The three of us (my wife and her sister) headed down the road to have a lovely breakfast at the Ultra Cafe. It was super small, but fortunately there was something on the menu we were all happy with. The service was quick, the food as tasty and I was informed that the coffee was excellent. For a Melbourne person to say that the coffee in Brisbane was excellent, is a pretty good review, so props to them.
We hit the road and headed south. Well actually, first you have to head west out to Goondiwindi and then South. Today was all about the destination and not about the journey. It was all about reaching the horizon quickly. Really chasing that horizon with a certain amount of speed. Not the usual meandering through the countryside.
We left in such a hurry yesterday morning, and neither of us really checked what the other had packed. This resulted in a number of food items being left behind. One of which was her tea supply. So for the entire day we were chasing the driver reviver stops, to get her a warm cup of tea and a lovely Arnott’s biscuit. We searched online a downloaded the full list of stops that we would be passing by. As soon as we arrived in a new town, we headed straight to the driver reviver stop, but we continue to find them closed. Considering it was the weekend before school goes back, I expected a lot more to be opened.
Lunch was eaten on the road today. We were very thankful to take some leftover roast veggie quiche, made by my sister-in-law, and heated it up in the oven whilst driving. It’s so lovely to have a top notch meal while on the road, rather than picking up some take-away from the servo. We had reached Narrabri by lunch time, and yet again stopped into the tourist information centre in search of a driver reviver stop. No luck again, but we did find a giant cotton picking machine, and I was able to go right up inside the cabin. It was an unexpected sight and I’m not quite sure how they ever got it inside, but it was pretty cool.
Finally, just 65km from our destination, we find a driver reviver that is open. Thank you to the townsfolk from Gilgandra who volunteered to keep their driver reviver open for those weary travels still trying to reach their horizon destination. It was just what the driver needed to help with that final hour.
The best thing about a long day is that you get to appreciate the sunset. You are literally stuck in a car, with not a lot to do and forced to appreciate every aspect of it. There is no opportunity to get distracted, walk off and miss part of it. As the road wines along you get a different perspective on that angle of the sunset.
I was saying to my wife, back at day 11, how wonderful the weather had been all this time. How lucky we were to not have any rain. I also said ‘I bet for sure that we will have rain in Dubbo’. I had this feeling that it would all go splendidly, right until the end. That the tent will have stayed dry, right until the end. Then, on our last night, it would pour with rain and we would end up with not only our tent being wet, but a whole bunch of our gear being wet too. Just so we can spend our first day at home, drying everything out and cleaning everything. That’s the feeling I got.
Sure enough when I checked the weather forecast this morning, it was showing rain all night. This was like a nightmare for camping, especially after such a good run. We didn’t want that. It’s frustrating setting up your tent in the rain and the trying to get your stuff inside without getting wet. We didn’t even know how to put the fly on the tent because we haven’t yet had to use it. We splurged, and booked a budget cabin at the caravan park. I want to enjoy the last part of the trip. I want to enjoy my only day at home before I head back to work. I want the last memories made on this trip to be happy ones. I have camped in the rain plenty of times, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much by taking the easy option tonight. We relaxed in the cabin with a warm dinner and some trashy TV.