in sydney, alive and..... alive

We made it! Two long days, although to be honest they wouldn't have been as long without the sidetracks to Byron Bay, Coff's Harbour (the actual harbour bit and the big banana) and Port Macquarie.

Byron yielded perhaps the best BLT I've ever had, plus photos of the lighthouse which we can't get off our cameras since we forgot the camera cable. Realised I hadn't been in Byron for something like 14 years. People were a little bit crazy about driving/parking/walking in the same space, but hey.

Since I did all the driving, we made several short stops; often at the STOP OR YOU MIGHT DIE! ARGH! stop points. While the highway rest stops are a great idea, the toilets leave a lot to be desired. Soap, for example. Flushing toilets. Septic tanks. Would not want to approach one during summer, that's for sure.

Lots of roadworks and trucks. I'd like to say that there is just no good reason for a convoy of three B-doubles to overtake cars doing the speed limit, you fuckers.

We stayed the night at Coffs, nice hotel room and good dinner (albeit overpriced). The next morning we took cheesy photos in front of the Big Banana and spent more time than planned watching people make rock candy. That is an amazing process. Went to the actual harbour after I protested "wait a bloody second... Coff's Harbour?" and took some more photos we can't get off the cameras.

Much driving ensues. Oh, and roadworks. Went to Port Macquarie for overpriced lunch. Boring. Don't know why people think it's nice. Maybe there was some other bit that we didn't see. Took a couple of photos that probably won't be worth getting off the camera.

Spent quite a bit of time driving along behind a gorgeous old truck, no idea what make or model. Had huge flared/swooped mudguards and a rounded cabin. Huge headlights in the middle between the guards. Massive V8 from the sound of it, not to mention the fact he kept overtaking us at well over 110km/h despite having another old classic car on the tray AND towing a trailer with something that might have been a Chevy Impala (no lights, badges etc - a project car I guess).

Sadly I eventually had to go around and leave him behind when he eased back from the speed limit for a while. Woke L up so she could see it too :) A bit further on he suddenly rockets past us again, L tried to snap some photos .... really wish we'd packed that cable.

Much later after a couple of stops, in the dark, barrelling through the mountains on the last 100km into Sydney, I see a familiar white shape materialise (the maybe-Impala on the trailer). We'd caught up with the truck again! Surreal period of driving - so dark we couldn't see a thing outside the headlights, road going in all kinds of angles. Huge cuts through the rock and high wind warning signs.

Driving over the Harbour Bridge was frenetic. I loved driving under the arch, but L was freaking out trying to work out which lane to be in and the signs were putting doubts on my idea of 'just stick to the left'. Eventually got shuffled off in a different direction. Chaos ensues. More by luck than design we suddenly turn a corner and find a road I'd walked last year during Web Essentials, which just happened to go to the hotel. So a couple of quick corners later and we finally get to the hotel.

Dutifully notified family. Ordered room service. Collapsed.

Today was spent running around signing the lease and paying bond, all way too much money. Stress and fatigue make for a cranky pair. Not a good day - Sydney is not feeling fun, just big and noisy and REALLY expensive. Many moments of 'why the fuck did we do this?' as we realise we have to find everything all over again and our budget is much tighter than Brisbane (rent and insurance are basically doubled, for example).

Still, we will no doubt feel much better after our stuff is delivered on Monday and we finally have a home again. The downsides were anticipated, even if that doesn't really help deal with them. I'm hoping I feel a bit more settled before going to work (also Monday - L has to deal with the removalists on her own :().

So anyway, we're here. It really hasn't sunk in that we live here now, it just feels like a strange holiday so far.

the move

We finally have a place rented in Sydney - hoo-bloody-ray, things were getting a tad stressful on that count :) Both of us are completely ratshit tired. Not sleeping so well, it seems.

We still have a bunch of shit to cart out to my parents place - stuff we want to store, plus some shit we couldn't sell. Heaps of no-shows, utterly pissed with the whole thing. Tempted to take an axe to some of it and leave it in the bin.

Bank is pissing us off completely, we have some stuff to sort out before we go and they're running days late with all their paperwork. Not that we could ever tell them to hold their horses for a couple of days, of course. Ahh well, nothing we can do except stress.

But overall things are coming together. To distract myself, I've created a Flickr account. Weird thing is most of the photos so far are from previous Sydney trips. Go figure ;)

sad news

Colin Thiele has died: 'Storm Boy' author Thiele dies. 04/09/2006. ABC News Online. He was a prolific writer and I read many of his books when I was at primary school. It was a Lutheran school with many teachers from South Australia, so his works were quite popular - they got read out with quite some gusto :) One teacher in particular seemed to love putting on the accents of the older characters in Sun on the Stubble.

With all the attention for Steve Irwin, it's sad that Thiele's passing is likely to go more or less unnoticed.