Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve.
We were on the road by 7am facing a journey of 596 klms and according to Google Maps would take 7 hours and 18 minutes. I chose the route which would take us through Armidale, Tamworth, Scone, Muswellbrook and Maitland to pick up the M1 Freeway to Wahroonga then pick up the M2 Tollway which includes a tunnel under the Lane Cove River and the tunnel under Sydney Harbour. Most of this avoided traffic until we reached Brighton Le Sands where we came to a standstill. The next two klms took twenty minutes. After stopping to change drivers twice, three fuel stops and morning coffee and lunch stops we eventually arrived at Bev n Pete’s house at Gymea 9 hours and 18 minutes after starting.
Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day.
After breakfast with Bev n Pete, we drove the 60 or so Klms to Corrimal via the steep, winding and breathtaking views of Bulli Pass. We spent Christmas Day with Errol
and the two children Amelia
and Hannah. Nicoles mother, Merilyn, flew from Melbourne as did Nicole’s brother Scott and his wife Monica.
Nicoles other brother Greg flew from the Gold Coast. The day was mostly cold wet and windy but we enjoyed Christmas lunch of Turkey and Ham with trimmings. Dinner was Prawns and salad. Donnis and I drove back to Sydney for the night.
Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day.
After breakfast we once more drove to Corrimal via Bulli Pass. At least the sun was out today but only on a casual basis. We drove to Austinmer Beach for coffee and a stroll around the north and south headlands. http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/wollongong-and-surrounds/thirroul/attractions/austinmer-beach
Donnis braved the chill breeze to swim the two rock pools.
After dinner we all drove to Woonona to look at a street where all the houses were lit with Christmas lights.
After saying our farewells to the family we drove back to Gymea.
Thursday 27th December.
We had a big day with Bev n Pete who organised a walking tour of “The Rocks”, part of the original settlement of Australia by Europeans. The day was so big and with lots of photographs I have decided to break this post into two parts. The first being the normal weekly post followed by a post about our walking tour of The Rocks. The Rocks post will be presented within a day or two…once I have edited the photos down to an acceptable twenty or so.
In the evening another sister, Enid, arrived from the Sunshine Coast. Bev n Petes three sons David, Christopher and Mitch with his girlfriend Sam all arrived about the same time. It was a loud and lively dinner table for a post Christmas get together.
Friday 28th December.
After a leisurely breakfast and saying our good-byes to family we left Gymea and headed north. There was more traffic today with a good portion of it heading out of town…in the same direction as us. The traffic flowed well and we once again took the Sydney Harbour Tunnel then the Lane Cove River Tunnel and joined the M2 until the Beecroft Road off ramp. Traffic was still flowing well until we hit the Pennant Hills Road where traffic was bumper to bumper, creeping and crawling for the next seven Klms until we reached the M1 Freeway. At the Beresfield off ramp (near Newcastle) we turned left onto the New England Highway and enjoyed a reasonable run home. The traffic heading further north joined a traffic grid lock which spread for 35 Klms! We are sure glad we decided not to take the alternate route! We stopped for dinner at a Thai Restaurant at Armidale. The trip today, including meal and fuel stops took 10 hours and 18 minutes.
Saturday 29th December
After all the travel of the previous 5 days I thought we might have a quiet day at home. However we did drive to Armidale for a top up of groceries.
Sunday 30th December
Today was officially a rest day. We are still tired from the driving this week and Donnis is suffering from hay fever. I cut the grass for a couple of hours and I suppose the grass dust did not help her condition.
The report on The Rocks should appear in a day or two.