We’ve now driven almost 4,000 miles in 5 weeks, so the picture on the left is what I’ve been looking at for a long time now. It seems amazing to both Sarah and I that Charlotte and Emily have adjusted so well to travelling around so much. They seem happy sitting for hours in the back, drawing, chatting and sleeping, as long as we stop at a play park for lunch. They have become so tolerant of travelling, that 3 hours is regarded as a short drive. But they are always happy when we settle down somewhere for a couple of nights, because it means that they can spend a day exploring the area, finding new play parks, and playing with the other children. Even though its during term time here in Australia, there are often children of Charlotte’s age travelling with their parents. Here in Oz, employees get an extended holiday after every 7 or 10 years service, when they get 10 weeks fully paid holiday. It seems that many of them use that to go around the country in a caravan, taking their children out of school – and the schools see it as a positive experience for the children. It is a bit of contrast to back home, where the prevailing attitude to taking children out of school for holidays is that it’s evil!
Just in case you’re following our trip with a map, we’ve now reached South West rocks, south of Coffs Harbour. We stopped for a night at Nambucca Heads, which was a nice estuary, but the caravan park was packed tight, so we’ve moved further south. We’re now in a state park campsite, right beside a beautiful white beach, with huge wild kangaroos bouncing around the site. It’s so nice that we’ve decided to settle down here for a few nights. We’re a few miles from the closest town, but we’re going to drive off there tomorrow night to see England thrash France (wishful thinking?), having heard Australia unexpectedly beat the Kiwis on the radio tonight