A relaxed start, check out, pay, and start moving on. Sydney next. Hives. I've got bloody hives. A bunch of them at the top of the back of my neck, and running horizontally around to the back of my jaw. It aches and burns, and I had to jam my pony-tail up out of the way to stop the hair and sweat irritating it further. I think I fell asleep with some damp shampoo suds in my hair from the spa. An allergy wouldn't surprise me. First thing in the morning, I go out in the sun, it's hot, and that part of my skin gets some UV light around the hat and starts sweating under the hair. We'll see.
We're not intending to stop in Sydney, but dodging a couple toll-roads, and then the desire for a bit of a late breakfast and more fuel leads us to a place I've been before, but that we stumble on by accident: The Westfield shopping centre in Liverpool.
Bathroom, curry chicken, and a gigantic baked potato...thing. Sladen declares it to be an unconquerable chicken potato mountain (with cheese! And yet more cheese!)
Getting out of Sydney took longer than is reasonably possible for it to have taken. It took two and a half hours to get clear of the town and moving along the Pacific Highway, headed north. Past Newcastle, and finally through Port Macquarie into Kempsey around 6pm. Staying at the Fairway lodge. Small, but nice and serviceable, with a beautiful, beautiful dog in residence.
The plan is a little ad-hoc, but comes together quickly. A scotch and coke at the local pub; A coffee at the nearby cafe; A bottle of malibu and a bottle of coke from the bottle-shop; A roast-beef, garlic and mushroom pizza, and a short walk around the main-street while we're waiting for it. Back to the car, and back to the room. Bugger opulence, we're opting for a little dignified and elegant decadence. A few Malibu and cokes and the pizza and here we are. Stately decay, and a little wobbly writing.
I've been nowhere I can send any of this, yet. Soon, I hope. Tomorrow the plan is to hit Brisbane (probably about seven hours not pushing hard, and allowing for roadworks and other impedimentae).
Cruise control is excellent, by the way. This is the first car I've had with it, and it's made a hell of a difference. It's precise and fuel-efficient. We get about 750kms to a full tank, and don't have to worry about all the speed cameras we passed. A lot of folks were obviously pretty unhappy with our slavish adherance to the mandated regulations of speed, particularly at the regular stretches of roadworks (Umm. I understand you're upgrading and repairing sections of the roads. Long sections. If this process is as continuous as it appears to be....then doesn't that negate the overall throughput/speed benefits that you're trying to achieve, by introducing these long, slow sections – but I digress).
Most of those shot through multiple operational speed cameras at speeds that policemen find interesting. If they're going all the way to Brisbane, most of those will have suspension notices and gigantic fines waiting for them when they get there.
Speed cameras – the second most fun you can have with a newspaper, coffee and a doughnut.