We Have Lost the Plot! (and are *really* ready to go home) 4 April 2007

Last night we plopped ourselves on the grassiest spot we could find in a caravan park just off the Hume Highway about 550k from Sydney, and today we raced into the city. Contrary to what some folks had told us though, we thought it was a beautiful drive – the countryside is lovely, even in the drought. We are now in such a hurry to get home that we passed Annandale Road – NO KIDDING! We also drove by or through place names like Wagga Wagga, Yarra Yarra, Murrumbidgie, and Tumbarumba. And have we mentioned that there are NO billboards here? Only the ‘Rest, Revive, Survive’ type of public service signs – until today; we saw a billboard that said ‘White canes can be green too’… we think meaning that canes for the blind can be environmentally manufactured too.

We (only momentarily) contemplated detouring to Canberra to see what many say is a beautifully designed capitol city, if boring to live in, but decided we would rather have plenty of time to find our lodging, drop off luggage, get the bikes over to the Clarence St. Cyclery for boxing up for the return home, and return the ‘hire’ car by 6pm. Good thing, because finding our way did take some extra time. But contrary to my expectations, we really had no problems with that (Patricia is a great navigator) OR with driving over 1000k on the LEFT side of the road (thanks to Patricia, constantly reminding me to stay left, move to the left, etc.). Although, at one point on the highway headed for Sydney, she thought she was going to DIE when she was convinced for a few panicky moments that I *really was* on the wrong side of the road! But I had only moved into an ‘overtaking lane’ in the middle of the road – it still makes us laugh! (There are few cross-country freeways – most are just two-lane, or sometimes divided, highways with very frequent overtaking lanes until you get close to the cities.)

Surprisingly, the Hertz rental car return place was walking distance from the Sydney Religious Society of Friends Meeting House (Quakers) where we are staying. We cleaned up, checked our email, uploaded a few more stories here, and then had one of the best Thai meals we have ever had. Jim says Australia – well, Adelaide – has the best Thai food in the world; guess how far you have to walk for Thai food in Sydney? About 1 block!