It was the wind that woke me. That and the dream about two snakes, one twelve foot long and yellow, that would be sharing a very small space with me. I recall that I was devasted when they attacked each other...
I'm showered and packed and ready for the off again.
We journeyed across Sydney Harbour Bridge on our way out of the city towards Newcastle, where we stay for two nights. We drove along the Pacific Highway to Gosford where we intended to stop for lunch but the town roads threw us immediately back out as soon as we arrived so we carried on in the direction of Newcastle. Only then did we discover that we hadn't been travelling on the Pacific Highway nor route 38 as we suspected, but another road which is anonymous on our state map. We eventually discovered a mini complex which homed a McDonalds who were willing to serve us something that didn't resemble what we ordered. While finishing up my 'meal' I gazed out of the window at four girls greeting each other just outside McDonalds, giving each other the weakest and least sincere hugs and then proceeded to light up cigarettes. I guessed they must be maybe fifteen or sixteen years old. I wouldn't like to be a hypocrit and bemoan their bad habit in the making but at least, at the tender age of fourteen years, when I first tried smoking, my friends and I would hide in the woods when we lit up, frightened to death that someone, even a distant neighbour who had nothing to do with our parents, would see or smell us. We certainly wouldn't have been so blatant and loiter around public places, not until seventeen years anyway...
We kept getting transferred from road to road for the rest of the journey to Newcastle. Before we left the mini complex we made a brief visit to a supermarket to stock up on supplies, Ian finding a super ten litre container of mineral water to lug back to the car.
Our journey from Sydney to Newcastle covered 185 kilometres.
The Newcastle Beach YHA offers a free dinner at Finnegans Irish Pub so, at the offer of free nosh, we both sign up for it and after a brief inspection of the beach noting the big waves, seeing ten tankers off shore and the consumption of a hot chocolate, we meet up in the reception at 18:00 and follow 'Tex' across town like we're five year olds on a school outing. Finnegans is situated at the other end of town and also has some Stella Artois on tap. Ian orders a Guinness and I a Stella. An hour later, me having returned my Stella to the barman suggesting the pipes hadn't been cleaned, him agreeing and us testing a few more swills having flushed the pipe for a while, then having another Stella as a replacement which wasn't much better, our dinner arrived. It was a very small plate with a childs helping of two sausages, six peas and a dollop of lumpy mashed potato but free nosh anyway. We sipped our beers then booked two seats at the cinema for 007 Die Another Day. We retreated to the hostel for an hour and then returned to the cinema and sat through 007 Die Another Day for just over 2 hours which I enjoyed very much. Still, I suppose there are plenty of us of my era that will enjoy 007 films no matter how far fetched they are, we were brought up on them and they will always be legendary.
On the way back to the hostel I had to dodge four cockroaches in the street!
Now it's midnight, it's time to rest.
Copyright 2003 Helen Fuller. All rights reserved.