Sunday, 17 October 2010
So the first week on the road has passed without incident but with much progress. Munmorah gave me a very peaceful place to relax for a few days but being within reach of good beaches would I figured be busier over the weekend. Thus armed with information from the books bought in Sydney I headed for Watagans Forest a large (by UK standards) area of woodland straddling the sandstone escarpments of the Great Divide. Here at Gap Creek I took a walk and within minutes had encountered a variety of lizards and the like - the anxiety was mutual as was the desire to shin up the nearest tree.
I spent the night in a wooded clearing at Onley where the noise of the birds and other creatures at dusk was remarkable - during the day I had enjoyed extensive views to the coast from the lofty escarpment and met a wallaby hopping down the road towards me - fortunately he veered in to the foliage before I did.
With strong winds forecast I headed back to Gap Creek which was more open and spent a quiet night after cooking steak and all the trimmings on the gas BBQ provided (like the camping )free of charge.
My onward journey to Myall Lakes took in a shopping expedition in Newcastle for a variety of items to fill gaps in our inventory. The 'spare' spare wheel now has a cover and houses a washing up bowl; spare water containers, a new solar shower and food saw me right for the stay at the lakes which are inland waterways separated from the Tasman Sea by extensive dunes. Although it was sunny the southerlies meant that for me it felt comfortable whilst the few locals around were wrapped up and my chosen camping area was empty being right on the lake edge and subject to a refreshing blast.
Today started with a fix to the water tap/switch which had ceased to function overnight and I then dived beneath the van armed with a can of spray grease as the AQIS steam cleaning had left the brake, gear and other mechanisms devoid of both grime and grease. Otherwise all looked well under there and I decided to take the bike out for a spin - five hours later after an excellent ride along forest trails with lizards galore I returned for a shower courtesy of our 12v pump and spray head using water collected from the lake and topped up with a kettle from the hob - wonderful.
Finally trout cooked on the barbie as the sun set followed by strawberries and cream and a lengthy chat to Sarah rounded off a very enjoyable day and the end of a very positive first week.
Pics here and if you do get a copy of the SPOT message the link in that will put you overhead thanks to the wonders of Google maps.