291. Sunday 30th December 2012. Long drive into Christmas…

Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve sunrise looking over New England ranges.

Christmas Eve sunrise looking over New England ranges.

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

Errol

Errol

and Nicole

Nicole.

Nicole.

and the two children Amelia

Amelia Christmas Day.

Amelia Christmas Day.

and Hannah. Nicoles mother, Merilyn, flew from Melbourne as did Nicole’s brother Scott and his wife Monica.

Hannah and Monica.

Hannah and 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.

Errol and Frank

Errol and Frank

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

Frank at Northern Austinmer headland

Frank at Northern Austinmer headland

More Austinmer south coastline

More Austinmer south coastline

Austinmer south Coastline

Austinmer south Coastline

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.

Amelia in lights.

Amelia in lights.

Nicole, Amelia, Merilyn, Donnis

Nicole, Amelia, Merilyn, Donnis

Nicole, Errol, Monica, Scott, Frank, Merilyn, Greg and Amelia

Nicole, Errol, Monica, Scott, Frank, Merilyn, Greg and Amelia

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.

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6 Responses to “291. Sunday 30th December 2012. Long drive into Christmas…”

  1. Paul Greenfield Says:

    Happy and a prosperous new year Frank and Donnis.

    Cheers and beers

    Paul and Wendy

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    • frankeeg Says:

      Thanks Paul and Wendy. As always the coming year will bring its own share of good times, sad times, excitement and boredom but we are looking forward to the good times and excitement although Lotto is still not keeping up its end of the deal. Sob. May your new year bring a good share of the good times and excitement. Cheers and Bundy…Frank

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  2. RedRoadDiaries Says:

    Best wishes to you and Donnis for the new year. I watched the celebration in Sydney this morning and it was spectacular as usual. Looking forward to hearing about the Rocks. Judith

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    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Judith, we also stayed up to watch the NYE Fireworks from Sydney. In case you were not aware, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and most of those fireworks were at The Rocks. Spectacular stuff last night, it seems to get better and better each year but I am not sure I would like to be in the crush of 1.5million people trying to get home. Cheers…PS THe Rocks post coming shortly. Lots of photos.

      Like

      • RedRoadDiaries Says:

        felt the same way when I lived in NY and considered going to Times Square at midnight…As I watched the events in Sydney I thought a boat in the harbor might be the way to go…did not know what The Rocks were so I look forward to your post.

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      • frankeeg Says:

        Hi Judith. A boat would be ideal but I think even the boats now need a permit to be in the area. The event has become too big. All foot and road traffic on the bridge is stopped during the fireworks. The Rocks post is now published.

        Like

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