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Goin’ norf

February 19, 2012

Or been, more like it.

So it was that my customary compatriot Andrew and I boarded my car and set off for Sydney. Having done the drive west to Adelaide, we’d had a taste of the Great Australian Road Trip™ and decided that it isn’t half bad. That sort of implies that the other half is bad, and into that bad half you can add the miles of unyielding boringness of endless highways where the sights include fuck all, and more fuck all. Oh look, a shed. And a rest stop! And back to fuck all.

What was interesting, in fact, was that the part of regional Victoria that hugs the Hume has sporadic towns here and there. Upon crossing the border and skirting Albury, however, that all changed. Southern New South Wales made up the vast majority of the fuck all we encountered on the trip. This was to the point where at one stage I genuinely started to worry we would run out of petrol before we reached the next skerrick of civilisation. I never thought I’d say this, but thank god for Holbrook!

But back to where we started. It was an overly warm Tuesday when I set off for Camberwell, where Andrew was purchasing car snacks. We trundled our way up towards the highway, and soon enough we were cruising the Hume. A missed turn off, a Uey, and a correction later, we were well on our way. The tunes were cranking by the time we reached our first stop, Glenrowan.

Andrew reflects in Glenrowan.

I’ll say one thing about Glenrowan. They cling to the past as if it’s all they have. Which they do.

2002: a monumental year in Glenrowan.

Our local history appetite sated, we were soon back on the road.

Presently, we came upon a turn off for Beechworth. If there’s one thing I remember from a childhood largely spent holidaying in country Victoria, it’s that Beechworth boasts an amazing bakery. However, upon turning off the highway, we realised it was going to be a 50km round trip, and decided that no vanilla slice is really worth that sort of diversion.

The highway continued, as it tends to do, and by mid afternoon we crossed into NSW. This was where the aforementioned fuck all really began. We later found ourselves in Gundagai, where we emptied our bladders and Andrew attempted to rectify the lack of vanilla slice, to no avail. Back on the road, we pushed on with the odd stop in forgotten towns.

The closer we got to Sydney, the more erratic fellow drivers became. I don’t know whether it was the small sample size we were exposed to, but New South Wales drivers are simply terrible. By the time we turned off for Liverpool for a dinner stop, I’d had enough of unable-to-maintain-a-constant-speed idiots.

A kebab later and we were into the final straight. We arrived at our destination a bit after 8. It might have been closer to 9, but we’d stopped counting by this point. With beers provided by our host Dean, we settled in for a relax and a decent chat, and reflected on all that had been. Almost 13 hours after our departure, we had made it to Sydney.

And so, our trip to Sydney? It rained every day we were there. Balls.

At least the weather meant we had a useful prop.

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