Last month this time, I was so eagerly waiting for my office Xmas-New Year closedown. 10 days of not having to worry about ironing your shirt and yes, not having to work too. We were expecting just a long weekend break for xmas and had planned for a 4 days trip and since we came to know of the 2 weeks closedown too late to book flight tickets (without causing heartburn) , we went ahead with our original plan. And off we went to Coonabarabran – The Astronomy Capital of Australia. I spent 30 minutes trying to learn how to pronounce Coonabarabran because the way I did made it sound like one sleepy little village somewhere in Kerala. Haven’t really learned to roll my tongue the way Aussies do :-)
And as usual I had an excel sheet for it.
24-Dec 8:00 AM Start drive (450km , approx. 6 hours)
24-Dec 4:00 PM Arrive at Mathew Flinder's Motor Inn , Coona
24-Dec Drive to Coona towncenter and dinner
Is this normal? I am starting to get worried about myself :-) And I am definitely not getting into event management.
The trip didn’t start too well. The weather forecast showed thunderstorms for the whole week, my music player broke down the night before (The Husband (TH)’s song collection doesn’t really suit my driving mood) and I got a weird haircut the day before (fringes on curly hair!!!Seriously Anphy, what were you thinking?).
I had actually been looking forward to the 450km drive, but have to admit that driving on long stretches of a deserted highway is not much fun. And we arrived at Coona to find only a Chinese restaurant open for dinner :-) The Inn we stayed at is owned by a sweet German couple and I would stay there again just for their breakfast and the free wifi.
But Day 2 went better. My music player mysteriously sprang back to life and my collection of songs cheered up TH so much that he took to ‘actually’ listening to the GPS lady giving instructions instead .For the first time in my life , I did absolutely nothing conventional to celebrate Christmas. We went to the Sandstone caves and Sculptures in the Scrub in Pilliga forest. I got very excited about the 30km dirt track we had to drive on; but if I were to do the same in India I would have been more pissed than excited – me and my double standards. Hehe. And came back to find that all restaurants were closed for Lunch on Christmas. So we had Pita Bread and yoghurt followed by a packet of prunes for our wonderful Xmas Lunch :-( The plus - I didn’t have to cook :-)
Next day , we headed to the Warrumbungles. Saw a couple of Emu’s crossing the road- I never thought they even existed!!!The best part was the 12km Grand High Tops walk we did there. Breathtaking- literally and figuratively. We had the place, by which I mean the whole park :-) , to ourselves – not many people crazy enough to go bushwalking the day after Christmas, I reckon. I am not complaining since we had kangaroos for company. It took us around 5 hours and it was raining for the first 1 hour or so but it was so much fun. We had planned for a night time telescope viewing but it got cancelled because it was too cloudy. I was secretly hoping that it would get cancelled since my leg muscles were creaking and groaning after all the walking. By then we were already feeling so bad about the trip coming to an end that we ended up planning our next trip to Canberra right then and there.
And Day3 , we drove to the Siding Spring Observatory and then headed back home .Managed to see 7 planets in the Virtual Solar System Drive .
Would love to post some photos but then I deleted the whole folder by mistake as part of my ,ahem ,weekly laptop de-cluttering. Now I am really starting to get worried about myself :-)
Note : we did make it to Canberra 2 days later , but who wants to read about driving around in crazy roundabouts ? :-D