Sydney to Melbourne – Life in the Slow Lane

Andy: Our time in Sydney is drawing to an end and it’s time to move on once again, although this time it will be our final Australian destination – Melbourne.

A week ago we went into a pub in the Northern Sydney district of Chatswood for a quick drink and stumbled upon a fun trivia quiz. We were too late to join in as it had already started, so we sat on the next table to a team of five 20 somethings occasionally helping them with some answers. We said we’d return the following week as it would be our last night in the city.

So, fast forward a week and we head off to Chatswood again ready for some red hot quizzing action. I just needed to find a team to try and join. Luckily there was a table reserved for a Meet-up group, so that’s where I headed. There was only one guy there at the time, so we introduced ourselves and hoped that more people would arrive and join us. Alas, it would just be Tim and I taking on the rest of the pub, with the Australia Day themed team name of “The Poms are Coming!”.

Being a 2 man team was always going to be tough, so we just hoped to not come last……which we did!

Seda: I’ve always made Andy a personalised card for his birthday. Although with great difficulty, I’ve again prepared his special card this year, even on the go. My plan was to get it printed off whilst he was making a showcase of his great general knowledge at the pub. All the while my husband was probably thinking I was some sort of shopaholic!

I eventually made it to the pub, met Tim and took a quiet seat sipping my wine. Before long it was apparent that the “The Poms are Coming!” wasn’t making the right noises as the answers were revealed. If any of Andy’s quiz team mates from Warwick are reading this, cut him some slack please as it was mostly Aussie related questions. If there were questions about Aberdeen and Sir Elton John, Andy surely would’ve got them right! *

* There were, and he didn’t get them!

Andy: The next morning we headed to South Sydney by train to pick up our sweet ride to Melbourne. We had “hired” a campervan……well, sort of! With Australia being such a big country, lots of people hire cars or campervans for one way only journeys, meaning that the vehicle needs to be returned to its original site. With the use of transfercar websites you can hire vehicles at a fraction of the normal cost, as you are effectively doing the hire company a favour. So, we got the campervan for 3 days, and only paid for 1. They even throw in a fuel allowance. Bargain!

Seda: This thing is supposed to sleep 5 people (not sure how but never mind). It was nice and comfy for us even though we haven’t made use of most of its features. There is a proper kitchen sink, fridge, microwave, all utensils, pots, plates and everything. There was rubbish bags, new sponge and washing up liquid, a chopping board and strainer for pasta or veg! Everything was thought of!

There was a toilet and shower, table and seating available which we didn’t use as once we got the bed puzzle sorted, we didn’t fancy doing it again. As for the toilet…Andy is just getting used to the camping idea, no need to introduce him to not-so-glamorous sides yet!

Andy: We had planned our journey to Melbourne over the 3 days with the stops along the way. It was really easy to drive, although rather slow and heavy. The first night we stopped at a free campsite which had toilet blocks and most importantly, a pub across the road! We found a shady spot under a tree and wandered over the road to the pub for some dinner.

I was served by a Welsh girl in the bar, and an Irish girl in the restaurant strangely enough. It must’ve been a long shift as she asked me how I’d like my chicken cooked. “Thoroughly” was my answer, which kind of embarrassed her realising what she’d said!

The food was really nice, and we headed back to the van for our first night sleeping in it. On the way back we saw this little cutie……

Seda: These free campsites are very impressive too. They had a swimming pool, kids play area, bbq and picnic area, basically all a family would need for a nice little break. The site is looked after by the local community. All we had to do to show our appreciation was to leave a little something in a coin operated donation box.

Donation box

Andy: It was really hot in the van and we had trouble getting to sleep to begin with, but then strangely enough when we woke up around 5am it was freezing! You can’t win can you!

Seda: It was easy enough to get the sleeping bag to lay on top of us. All the stuff that was provided and in what state was the real surprising thing for me. There were 2 sleeping bags, 2 pillows, 2 bath towels and all clean linen, nice and crisp were neatly packed in clear plastic bags for us to use, very impressive!

The completed puzzle!

As we were awake, we decided to take a walk to the facilities block. Visualise us at 5 in the morning, walking across a field in God-knows-where with eyes half open and hand in hand. What better time to wish my love a happy birthday eh?!

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