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18 December 2020

road trip log

26 7 

much rain.  jervis bay. airbnb is right on the water but we spend all our time in the house eating and drinking and talking.  we go to the brewery there. been a long time since we've been to a brewery with mates. we go to the beach with the whitest sand in the world. according to legend. its raining and cold and kind of awesome. play 31 for a while and go to bed.

27 7 

must set off.  say goodbye to brad and matt and casey.  northbound to newcastle to pick up new set of monkeys.  lisa's place with leanna and hamish in newcastle.  kuy and jax are there with indie and the pleasure seeker (TPS). they made it into NSW with just hours to spare.  the border is now closed.  lisa is packing and sorting. leanna and hamish make us feel more welcome than i ever thought possible.  they make a wonderful meal and we have an epicly great night talking into the wee hours. we snooze for a couple hours in the van which is parked right out front.  its not fully unpacked so the bed is a little cramped with supplies, but it works ok.

28 7

another departure.  goodbye hamish and leanna.  so grateful for their hospitality.  we must be going.  more rain. lisa has a couple last minute things to do and we are off.  so much fire damage along the road.  rain stops. stop at the big axe for a photo.  we make it to a cheap farmstay at eungai creek NSW. they do woodfired pizzas on the weekend here, but its not the weekend. whats a weekend?   we are alone, just our crew. jesse, victoria, jacqueline, kuy, indie and lisa.  covid hobos.  more driving tomorrow and long night last night so early bed.

29 7

go go go.  today we get to the big banana.  theres all kinds of tourist-trappy shit here. we eat a choco banana do the big slide and we get word from teejay that the QLD border will be closing soon.  shit!  book it for the border now!  we cross with an hour to spare along this hairy winding mountain road that lisa should not have been driving on with her caravan.  our border passes work.  lisa flirts with the border cop. they ask for a few receipts to prove we havent been to melbourne recently which is blowing up with covid.  all good.  welcome to QLD.  arrive at the campground and await the sparkles.  they made it with 30 minutes to spare.

30 7 

mt nimmel in austinville, qld.  we are in queensland!  just under the wire.  amazing.  a bird lands on victoria's back while she is doing yoga in the morning.  grouse.  the people camped next to our crew pack up and so we move in across the way. the caretaker cruises by in her cadillac called pearl.  it is decked out in sparkles and elvis paraphanalia.  we ride our bikes up and down the surrounding highway. no traffic but its too hilly to really get anywhere.  very glad we brought our bikes.  chilly night so we have a fire and drink into the wee hours.

31 7

we drive back towards the border to do a little boardwalk and check out a waterfall.  there are glowworms on the cave ceiling and bush turkeys everywhere.  

1 8 

goose chase with kuy.  caretaker says there is a swimming hole up the hill.  we ride our bikes in the sweltering heat and find nothing.  sorry indie.  disappointment.  she said next to a big beautiful ghost gum and etc and we followed instructions but all there was was a dirty mud pit.  we still cannot believe that we made it and we are really here.

2 8 

twin falls hike.  make doris road-ready. its a bit of a pain but something we will have to get used to.  drive to the trailhead with the whole crew.  they will do the short loop part and we are doing the full 16km waterfall loop.

4 8 

gold coast big 4.  theyve got waterslides!  this place is typical deluxe aussie caravan park.  all kinds of shit for kids, a big fancy camp kitchen with TVs blaring local 'news' stations etc.  expensive but we are enjoying it. indie gets her nails painted for the first time ever and also first ever pigtails on the same day. 

5 8 

we casually spend all day on the waterslides. it feels really good to be us right now.  the local queenslanders think we are nuts for getting in the water since its not stinking hot at the moment.  we have the whole waterslide area to ourselves. indie is very reluctant to get in the water, even the kiddie pool where she can stand up.  very nervous. hand must be held.  no water anywhere near her head or she freaks.  there is a 7 year old kid there who is obvs  local.  big ol mullet and a longsleeve shirt. v and i are deciding which slide to take and he looks at us like, can i go while you guys faff around? and we're ok go ahead and he jumps face first belly flop, foom! down the pipe.

walking back there is a very old lady with a cane kinda muttering to herself. "mrr muh mrr mm mm  neighbor.."  we look at each other and decide to investigate.  she starts talking to us now about how her neighbor poos in her yard.  she talks very softly and invites us around back. he's up in the tree.  she points her cane at a round ball of grey fur high in the eucalypt.  ahhh neat.  thank you for sharing, nana. and we continue our walk the long was back to camp with kangaroos and swans and stuff.

6 8 

chill out again. i make chicken wings. we should probably go down the waterslides a coupletimes to justify the cost of this caravan park but too lazy.

7 8 

hit the road northbound deeper into queensland. drive through brisbane proper. no desire to stop, really.  sorry bris. maybe another time.  arrive in landsborough where jacqueline's dad lives.  we are wrecked and need some courage for talking to strangers so we pull over nearby pat's house and have a snooze. a 

8 8 

landsborough. it is indie's birthday and her grandpa is hosting the party.  she's 3.  we go with kuy to take her to the park while the rest set up the house with deorations.  the playground there is deluxe with flying fox and a big slide.   there is a weird christian group having a gathering there.   its hot and we just laze around in the shade before biking back to grandpas house. surprise! unicorn stuff and bubbles. turns out toddlers dont appreciate a surprise party.  she has a tanty when we sing happy birthday. pat is very handy and helps with some van jobs that we needed doing.  weatherproofing and knife sharpening.  he ground down the extension cord so itll fit into a standard socket.  now i can get rid of the old shitty cord that came with doris.  getting rid of stuff is a great feeling since space is at such a premium.  jacqueline's dad and his partner are mildly racist conservatives and it only rears its head a couple times.  he tells the story about his sister who became a nun and shunned the whole rest of his family.  doris is parked in  the shed.

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