Bangalow. Detoured through Byron Bay, where Bluesfest patrons were still guzzling their morning soy lattes and wheatgrass shots, and hippy buskers lined the streets. Finally got to Brisbane, where I bid Aimee adieu and spent some quality time with young Louis.
Friday evening set out from Brisbane with my mum and sister in our car The Dominator. (So named for its enormous stationwagon length and girth). Dining options were limited on Good Friday in Toowoomba, where we stayed that night, so don’t tell Jesus but we might have accidentally eaten some bacon on a pizza.
Saturday morning dawned and the Fletcher girls hit the highway bound for Easter races at Flinton station, which you hit about an hour before St George. With a few decades of practice under our belts, it’s a road we could drive in our sleep, though that’s generally not advised as safe driving practice. After the recent rains the views weren’t as dry as usual. But in stark contrast to last year’s Flinton races, at which afternoon drizzle became late-night-dancefloor-mud-bath, it was a dry, hot day and dusty night. Will post more about the joys of country racing soon.
Camped out Saturday night, woke on Sunday to a carpark full of walking wounded, walk-of-shamers and the sounds of heinous hangovers. Finished the final hour’s drive back to the George while eating chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. And finally, four days later, I was home.