We've just returned from our Christmas road trip to Batemans Bay to spend some time with my sister, her family and my parents who were visiting. It was a great time for all concerned with some relaxing days by the seaside where we did our best to not get too much sun. Squeezed in some walks on the beach and took my vibram fivefingers shoes for a run (and amused my nieces and nephews - funny how the young are so quick to support the status quo - guess the teenage years should change that).
Decided to go inland via the Hume Highway rather than the more interesting coastal route. It's dual-lane most of the way which makes the journey easier, safer and faster, as you can maintain a higher average speed. Allowing for some breaks it was 10hrs 30 mins there and 11 hours neat returning - not bad for 800 km. It is a long way to drive without much in the way of changing scenery - in Europe we'd be doing 130 km/h on autostradas (and paying a toll for it) (our maximum limit is 110 km/h).
Not only is the landscape monotonous it's also dreadfully dry - the epic drought continues though there has been some news of Christmas rains. We'll need a lot more than that to bring the big dry to an end. I dare not ask some of my cousins on the land how they're doing under these conditions. I should have taken some photos to show the dry conditions - it looks like some alien landscape, so dry and desolate. This photo via Panoramio although 18 months old is still accurate.
Continued our traditions of rewarding good behaviour with icecreams (yes I was good and got one too). The ones in Batemans Bay were OK but quite expensive - I guess cashing in on tourist dollars. On the way home we diverted by Beechworth - an old gold mining centre which has been well preserved. Delicious lunch at the Beechworth Bakery [photo/location] followed by some locally made icecream. My cone with a scoop of Peach and a scoop of Mango was sensational and magically transported me back to Italy. The Watermelon that Ms 11 had was superb. Reminds me I should crank up our own gelato machine and have a go.
Good to be home safely - not sure about sanely. It's a long way and the dull repetition of the drive can sap anyone's sanity - not helped by kids getting ratty. Right now to get into house/yard cleanup mode to get ready for the new year. But first some of the post-Christmas sales - see what bargains we can score.