Cities of the world each hold their secrets and Sydney is no exception. This is a city we frequent, one The Man and I grew up in and it is a favoured haunt of ours. It also holds some charming secrets, hiding them in full view and it never ceases to surprise me how so many people overlook these things.
While growing up in Sydney, we had some favourite things to do and see when time and circumstance allowed us. These entertainments ranged broadly from the local beaches to rummaging through the bush, and of course the Manly Ferry ride across the beautiful harbour, particularly when there was a Southerly Buster blowing and the ride was a tad on the wild side. A much loved day out was exploring the City, looking for new wonders as well as the remnant of good ole Sydney Town at the Rocks and other places, those still haunted by the past and family memories.
Freecamping is really about Community and I have long held the opinion that any and all towns worthy of their name should have a rest area, or freecamp, freely available to travellers, as they once historically did in Australia. The history of the evolution of the provision of camps for the traveller goes right back to the very first days of the colony when Governor Phillip set up camp on the shores of Botany Bay… then found a better spot and moved to Sydney Cove. Free camping is not only about the travelling community, but also about the communities the travellers move into. Even Governor Phillip recognised this in his endeavour to build a relationship with the locals. But it is something that today has been lost to the demons of commerce.
Deep in the bush, in the region which secreted the dinosaur of trees, the Wollemi pine, is hidden another secret. It is the industrial ghost settlement of Newnes, a testament to mans industry and a ruin of epic proportions.
We are on R&R in Port Macquarie and one of the nicest things about the old penal settlements, those that have come into their own down the century since colonial times, is walking around the site of the old settlement and seeking out the remnant of another age. We have lost so much that is rich and rigorous of colonial times that it is heartbreaking. But here they have endeavoured to preserve their fumbling beginnings where they can, fighting in the battle against progress and commerce.
It is the dawn of the day here now, this very minute as I sit here writing. It’s the time of day that I love the most and for those of you who are strangers to the Aussie bush… let me welcome you. It is dark and the first red splash of sun is popping up over the horizon in front of me. It is beautiful and I wanted to share this moment with you.
We are coming up to near a month now where we have been ‘on the road’ freecamping and it has been a wonderful experience. We have only stayed where we have been happy to camp and I have to admit that we have overstayed the odd time embargo at what are idyllic spots. Naughty us… I know. But in these cases we have been welcome to do so with the agreement of those who oversee the management of the freecamp. They really just want you to respect their towns and care for what they value, peace, nature and what is their home.
We have travelled barely 600klm from home base, which has shocked some rels, but we aren’t in a rat race to anywhere so why hurry? We have seen a great deal, most which we haven’t seen before and we have met some truly lovely people … I am not thinking of those rednecks! Continue reading →
Like all things you soon fall into a pattern for life around a new camp and so it has happened around our first big camp. Our pattern is not entirely new to us, but it holds certain elements that bring us a huge amount of entertainment. The pups of course offer their own entertainments and travelling with dogs has some huge advantages and a couple of quaint disadvantages too.
I have told you about Tuppi, my little miniature poodle once or twice. She is my companion, my friend and my guardian. Our other pup, Scotty Dog, is strictly speaking not ours. He belongs to the Baby Boy (our 3rd son) but while maintaining his loyalties to his owner and master has attached himself to hubby. This created a dilemma for us all when we decided it was time to ‘hit the track’.