Road Trip, North Bound

1teagnalkjo;amlvke (10 of 16)

ok! this is road trip post part ii. i'm determined to have our adventure documented, i will accomplish this goal of mine. every time i think about our road trip, i get a little emotional, whimsical, it was seriously the best, most exciting adventure of our lives up 'til this point.

i left off with our first night in sydney. after that first nigt of sleeping in a nice residential area of "castle hill" in sydney, we took the next day to find a mechanic, get an oil change, find a vacuum and give betty a good clean. (we hadn't named her at this point). we did just that! with me guiding dan with my map book (or not guiding, maps are hard), and with the kind help from strangers, we finally found a mechanic, got her fixed up, i put up some makeshift curtains from some thrifted fabric, and we hung out in a parking lot for the rest of day 2, trying to figure out where to head next! we spent day 3 in the big city of sydney. we parked on the outskirts (free parking) and planned to take the train into the city, and then the machine wouldn't accept our canadian cards. brilliant! we were in a tiny, tiny town on the other side of the harbour, so small, the only atm was inside of the video store that didn't open 'til 3. we couldn't wait, so we thought we'd walk. an hour later we finally make it to the bottom of the bridge! (you know, the one mk&a walk over in "our lips are sealed.") we finally get into the city by the afternoon, enjoy a coffee, and just walk. we walked, so, so much. walked through the botanical gardens, through the city, sat in the park, it was so good. we took the train back to betty, had our first little camp dinner (toast & mr. noodles) in full view of the spectacular harbour, we sat 'til the sun went down, it was glorious, then recorded our

first road trip video

in the van! the next day we headed north, our destination was my good friend tim's house in cessnock, only a few hours north of sydney, but we took the coast and took our time, found some incredible, totally secluded beaches, played in the waves, soaked up the sun, and eventually made it to tim's! what a guy. he took such good care of us, we felt like we were at home, we parked betty in his back yard, and stayed for a few days. we somehow got the brilliant idea of giving our van a paint job! oh boy, we found a paint store, bought a few bottles of spray paint and masking tape and just went for it. once we started, we got really into it and ended up making quite a few more trips to the paint store. i think she turned out pretty great, and it made her stand out a little bit more. we had an amazing time in the hunter valley doing wine tours, and visiting the cheese and chocolate factories!

after being at tim's all weekend, our next plan was to start heading south, until while sitting in a cafe using some wifi to upload our

second video, 

dan caught our good friend phil on facebook chat who was about to fly out of new zealand to brisbane for a layover! this changed our plans, the next morning we were on the road at 5am heading north to brisbane to spend a day with phil! it was pretty surreal hanging out at snapper rocks watching an amazing surf comp the next day with a little piece of vancouver! it was so fun and gave us the chance to explore more beaches and have more sun!

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i woke up this morning and went on pinterest, procrastinating cleaning the house and mountain of dishes i have to tackle before dan flies in today from ontario. i only was on for about 5 seconds when a picture made my heart ache for australia. i miss it. not in a way that i desire majorly to be back there, living life, i mean i miss our friends and family over there immensely, i think about them everyday, but particularly i was missing the roadtrip. the photo i saw was a camper van with the sun shining, dirt road, summer hair, so bear with me while i reminisce. we never blogged about our 2 1/2 month drive across the country, didn't even keep much of a journal, so i feel like for me, i want to re-live it a little, share a bit of our adventure and hilarious and scary things that happened along the way.


betty was a beast, she held her end of the deal for sure. we didn't really know what to expect when we would finally meet her in sydney on that muggy day. dan and i had been in perth for a grand total of 2 weeks when we (on a friday night whim) booked flights to sydney for monday morning. we found this van on craigslist with the most enticing ad titiled " the backpackers dream." we flew to sydney to buy betty off of a guy named fraser hunter (whom we never met) needless to say everyone was a little skeptical, but dan was pretty confident in his conversations with fraser that it was a great working van, so we risked it, flew over, took a few trains, walked up and down crazy big hills, in crazy humid, muggy weather with our luggage and guitar. it was quite humorous when we finally reached the end stretch to see betty sitting at the top of a massive hill we had to practically crawl our way up to reach the finish line. it was rewarding, we got the key out of the mailbox, opened her up to find a note on the drivers seat from fraser with a little helpful tips on betty (like how first gear is a little sticky, i left lots of gear in the van for you guys,

including disgusting sheets and blankets and pillows. ew. 

she needed a good clean. she was so filthy. we drove in the rain to find wifi, to find somewhere to get an oil change, and a vacuum, and a k-mart. this is where i started to panic, what have we gotten ourselves into, there is no way this beast is getting us back to perth! i remember this night so clearly, it was pouring rain, we had been up since 4am, driving for the first time on the other side of the road. oh and our navigation system was me with a map. looking back it was hilarious, we would ask for directions and i would try and guide dan to "castle rock" using this map book, it was a bit of a disaster. we finally found a k-mart, bought sheets, blankets, and pillows. found a gas station, made our bed, brushed our teeth in a very spidery bathroom. we were all ready for bed, ready to go find somewhere to sleep, and she would not start, oh man, second major panic attack of the day, i remember looking at dan and saying "what have we done?" we prayed, it started. we found a nice quiet residential street, and slept.

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