After we escaped city life late in 2015 but had barely dipped our toes into our new treechange lifestyle we treated ourselves to a holiday: off and on during 2016 the G.O. and I explored Victoria, drove anticlockwise around Australia; pop-top-caravan-road-trips exploring the mainland states, only to discover that among many of the places we love most are our home, its village and in our regional backyard.
But yet, we want to do it all again. This time with Diesel: The Dog’s Tour.
It’s been a recurring conversational topic during these days of Covid where many future matters are moot. Can we? Will we? Our plan was… might be still… to start looking with a view to purchase a second-hand semi or off-road full height caravan when the G.O. reaches retirement age next year.
As well, we have to factor in the G.O.’s dodgy back, and knee replacement which was supposed to have already happened, and hasn’t as elective surgery has been another Covid casualty… but sensibly really should before we go driving too far beyond manageable day trippin’ distances for too long.
Consideration of these practicalities has not dampened our enthusiasm for dreams and conversations about travel… oh, the places we go… while sipping something cold on our front verandah in the evenings before dinner.
Dream with me. Share your thoughts about here or there… please. What have you been doing at home to pass the Covid time? Tell me the places have you been dreaming of travelling to once the new Covid-normal… whatever it may be… allows. In the event it doesn’t allow, tell me about your contingency plans.
We’ve come up with a short “There” list…
Melbourne, Victoria… Family and friends. Pre-Covid this trip was in the works to be taken right about now… rainchecked to March 2021. We’ve mapped dog-friendly possible Airbnb’s along the route and close by my sister’s place which is cat friendly, and Diesel-dog is enduringly not.
Karumba, Gulf Country, Queensland… When we were stuck for hours in accident traffic on our way into Darwin in 2016 a young Melburnian police officer extolled its virtues on behalf of his grandparents who are regular refugees from the Victorian winter. After we do a reconnaissance trip we hope it will become a winter sojourn via various Queensland road trip routes. We were there in spirit on the G.O.’s mid-winter-Covid-wet-weather-stuck-in-the-house-birthday courtesy of an ode-to-Karumba homemade crab crepe lunch.
The big one… caravan road trip around mainland Australia again but clockwise. Rough planning at this stage has us at the end of summer 2022 or 2023 heading south through NSW and Victorian High Country + Melbourne + Great Ocean Road + Western Victoria to South Australia where this time we won’t detour past Burra and will cover the Eyre and Yorke peninsulas that we missed in 2016. Back across the Nullarbor to Western Australia’s South West that we missed, before heading variously up the middle to Kalgoorlie, Mount Magnet, Marble Bar, and along the coast to Denham, Broome, Derby and the Kimberley Region. Across to Darwin possibly via Gibb River Road this time, definitely with stopovers at Wyndham and Kununurra. Then, a first time for me, down the middle of Australia to Alice Springs and Central Australia, further on to Flinders Ranges, and back home via a route yet-to-be determined across Outback NSW.
Our Covid-cautious back up travel plans involve exploring our local region… since Covid restrictions lifted we’ve been fortunate to enjoy a few outdoor Covid safe lunches at local eateries. So nice to eat something someone else thinks up and makes. For wider NSW… we came up with a top 5 list.
Barrington Tops for World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests, camping and trout fishing. It’s a place from my younger years I’d like to share with the G.O.. Similarly, Lake Glenbawn on the outskirts of my home town, Scone nearby my other home town Murrurundi in Upper Hunter Valley are always worth a visit.
And that’s just a taste.
Should we return to Covid lockdown we’ll revert to our previous safe-at-home strategies. In addition to house and garden; a never-ending source of projects, we have our respective pastimes. In addition to his classic [registered, in good working order] Yamaha Virago motorcycle, the G.O. recently acquired a bargain-shed-project-motorcycle aka “a basket case”… although its bits came in a box, which should keep him occupied for a while. Tafe NSW have a number of Creative Writing Online courses which interest me plus I’m still looking for an excuse to shout myself an Ancestry.com subscription.
In the meantime, “Here” we make the most of our Covid-safe time at home doing house & garden projects… day-to-day country-life in the village–Nambucca Valley–Coffs–Mid North Coast we city-dreamed of for so long. And -food for thought if you’re thinking of travelling- we enjoy the company of family and friends who come to visit us, much as during our 2016 road trips we loved meeting up with far-flung blog friends who are now simply friends.
“What is it about maps?
I could look at them all day,
earnestly studying the names of towns and villages
I have never heard of and will never visit…”
― Bill Bryson,
Credit: Maps created using Google.