Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 200. Darlington Point to Tahmoor

New Introductions: Hello Miss Isabella Turner!

Bec couldn't sleep. It was a long night of tossing and turning that kept her up, which in turn kept me up too. Somehow I think Bec was a little excited about returning home for a visit today and to see her family again - and especially meeting her new neice Isabella.

At just after 4am this morning, Bec finally gave in to the inevitable and rolled over and said to me: " I can't sleep". I replied: "No Kidding". It was at this point that Bec suggested that we hit the road early, as she couldn't get back to sleep. What could I do? I could try to pretend that I didn't hear her and had already fallen back to sleep - but I knew that would of ended up with me wearing a pillow for my troubles. Instead I just grunted in reply, and Bec took this as the OK to get out of bed. Before I knew what was happening, the caravan light was on, the heater was turned on, and the kettle was on the boil.

30 minutes later, we were pulling out of the caravan park. Bec had Scarlett bundled into the Pajero still wearing her pajamas, while in the meantime both Bec and I had the van packed and ready to hit the road; all in complete darkness!

No sooner had we hit the road and we came across an owl that barely missed the Pajero as we headed along the hwy. Scarlett was very impressed, as it was her first owl she had seen in mid flight. After that, it was impossible to get her back to sleep as she wanted to see more owls. Unfortunately for her, no more owls were to be seen during today's travels.

It stayed dark for ages (obviously due to the fact that it was still an ungodly hour of the morning that most normal people stay tucked in their warm beds), but eventually the sky began to lighten and the sun poked its head up over the eastern horizon. I'd like to say that a glorious morning greeted us - but that would be fibbing. Instead, the sky was a dismal grey, with rain clouds as far as the eye could see. Bugger! I guess we weren't in for a cruisey drive back to Bec's parents house. The road stayed mostly dry for the first couple of hours driving, but eventually it stared to drizzle, before turning into full rain and gusty winds!

We stopped off at Wagga Wagga McDonalds for a hot breakfast to go; and also filled up with diesel for the last time. We were on the final stretch back home and nothing was going to get in Becs way of finally holding Isabella.

We had hoped to surprise Nana by arriving a day early. Our original plan was to arrive at her house tomorrow, but technology foiled us. Silly me updated the map last night on our blog, and Nana being a woman of the world figured out that we weren't really that far away from home - so halfway up the Hume Hwy Bec gets a call on her mobile asking what we would like for dinner? Double Bugger!

No room to move. Make way! I'm coming through!
(That's Scarlett getting a big hug from nana behind Bec)
Scarlett was really looking fwd to surprising Nana, so we explained this to her and decided that she should look really surprised to see us when we arrived and hopefully Scarlett would be none the wiser. As we turned into the street Nana lives in Scarlett was almost hysterical. She was bouncing in her seat and kept repeating "We're here! We're here!" I think she was excited!

We walked into the house and their were smiles, screaming, laughter and hugs all round! Scarlett was over the moon that she was finally back at Nana's house, and she immediately hugged Nana and wouldn't let go. We had also pre-arranged with Courtney to visit when we arrived, and this is exactly what Bec was waiting for. She was overjoyed to see them both as she entered the house, which resulted in more hugs and kisses. (You would swear it was an episode of "Days of Our Lives").

Nana, Scarlett and Isabella
If I didn't know any better I would of swore that Bec went all clucky this afternoon! She held and cradled Isabella at every opportunity; and even did a nappy change! That woman never ceases to amaze me! Nana had her hands full playing with Scarlett, while I was left to start unpacking the car and the van of essentials. Weather permitting, Bec and I will clean out the van tomorrow an have it repacked and sorted - ready for our next adventure in a couple of weeks.

Unfortunately Both Russell (Bec's dad) and Adam (her brother) weren't here when we arrived this morning. Adam was called into work early, and Russell has disappeared to QLD for a long weekend to attend a 'Team Mates' dinner Dick Johnson Racing, and also to watch the V8 Supercars at Willowbank. Hopefully we'll catch up with Adam tomorrow and Russell next week when he returns home from his own adventures.

Courtney, Bec and Miss Isabella

Once everything had died down this afternoon, it was time for a little bit of relaxation. It was a novel feeling as we enjoyed a home cooked dinner, soaked in a hot shower without things on, and curled up on the couch to watch an evening of TV. I've realised its the little things that make all the difference.

We plan on staying home for a couple of weeks to rest and restock - before hitting the road once more. Then we'll tackle inland NSW and inland QLD, before reaching the top of the Cape and heading back down along the coast. I'm guessing over the nest couple of weeks that the blog wont be updated daily - sorry - but I hope to continue giving a weekly update of what we have been up to every Sunday evening; so watch this space!

Bec was suppose to write tonights blog, but I think she is emotionally buggered and drained after todays reunion. I've decided to give her the night off and write the blog for her, so hopefully I have done todays blog justice. It'll feel strange not writing the blog every night for the next couple of weeks, but I think we've deserved a break from it.
In the last 200 days we have travelled extensivelly around this land we call Australia - but in truth we've only seen the tip of what there really is out there to see. The journey so far has been a highlight of my life, and I can't wait to continue and see more.

In the last 200 days we have done some amazing things. Here are just a few highlights that come to mind:

  1. Visiting Kangaroo Island, where we got up close and personal during a rare encounter with wild dolphins in the open ocean;
  2. Swimming with Southern Blue Fin Tuna and Great White Sharks in Port Lincoln;
  3. Crossed the mighty Nullabor, and camped on the cliff tops overlooking the Southern Ocean;
  4. Saw the 'Super Pit' gold mine in Kalgoorlie, and visited Wave Rock in the middle of no where;
  5. Experienced the amazing cobalt seas along the southern coastline of WA,
  6. Climbed the 'Gloucester Tree' in the tall forests that call southern WA home;
  7. Sampled the beautiful wineries of the Margaret River region;
  8. Enjoyed wine and canapes while watching the sun set over the Pinnacles;
  9. Visted Monkey Mia and interacted with the dolphins and sealife - including a visit to a working Pearl Farm where Bec 'flirted' with Farmer Jamie;
  10. Being spellbound by the natural beauty of Coral Bay and swimming with the Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef;
  11. Stopping off at Tom Price and doing a tour of the Rio Tinto Iron Ore mine;
  12. Being gorged out at Karijini National Park;
  13. Shell fossicking along 80 Mile Beach, and watching Bec 'hook up' on her first big fish while beach fishing;
  14. Relaxing in Broome and Cape Levique,
  15. Flying a sea plane to the Horizontal Waterfalls, where we rode a high speed boat through the churning waters like wild water rafting;
  16. Experiencing the raw beauty of Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks;
  17. Driving across a river crossing while watching a 4 metre crocodile swim beside us;
  18. Meeting 'Brutus' and 'the Dominator' - both 5.5mtr crocodiles, while doing an Adelaide River jumping croc cruise;
  19. Watching Scarlett 'swim' with crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove;
  20. Spending a wild night at Daly Waters Hotel;
  21. Seeing the West MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs;
  22. Making it to the top of Ayers Rock, and watching the sun rise and sun set over both Ayers Rock and the Olgas;
  23. Walking the rim of Kings Canyon, and watching dingo's 'steal' food in the camp ground;
  24. Seeing wild camels on the roads while travelling the outback;
  25. Fossicking for Opals in Coober Pedy;
  26. Visiting the Mad Max museum in Silverton, and
  27. Seeing old friends while travelling around Australia, while at the same time making new ones.
This certainly isn't everything we have done or seen to date, but just a slice of our adventures that really stand out for me. I'm sure Bec could quite easily add to this list!

PS: I just want to reiterate that our journey isn't over. Bec and I have had a number of people contact us and saying that they will miss reading our blog. I can assure you that we are only taking a holiday from our holiday. We will be hitting the road again in a couple of weeks, and hope to see all our wonderful friends in QLD during the next chapter of what is becoming a large novel called the 'Cheney Caravan Of Courage'....


  1. Well done. Thank you for letting us share in some of your families travels. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs in the future.