Six months have gone and June has arrived with the start of cooler weather.
(OK all you snow and frost-bound northerners you would probably call ten degrees warm…)
It is time to head North. Previous years we have travelled around the coast line, this year the road trip is going to be an outback experience. Travelling the endless highway, the silver/gold Mitchell grass plains stretching to the horizon to meet the haunting, cloudless blue skies. Roadtrains thunder by leaving us shuddering in their wake. We follow the hoofbeats of the drovers absorbing the history of Australia, we learn of the hardships of the pioneers, the droughts and bush fires, the sadness of the Aboriginal’s story. The museums and art galleries show us the past and present. Arts and crafts abound in small communities that are isolated and many miles apart.
The landscape changes as we arrive in the tropical north. The endless plains give way to floodplains and wetlands. Broad-leaved rainforest trees supported by sturdy buttress roots are entwined with vines, palms cluster around them. The air is humid. Brightly coloured birds flock to billabongs, rivers and waterfalls flow along and down the escarpments. Signs warn of crocodiles at every waterhole. Wallabies bound away as we drive by. The warmth of the tropical air seeps into our bones. The sunsets are spectacular.
Travelling with no set destination or time restrictions we find many idyllic camping spots and caravan parks. The camaraderie of other travellers is heart warming and we form instant friendships .
Spring has arrived and it is time to head south. We plan to complete this road trip by going right down the red centre past Alice Springs and Uluru.
But Matilda is sick.Our faithful van splutters and drags herself up hills barely reaching 20 kilometres. Trucks and cars impatiently tail-gate us. Then the reverse gear dies. We change plans and direction and limp over 500 kilometres to the coast and the nearest centre for repairs, Townsville.
It will take 6-8 weeks, so we say a sad farewell to Matilda and leave her in the emergency ward for replacement surgery and take the Sunlander train home.
6 weeks later I return to Townsville to collect our rejuvenated vehicle. With new gear box and radiator she hums along full of energy again, bringing me home to the Goldcoast. The final 2 months of the year have been spent gardening and catching up with family and friends.
That was my 2012.
A big thank you to all the blogging friends that have dropped by to follow our journey on my Gypsy life blog. The comments that have been left have been really appreciated. I love this blogging community and following your adventures and journey through the year has brought me lots of pleasure.
Best wishes to you all for 2013.