I was awake at 5.30am this morning, and for every minute that I grew more alert the more I realised what a big day today is. Today I've left my home town of Sydney and begun a road trip that will take me past over 12,000 kilometres of Australian landscape. Below you can see the route that I'm taking.
My first stop on this trip is Newcastle. The road out of Sydney was relatively uneventful except for a lot of traffic, horrible weather and a dead echidna on the side of the road. I arrived in Newcastle by midday and it appeared the bad weather had followed me here. All my memories of people talking about Newcastle involve blue skies and lots of sun, dammit!
In any case I've left my van with a local mechanic for a scheduled checkup, wanting to be sure the van is roadworthy before I get into the meat of the trip.
So what's going in Newcastle? Well, fun fact time reveals that it's New South Wales 2nd largest city and the worlds largest port for the exportation of coal. Asking a few locals revealed that a Wednesday night is student night, so it's cheap drinks - yeww! That said - I'm hoping to stay away from alcohol for the majority of this trip, I drink way too much at home as it is!
I was hoping to spend my first night in the van to see what it's like, but sleeping in a mechanics parking lot would be a little weird so a hostel dorm bed it is. Could tell straight away I was outside of the big city, it's very quiet. No doubt I'll get used to that over the next couple of months though. A smattering of backpackers and travellers were spread throughout the hostel, moping over the poor weather.
It finally stopped raining outside so I took the opportunity to check out the beach. Wow, what a beautiful place! To the left of Newcastle Beach are some fantastic public ocean baths where I took a quick dip. I'm a big fan of a good sunset photo so I then climbed the most promising looking hill and got this beauty.
In the evening I had the pleasure of enjoying the company of a few locals and their fantastic view you can see below.
All in all, Newcastle has been a great first day of the this trip. Over the next few posts in different place I'll introduce the sponsors who made this trip possible one by one. Till next time!