The long trip home.

Apparently, we got up at 5:30 on Monday morning to start packing. I didn’t really take much notice of the time anymore, but it seemed to take ages to pack up. I caught sight of Casey’s watch as we left and it was only 9:30 – I had thought it was nearer midday!

I couldn’t believe how full the trailer and car still were – we’d eaten loads of the food we’d brought along, surely there should have been more room? Still, we all fitted in somehow, and finally we were off. Things got off to a bit of a rocky start when we took the road up and around the rocks, and a frustrated bus driver on the other side tried to block Casey from coming out. He’d been waiting a while to get through the single track road, but the rangers were waving everybody through from our side, and he finally got annoyed enough to try and stop people. It wasn’t very helpful, considering we were already through, luckily he let us out …

As we drew closer to the barge pick up point, there was a huge queue of cars. The two barges take around ten at a time, but they’re so efficient, and it’s only a short round trip, maybe fifteen minutes in all. We had long enough to enjoy a morning beer while we were waiting though – might as well stretch the holiday out as long as possible :)

We stopped in Rainbow in another queue, to put air back into the soft tyres before getting back on the roads. I had my first Gaytime ice cream, I’d been looking for them in Eurong and Happy Valley all week but they hadn’t had any. It was amazing, and I shared bits of it with Ivy – she was so cute trying to eat the last bits off of the stick, and so messy too.

The rest of the journey was fairly boring, roads weren’t as much fun as driving on the beach. We tried to play I Spy, and Yolly got us stumped with “Bonnet” – it doesn’t really last very long though.

Finally, we made it home, with just enough time for a quick shower before I had to leave to get my flight home. Boooo! The girls weren’t thrilled at being strapped back into the car, but Yolly distracted them with the Christmas presents they hadn’t been able to fit in to take to the beach. Mya unwrapped a gorgeous little swimsuit and some ink stamps, and amused herself trying on Ivy’s new shoes during the drive.

As we reached the airport, she had been suspiciously quiet. I turned around to see her hands covered in blue ink from the stamps, with a big smudge on her nose – she looked so cute, I couldn’t stop laughing – I wish I’d taken a photo before we cleaned it off, because of all the funny things she does, that one definitely got me the most.

At the check in desk, my suitcase and tent together weighed in at a smidgen over 23kg, and I was delighted that I could take both of them home! The dramas weren’t quite over though – my flight was delayed due to a late arrival, which turned out to have an engineering fault. As they announced the change of gate, they were also looking for six volunteers to take a flight the next day. I was going to do it, they were offering a full refund plus accommodation and flight home, I would get a nice early night and a bit of money in my pocket instead of arriving home at midnight! It turned out they found a bigger plane after all then – I don’t think I was the only disappointed one, I heard other passengers who had been wanting the same.

Finally, finally we were in the air and on our way home. With ten minutes to go, they announced that we were going to try and land before the 11pm curfew at Sydney airport, to avoid being diverted. I crossed my fingers that we weren’t going to be heading BACK to Brisbane … that would have been awful, but happily we were soon landing, and heading through the airport. I collapsed into a taxi, blow the cost, there were no ferries anyway and I couldn’t be bothered to mess about with buses and trains – this holiday deserved to be finished off in style!

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