06.03.2013 - 06.03.2013 26 °C
I’m though with frogs! Greatly over-rated creatures no matter how they look! Night-time is for sleep not various noises.
Mary didn’t hear a thing – again.
Early breakfast and on the road heading for Sydney and Shellharbour in fine weather for a change. The F3 motorway was in good condition for the first part but then deteriorated seriously north of North Sydney. I was surprised at the number of steep ups and downs through massive cuttings through sandstone rock. A pleasantly easy trip even with the increasing traffic flow joining us at Gosford on-ramp.
Joining the Cumberland Highway we found out what living in Sydney is like. Answer – horrid. Not surprised that ABC Sydney were all up in arms last evening putting Sydney at second-last in a Real Estate survey of Australia’s liveable cities. For almost two hours we crawled through endless multi-lane traffic via Pennant Hills and heading towards Parramatta. Blimey, I thought, we will almost be close enough to meet PM Gillard ensconced at the Rooty Hills Resort if we keep travelling along this road. What would I say if we stopped for a break and ran into her on the street?!
Mercifully for us both the road changed direction and we headed towards Blacktown! Red lights, narrow lanes, hills up and hills down, massive trucks, school buses, idiots in utes, dopey P Platers who don’t comprehend that pulling out of a shopping centre in front of a large vehicle and stopping partway onto the road is not socially acceptable(!), the list of hazards driving through Sydney is almost endless.
Eventually we left the worst traffic behind and got on to the Princes Highway that runs right down the coast to Victoria. Great PR from NSW Tourism with an ironic sign admonishing drivers not to drive for more than two hours without a break – and then ensuring that there was absolutely no off-road picnic spot to comply with this wise statement? After about 2 ½ hours of stressful driving we just stopped in a fancy restaurant’s car-park and had morning tea!
Realised that we might be too far along the Highway to get to see the desired Seacliff Bridge on the coast. Fortunately we immediately found that we could descend from Bulli Lookout to the coast. Unfortunately the descend was very steep even with the gear settings down to first it required a lot of braking to safely reach the bottom of the escarpment. A bit stressful for driver, passenger and Ute.
We turned back up the coast road from Thirroul towards Coalcliff and found the unmarked Seacliff Bridge. What a pity that NSW Tourism couldn’t get their act right on marketing this interesting sightseeing experience either. A sign at the southern end advised that there was parking at the northern end adjacent to the Surf Club – but it was hidden behind another, larger sign providing other information. Probably just as well, because the park near the Surf Club did not permit caravan parking!!! Never mind, we drove up the bridge and back and grabbed a park at the southern end. We then walked the Bridge (Mary all the way while I returned to the van to make lunch). Arriving back to lunch and suddenly Rob and Margaret arrived for their walk. Good timing indeed!
Headed on through Wollongong and Port Kembla to Shellharbour after stopping for diesel and some extra ant presents! Finally arrived at the Shellharbour Caravan Park and checked in. Sadly our allocated site was too small for the van so managed to get a better one with shelter from the strong sea breezes. With some directions from Rob I was pleasantly surprised to back on to our site first time.
That bit of good news was challenged with the fact that the rotten little brown ants that I had tried to knock-off back in Coffs Harbour had hitched a ride hidden in the water hose connections! Not going any further now!
A long day and rather tiring so we were glad to put our feet up and have a think about sightseeing tomorrow after a good sleep (DV)!