Roadtrip #2

You would think I’d be happy to have made it to the hostel – or at least the carpark.  And I was.


But you know it was all uphill from there – and up-step-hill as well.  I was sweating and swearing (quietly under my breath like a lady) and wishing i’d packed less clothes before i left.  I don’t know why but all hostels are at the top of a hill – i was starting to have recollections of slogging uphill to the Brisbane hostel in summer by now.


I’m seriously going to email them about having a ‘Downhill Hostel Downunder’.


My darling daughter is allergic to lifts but we forced her into one and then spent a good deal of time trying to work out where to put the card to make the lift work!

Better than in Rome where you had to put money in the lift to make it go up or down!  Here you only need the room card, and only to go up.


We had 10 quiet minutes after we arrived to regroup and then went off on the ‘Bus ticket finding mission’.

We only needed a One stop bus ticket – the hostel only had a 2 or 3 stop ticket.  Off we went, the boys to the car to get the batteries for the camera from the car, and the girl child and I to find the ticket.


Off we went to George Street.   We only needed to go from one end of George Street to the other (ie China town or Paddy’s markets).  I was amazed at the amount of buses that were going to many destinations……….all of them requiring said buses to turn off George Street BEFORE China Town!  I was getting pretty feral again.


The teens of course being teens wanted to know if we needed to catch a bus?  YES, YES, because I FREAKIN SAY SO! is why.

Yes, it is down the other end of the same street (screaming quietly between gritted teeth), and don’t forget my sore throat, my bloodshot eyes, and my freakin bluddy headache!

YES! We could walk, but we aren’t going to.


Sorry, sorry, just talking to the kids, didn’t mean to disturb you.


So i stalk a bus or two (several are 2 cms ahead of the bustop sign and won’t open the door, several have seen me and don’t want to open their doors).


Finally one does give in – yep lady, go up to the next bustop and ask there.


Ok we’ve already gone about 3 blocks, we’ll be in China Town soon.


OMG, the GREEN bus.  Yes, that’s right, we get on, it’s going the right way, all the way – Madam the ticket machine doesn’t work, it’s a free bus. FREE,

FREE?  Ok, thanks.


We had such a nice dinner with our rels.  We didn’t take many photos, i just wasn’t up to it.


I did have half a bottle of a lovely white.  I couldn’t taste it, but it was really lovely anyway.  We took a lovely (ticketed) bus back to Wynyard and walked to Circular Quay.


My daughter took lots of dark photos of the statues, and the boys changed the settings and took lots of furry photos of ferries and us in front of gardens.


Icecream and coffee was had and all was well.  And then we went up all those freakin steps back to the hostel.  We only had to put the room card in the slot to get into the hostel – in the old days when i stayed in hostels they would give you a code to get back in…………and you spent the entire evening at the hotel drinking and repeating the number in case you forgot it………….and then someone (who had heard you repeating it at the hotel) broke in and stole everyone’s money o/night……….ah the good old days).


A good nights sleep was had by all – altho i got up first.   And dragged the darling daughter up next.


We went off to breaky which is quite fun.   Cook your own for a good price.  Love it.  Oh yeah, and wash up your own.


The boys got up later, and found they could have bacon, eggs, baked beans, toast, cereal. whatever for the same price.


K and I finished packing, and went off to the rooftop for the obligatory photos of the opera house from the roof…………….OMG who left that freakin BOAT THERE!

Move it please, a little to the left?  NO, NO?  what do you mean NO?


There was a bloody great ocean liner in the way, I could NOT believe it?  I don’t care if you are a Dawn Princess……..I’m a bluddy Feral Princess!  So not quite perfect photos taken.  Some of which later showed the clocktower………..remember that for later.


We had a nice hour down at Circular Quay taking photos and feeling pleased with ourselves.  Boys sent to the hostel to get the ticket stamped – the deal was that at the Watchtower carpark (yes, in the street below the hostel) did a $40 for 24 hrs.  Great.  We asked when we arrived about getting the ticket stamped and they said to do it when we leave.  Uhuh, yep, thanks so veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery much!


Apparently there are about 10 of the same brand carparks in that street and we weren’t in the correct one.

We even looked for the clocktower as we were leaving and still couldnt find it.


Later when loading some photos for the grandparents one of the boys saw it in a photo!  Pity about the $126 and some cents it cost us to park overnight – kinda put the price of the hostel up mega!  So not happy leaving Sydney – refused to go over the Harbour Bridge again in cases that might cost even more!


There was no Learner Driver that day as the motorways above Sydney are much madder than the ones south.  Lots of trucks playing leapfrog and cars overtaking on the left, my nerves wont stand it, and I’m too young to die!


Visited with family and friends while we were there.  It was a little hairy in the shopping centre, you know how no body cares about rules when there’s one park left?


Then a pleasant journey through the countryside.  and back – well almost back again.  On the big roundabout we had a problem.  Said Learner driver missed his turn, so decided to ‘go round again’.

This is a common practise around here.  We only have one lane roundabouts in our small town tho.  Altho in Canberra they have big ones.  They are actually big round roundabouts tho, not these things with funny in and out bits where you can and can’t go.


This roundabout I’m talking about is normally packed and very busy, but being as it was just past 9pm and there was football on tv it was mostly empty.

Unfortunately for us as we came past the part where we had entered and had our eye on the exit of choice – WHACK!


We were in the outside lane, and at that point both lanes go thru, but it wasn’t apparent until we got out of the car.

In fact, the owner of the previously pretty red car was a bit distressed when i said ‘You just drove in front of us!’.

I was pretty distressed myself!

She said “We’ll call the police then!” and  I said ‘Yes, you do that!’


The boy said quietly ‘dont we just exchange details?’ ‘No, we’re having the police’.


The police (who were just up the road trying to get everyone for speeding, we’d just passed them, refused to have anything to do with us so we did exchange details – but not happily Jan!


The boy was the only one who wasn’t in shock I think, he took it all in his stride (he also took the $1500 excess in his stride – when you don’t have 1500 cents i guess it doesnt faze you how many noughts are on the end?).  I did work out whilst standing on the roundabout that we were in the wrong for coming around the roundabout in that lane.


However, i am beginning to wonder why i am buying all these L plates to display on the car these days.


What does an L plate signify?  I always thought that you treated L platers with a little respect?  You never know what they are going to do!


You never know what stage they are at – unlike P platers they dont come in ‘beginner’ and ‘intermediate’ colours – so it could be their first road experience or their 119th hour on the road?

I thought that altho L platers are a pain because they are not allowed to legally go more than 80 kph you took a little care around them if you valued your life and your car.


Apparently not.  On the previously mentioned roundabout we were going about 25k’s around it, and the other person went thru much faster, either she didn’t see our L plate, or she didnt care.

Now if i was going around while an L plater was meanering on a roundabout i would probably go HSWTF – and keep going around the roundabout just so we didn’t collide?

There’s a saying ‘Dead right’  I think her version would be ‘Bent right’.  I’m not sure what the benefit of being right is if your car is a mess.  Anyway wrong we are (but how are L platers sposed to learn about roundabouts?  since nobody seems to go round them the correct way anyway?


Whilst I am whinging about L plate drivers, may I just say that i think its highly unfair for those of us who have twins to have to do 120 hours each – there should be a family discount!


There is a limit to what a woman can put up with and I’m over it, well and truly.


I now start to twitch and grind my teeth as we exit the farm gate.  I think at the very least they should have a liquor discount voucher for us parents!

Its only humane.


And increasing the hours people have to do to get their licence?

Has it actually reduced the road toll?  I dont think it has.

Why?  Well lets just say that 100 x $60 for driving lessons (x2 for twins) because the first 10 hours with a driving instructor is worth 3 hours each – is pretty un-affordable for most of us.


So we are teaching them.  Ah yes, so any bad habits we teach them will be well and truly ingrained by the time they are on their own.


If you want to improve their driving – take a look at most drivers on the road and then imagine them all running their own private driving schools?  That’s what it actually is!  And no, thanks I don’t really want to attend remedial driving classes as well but seriously!


Less hours but some professeional input would be good.  What about school?  Couldn’t some teacher draw the short straw each week and take them for a spin?  Ouch – the teachers will be gunning for me now!


We ventured into the car again to go to Canberra.


The other boy was driving when a fully laden semi overtook us.  Going up the next hill we overtook him again – he caught us on the straight of course (doing 80kph) and then he overtook us going up a hill – well he tried.


He got level with us, saw the car coming up the other side towards him – sounded his horn (very loud) and then proceeded to push us off the road.

Well it was that or mincemeat.


I just love loose gravel and an L plater – thank goodness for all those spinouts in the paddock over the years or we’d be wearing a fence.


Respect.  Care.  Survival Gene?  Who needs one – driving is now officially an Extreme Sport in my book!


As we left the insurance office, picked up the dogs from the kennels and I drove home (nobody touches my ute)  No: 1 boy reads out his licence.

Wow mum I can drive a tractor (as long as you’re sitting there with me – pity we didnt have one).


Oh and I can drive a mini bus…………………….We could get all my friends together and you could come and we could go on SOME ROADTRIPS!!!!!!


Then he PHSL,  the little piece of poo — at the look of sheer horror on my face, as I envisiaged a small mini bus painted in beige/purple/black with a little towalong luggage trailer behind – Me and a boy at the front end and half the teens of the Monaro partying behind.



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