When I got back from Fraser Island and went back to work on Tuesday, my first job was to book the following Friday off for the next adventure. Andrea had invited me to go to Seal Rocks with her friend Jamie, visiting from Chicago. Work approved, so the girl’s road trip was on!
Andrea and I headed out on Friday morning to pick the rental car up from Brookvale, then packed it with all of our cases – I had definitely not packed sensibly, with little time to decide what to bring and less restriction on space, I threw everything I thought I might like to have into the case (then added a few more things) – it was definitely on the large and heavy side for a weekend bag.
We started off at Harris Farms, stocking up on snacks and veggies for dinner. It looked like a lot of food – yum! By the time we set off to find the highway, it was about midday – definitely a nice, relaxed start. Andrea set out to drive the first part of the journey, I was DJ’ing and navigating, and Jamie snoozed in the back seat. We hit the Pacific Highway, and the driving quickly grew dull … after a couple of hours, Andrea was ready for a break.
Now I haven’t driven since arriving in Australia, and the car was an automatic (I’m used to a manual), so I shouldn’t really be too surprised at what happened next. With the car parked up at the services, I tried to reverse it out with my left foot on the brake, pushing it like a clutch … yeah, there was some pretty heavy braking going on until I figured out what I was doing wrong and managed – somehow – to get the car out of the parking space. Andrea was about ready to take over again, but I was determined to recover some of my reputation – we continued up the ramp, and luckily things started to improve.
The last part of the drive was up a narrow road, where the tarmac surface quickly petered out into gravel. It was windy and full of hills, surrounded by beautiful forest. The house itself was set in the middle of a relatively large garden, surrounded by a wooden deck, with a chicken coop and plenty of trees. If the view from the front was pretty, the back was beautiful – the landscape stretched out before us with the sea just visible in the far background.
Inside, the house had two double bedrooms and two lofts … one was small and full of toys, but the other was big enough to sleep in. Jamie was keen to take the loft, until she realised it only had a blow up bed … there was also a massive bathroom with a corner jacuzzi bath.
We didn’t waste much time in getting down to the serious business of chilling out with wine and nibbles, watching the sky darken across the view from the deck, and swaying on the hammock chair that Andrea hung up. For dinner, Andrea made an amazing beetroot risotto, and the wine continued, until we were all sleepy and headed to bed.
Saturday, Jamie bounced out of bed early, and enjoyed the morning sun on the deck. By the time I emerged, she was excited at having seen a small kangaroo hop across the back garden. We’re not sure if it was actually a wallaby, but either way, this is definitely not a normal occurrance back home! Both Jamie and Andrea went out for runs, but I was feeling too lazy so I curled up with Harry Potter and breakfast. We did all do a little bit of yoga in the back garden, it was such an amazing place to do it … although the odd ant running up my leg did interfere a little bit with my breathing.
In the afternoon, we headed out to find a beach! Yay beach! We took a huge coolbox of snacks and BEER (yay beer!), and drove along the coast until we found a beautiful, white sandy beach just waiting for us to spread our towels out on it. The ocean was warm and fairly calm, no waves to play in, just nice and chilled. Andrea had blue zinc, which she decided to use as lipstick – it was very fetching …
We headed out for a snorkel, the water was pretty clear and not too deep, maybe up to five metres. There were lots of small stripy fish, and then I saw a turtle! On the way back, there was a small puffer fish, but Andrea and Jamie were too far away to shout them over.
After a couple of hours, we were ready to move on and see something else, so we headed a little way up the road to Sugarloaf Point, to see the lighthouse there. It was a short walk through a bit of forest, with a steep hill at the end up to the lighthouse itself. The views were – as expected – pretty incredible, and we could see out to the actual Seal Rocks. We all took loads of photos, then it was back down, and back home for dinner on the barbie!
As we pulled up through the gate, the kangaroo/wallaby was back! He regarded us curiously from the other side of the fence before hopping off to the bushes, where he stayed in view and posed for our cameras. Amazing.
We chopped up heaps of veggies and some meat for kebabs, then speared our own to put on the barbie … couldn’t remember whose was whose though when they came off, except that Jamie’s were all vegetarian. Andrea demonstrated the correct way to eat corn, by cooking it with the leaves on, then peeling them back to hold while you chew. Maybe it’s a Texas thing … either way, there was plenty of food and plenty of wine, and it was just an awesome evening sitting out on the deck with nobody else around. There was a strange, sweet scent somewhere, we all thought it was each other, I still have no idea if it was a plant and which one.
We decided to try the jacuzzi after dinner, so we all crowded in to enjoy the bubbles! It was just big enough for all three of us, and of course we had to bring our glasses of wine.
Sunday we were determined to get moving more quickly, since we were heading back in the afternoon. First stop would be the nudist beach – a new experience for me and I think also Jamie, although Andrea had been there before. I felt quite overdressed … we didn’t stay too long, just enough time for a dip in the ocean again. The beach was amazingly steep, so within a few steps we were already up to our necks in water, I didn’t feel very safe going too far out, but there were some fun waves to play in.
We moved on to Elizabeth Beach, where we had lunch, finished our last beers, and played some more in the waves … the sea there was the opposite, a long walk out before it even reached over my knees. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, a few clouds just to take the heat away from time to time. All too soon, it was time for the long drive home again …
The weekend wasn’t quite finished though, despite spending three days in each others’ company we all decided to meet up at The Space bar later in the evening for a Sunday night beverage or three. The weather was beginning to turn though, with rain spattering us on the way home and the promise of a thunderstorm to come. After a quick change I was heading back out, but already there was lightning cracking across the sky and I was glad to reach Andrea’s place before the storm kicked in. It took it’s time, with thunder and lightning battling overhead for an hour or so before the rain hit … but wow, did it hit. We debated going to the bar and nearly didn’t (I was in favour of it, given I had to go out either way anyway!), and eventually decided to take the car, we still got drenched even with umbrellas, and that was just on the few steps from the door to the car. It was more of a paddle to get from the car park to the bar, but at last we were there!
A few glasses of wine later and it was time to call it a night … luckily the rain had calmed down, but I walked home along the beach and got wet in the ocean anyway. If only all weekends were this good …!