Wednesday 11 January 2012

Leaving Home

The typical image people have when they hear of a farewell is a mass of people at the airport waving goodbye, lots of hugs and tears.

For us, it all started a month ago, saying goodbye to our storage and our friends at Inverloch and Orange. The next stop was only 2 hours away, Melbourne, where we had the first of our stomach stretching exercises. A massive Italian feast with Tia’s work colleagues, followed by drinks and dinner with friends at our favourite Melbourne tapas bar, Bar Lourinha. Another 2 hours in the car took us to Bendigo to see my grandmother, June, Aunt Esma, my uncle and my cousins. We had a nice little break, a pre-Christmas special roast plus trimmings stomach stretcher, and some teary farewells.

Inverloch Beach Sunset

We now needed to drive to Sydney. Instead of the usual Hume highway jaunt, we took the longer inland route over 2 days. North to Hay, slip streaming behind dozens of road trains through some of the flattest country we have seen so far in Australia, then over the Blue Mountains to Sydney. It was a fun drive, making us wonder if we should have travelled Australia first instead of going overseas, but there is always time for Australia later (I wonder how many times that has been said). It really is a flat country …

Australia really is a flat country. Taken on the road to Hay from Deniliquin.

Power stretches a long way. Taken on the road to Hay from Deniliquin.

Wheat Fields

We arrived at Sydney and it didn’t take long to resume our stomach exercises. We had a 60th birthday party, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas lunch, post Christmas dinners, afternoon teas, breakfasts … I could go on, but you get the picture. It was odd, I actually craved to be hungry. Some more teary farewells, but we had the promise of seeing some of Tia’s family for the upcoming Chinese New Year in Malaysia. We also finalised our Canadian visa application and packing, which had been plaguing our sleep for awhile now.

Christmas Eve Dinner, Sydney

A new year, the start of our trip.

From Sydney it was a quick flight and 2 hour drive to Hogarth. The pace dropped here as the bush absorbed our stress. Christina learnt how to ride a Honda XR100 motorbike without falling off (much); I learnt how to anodize aluminum, and then how to dispose of the chemicals without contaminating our dam water supply (I hope). We ate some more good food, but it was a very relaxing, peaceful trip. Mum was not too happy to see us leave, but that’s to be expected.

Lets Roll... Christina on her bike at Hogarth Range.

We caught a bus to Brisbane for our last night in Australia and are staying with our family friends, the Flints. It had been 3 years since we last visited their house and to say it had been renovated would be an understatement. It was an odd sense of de ja vue, we knew we had been there before, but struggled to recognize it – a project worth its own blog. A great catch up with the family over a feast of roast lamb.

Tomorrow morning we are off to the airport.

The last Supper - Our final dinner in Australia

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