Nomadic Narratives

January - July 2024
Current
Our home is a bus, our map the whispers of wanderlust, Australia our playground. From shimmering shores to the boundless outback. This journey is a story fuelled by laughter, shared experiences, & the constant hum of adventure's song. Read more
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  • 1countries
  • 194days
  • 451photos
  • 41videos
  • 8.7kkilometers
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  • 236sea miles
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  • Day 1–4

    Woven Threads: Farewell to First Tracks

    January 4 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    With a bittersweet blend of farewells and anticipation, we pulled away from the familiar comforts of home, leaving behind the laughter of our adult children to chase a horizon painted with dreams.

    Our journey began not on the open road, but in the warm embrace of Anth's mother—a living legend whose spirit echoed with the wisdom of a life well-traveled.

    Grammy, as she's affectionately known, was a whirlwind of love and practicality. The hum of her sewing machine serenaded our preparations as she stitched last-minute improvements and offered packing insights born from her own nomadic adventures. Her words, like threads of encouragement, wove themselves into the fabric of our journey.

    For three nights, her home became our sanctuary—a place to mend not only the bus but also our hearts, as we grappled with the bittersweet beauty of new beginnings. Under her watchful eye, we tackled those final tasks that had evaded us amidst the holiday whirlwind.

    The day of departure arrived, draped in a veil of both tears and dreams. Yet, even as we bid farewell to Grammy's embrace, the promise of reunion in Tasmania whispered through the winds, painting a vibrant tableau upon the canvas of our future.

    And so, with spirits buoyed by love and anticipation, we set forth once more—our hearts carrying the warmth of Grammy's spirit, even as our wheels carried us toward the beckoning horizon.
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  • Day 4–6

    Bunya Whispers: Dreams Take Flight

    January 7 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    The road whispered tales of anticipation as we finally rolled into our first planned destination—the Bunya Mountains, their beauty an embrace of welcome. It was a moment painted in disbelief, as if the canvas of our dreams had come to life before our eyes.

    Twenty-two months had danced between the day we purchased our bus—still nameless, yet brimming with promise—and this moment. Twenty-two months of life's ebb and flow, of work's demands, and of tireless love poured into transforming a simple bus into a home on wheels.

    Now, beneath the watchful gaze of ancient trees, we found ourselves in a sanctuary of stillness. The weight of accomplishment settled upon us, each breath a quiet celebration of the miracle we had woven together.

    For today was not merely an arrival; it was a genesis. The first brushstroke upon a boundless canvas, marking the dawn of our nomadic narrative. A life unbound by walls, guided by the whisperings of the wind and the allure of distant horizons.

    With hearts alight and spirits unbound, we stepped into this new season, embracing the freedom that danced upon the breeze. Our home on wheels, our faithful companion, stood ready to carry us into the tapestry of dreams yet to be discovered.
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  • Day 6–9

    Road to Girraween: TLC, Tears, and Pizza

    January 9 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    The road stretched out endlessly before us, as if teasing us with the promise of adventure just beyond the horizon. Girraween National Park, with its towering Castle Rock, beckoned, but first, our trusty bus, our home on wheels, needed a little TLC.

    We found ourselves in the bustling aisles of Bunnings in Warwick, searching for the perfect taps to tame our unruly breather hoses. Anth, my ever-resourceful partner, worked his magic with tools and tapware, while I fended off the persistent advances of the local fly population.

    With the bus back in harmony, we pressed on, finally reaching the sanctuary of the national park. The gentle hum of fellow campers mingled with the whispers of rustling leaves, creating a symphony of serenity. But even amidst the tranquility, my heart ached for the laughter and love of our children, now miles away.

    Tears welled in my eyes, but I brushed them away, determined to embrace the present. Each new destination, each moment of beauty, held its own unique gift, waiting to be unwrapped.

    As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long shadows across the landscape, the tantalising aroma of homemade pizza filled the air. Our trusty air fryer, a beacon of culinary delight, had worked its magic once again. With full bellies and grateful hearts, we settled in beneath a canvas of stars, ready to embrace the adventures that awaited us at dawn's first light.

    The next day the sun beat down like a relentless drummer as we set out on our 6km trek to Bald Rock Creek. The air shimmered with heat, and even the birds seemed to be taking a siesta. But we were determined to reach the Junction, where two small tributaries joined forces on their long journey to the mighty Murray Darling.

    Granite Arch, a testament to nature's artistry, greeted us with its rugged beauty. We paused to admire its chiseled contours, sipping water to replenish our reserves. But even the shade offered little respite from the oppressive heat. By the time we returned to our trusty oasis on wheels, we were well-done adventurers, ready for a cool shower under the open sky.

    Our recirculating shower had the cool water cascading over us like a balm, washing away the sweat and dust of the day. As we rested beneath our bus fans, sipping cool drinks, the Outback night began to stir. The stars emerged, twinkling like a million fireflies against the velvet sky.

    Sal, feeling a pang of homesickness, retired early to the sanctuary of our cozy bed. I lingered a while longer, watching the shadows dance on the rust-colored earth.

    Morning brought a chorus of birdsong and a renewed sense of adventure. We tackled our first load of hand washing, mastering the old-fashioned fishing method with ease. And as the sun climbed higher, we were rewarded with a front-row seat to one of Australia's most iconic spectacles: a pair of boxing kangaroos.

    Anth, ever the documentarian, captured the scene on video as we watched in awe from the comfort of our bus. The kangaroos, an older male and younger joey, possibly siblings, sparred and danced, their tails thumping the ground in a rhythmic beat. It was a scene straight out of a nature documentary, and we felt privileged to witness it.

    As we continued our journey, the landscape unfolded before us like a tapestry of colours and textures. And always, the sun beat down, a constant reminder of the raw, untamed beauty of this ancient land.
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  • Day 9–12

    Mann River Magic: A Tranquil Escape

    January 12 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    The river called, and we answered. Mann River had beckoned us with its whispers of lush landscapes and tranquil waters, and we couldn't resist its siren song. We arrived under a sky painted in the soft hues of daylight savings, the sun lingering a little longer than we were used to. It was as if time itself had slowed down to savor the beauty of this place.

    Campsite number 3 welcomed us with open arms, bathed in the golden light of morning and shaded by the protective embrace of ancient trees in the afternoon. The river, a shimmering ribbon of emerald and sapphire, was our constant companion, inviting us to escape the heat and immerse ourselves in its cool embrace. Each day, we answered its call, gliding through its calming waters and letting its gentle currents wash over us.

    On the third day, we ventured deeper into the wilderness, seeking a sanctuary of solitude. We found it in a secluded cove, where smooth rocks cradled our bodies and the murmur of the river was the only sound that dared to break the silence. Time seemed to dissolve as we lay there, lost in the tranquility of nature's embrace.

    As the final evening cast its cool, velvet cloak over the land, Anth sent the drone soaring into the twilight sky. It danced above the river, capturing breathtaking scenes that painted a vivid portrait of this untamed paradise. Each frame was a testament to the raw, unyielding beauty that Mann River held within its embrace.

    With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to this enchanting oasis, knowing that its spirit would forever flow through our veins. But this was not goodbye, merely a "until we meet again." For Mann River had cast its spell upon us, and we knew that its siren song would inevitably lure us back to its shores.

    As we journeyed onward, we carried with us not only the memories of its beauty, but also the warmth of the kindred spirits we had met along the way - fellow travelers who shared our deep appreciation for the boundless treasures our country holds.

    And so, the tale of Mann River weaves itself into the tapestry of our lives, a reminder that the most exquisite destinations are not just places on a map, but rather, the moments that awaken our souls and set our spirits ablaze.
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  • Day 12–14

    Ancient Echoes: Kaputar's Call

    January 15 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    The road unwound before us, beckoning us away from the tranquil waters of Mann River and towards an unknown horizon. We ventured forth with hearts full of anticipation, wondering if our next destination could possibly rival the serenity we had just left behind.

    Along the way, we paused to pay homage to the Celtic standing stones of Glen Innes, their silent presence a testament to the enduring spirit of ancient traditions.

    The landscape shifted as we pressed westward, the lush greenery giving way to the parched expanse of Australia's outback. Yet, even in this arid realm, surprises awaited us. The heavens opened as we ascended Killarney Gap, shrouding the rugged peaks in a veil of mist and rain.

    Narrabri offered a brief respite, a chance to replenish our supplies before venturing further into the wild embrace of Mount Kaputar.

    The journey to Dawson's Spring Campsite was a pilgrimage of sorts, each winding kilometer drawing us deeper into the heart of nature's sanctuary. At 1500 meters above sea level, the world seemed to stretch out endlessly beneath us, a tapestry of ancient tales woven into the very fabric of the land.

    The campsite itself was a symphony of life, a vibrant chorus of birdsong and rustling leaves. Fairy Wrens flitted among the branches, King Parrots painted the sky with streaks of colour, and Currawongs serenaded us with their haunting calls. Even the shy joey, peeking out from its mother's pouch, seemed to welcome us into its world.

    But it was not only the creatures of the forest that touched our souls. A chance encounter with a couple from the Netherlands sparked a connection that transcended borders and language barriers. We shared stories of home, of journeys past, and of the serendipitous discovery that our daughters bore the same name. In those fleeting moments, amidst the grandeur of Mount Kaputar, a bond was forged, a testament to the enduring power of human connection.

    Our final ascent to the summit unveiled a panorama of breathtaking beauty, a canvas painted with hues of the north, south, east, and west. The wind, a relentless artist, sculpted the landscape with its invisible hands, bending trees and clouds to its will.

    Lost in the majesty of the moment, we stood in silence, our gaze tracing the dance of clouds across the valley. And as we embraced, sealing the memory with a tender kiss, we knew that this moment, this shared breath of eternity, would forever be etched upon our hearts.
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  • Day 14–16

    Warrumbungles' Wild Symphony

    January 17 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Our hearts thumped with anticipation as we steered our Bus towards Warrumbungle National Park, a rugged wilderness untouched by our footsteps. This was new territory, and the thrill of the unknown crackled in the air.

    Majestic mountains rose to greet us, their peaks brushing the clouds. We paused, awestruck, and unleashed our trusty drone, its rotors slicing through the silence. Suddenly, the drone's alarms shrieked, warning of a feathery foe. Peregrine falcons, those aerial knights, swooped and soared, their silver wings flashing in the sun as they escorted our intruder from their domain.

    Our campsite, nestled within a Dark Sky Park, promised a celestial spectacle, but a brewing storm had other plans. Lightning danced across the canvas of the sky, thunder drumming a primal rhythm on our roof. We surrendered to the downpour, curling up with books, the pitter-patter of rain lulling us into a cozy peace.

    The storm spent its fury, leaving behind a canvas of washed-clean skies. Excitement bubbled as we stepped out at 2 am, cameras poised to capture the celestial ballet above. The universe unveiled its secrets, each star a diamond scattered across the velvet expanse. Then, a streak of pure brilliance blazed across Sal's vision - a shooting star, a brilliant streak that abruptly vanished as if the cosmos had snatched it away, leaving only a lingering echo of light. As if by magic, Anth's lens captured its fleeting beauty.

    Morning's golden fingers painted Split Rock in a rosy glow as we launched our drone once more. But this time, a majestic wedge-tailed eagle, king of the skies, met our mechanical emissary. Respecting its reign, we brought the drone down, humbled by the raw power and grace of this feathered sovereign.

    Warrumbungles, we vow to return in cooler months, to conquer your challenging hikes and bask in the serenity of your starry nights. You've etched yourself onto our souls, a wild symphony of landscapes and creatures that will forever echo in our memories.
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  • Day 16–18

    Redbacks and Resilience

    January 19 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    The Warrumbungles whispered farewell as we bid them adieu, their rugged silhouettes fading in the rearview mirror. A flock of emus, hundreds strong, watched our departure with inquisitive eyes, their long necks bobbing in unison as we passed a nearby emu farm.

    The road unfurled before us like a ribbon, drawing us ever closer to Dubbo. Memories of the Warrumbungles danced in our minds: the majestic peregrine falcons soaring through azure skies, the celestial ballet of stars illuminating the night, and the awe-inspiring wedge-tailed eagle, ruler of the boundless blue.

    A spectacle of vibrant green and yellow hues caught our attention as we passed the emu farm—a flock of native budgerigars, painting the landscape with their joyous dance.

    Gilgandra, a town steeped in history, whispered tales of bravery and resilience. Here, 35 men, denied support from the army, embarked on a 500 km march to Sydney to enlist for the Great War. Their determination ignited a flame of patriotism, and along the way, by shouting Cooee in every town, their ranks swelled with over 200 more souls, their footsteps echoing the resounding call of duty.

    A minor obstacle arose in the heart of Gilgandra, where a toppled dog trailer had barricaded our intended path. With a touch of ingenuity and a dash of luck, we navigated a labyrinth of backroads and emerged triumphantly on the highway, our compass pointing ever southward.

    Dubbo, a bustling oasis, beckoned us to replenish our supplies before we ventured further into the wilderness. Our destination: Wanda Wandong campground in Coobang National Park, a name that whispered promises of enchantment. Alas, the campsite itself proved to be a more humble affair, a typical Aussie bush haven nestled amidst a symphony of cicadas and bounding kangaroos. The drop dunny, however, harboured a formidable resident—a redback spider of such impressive proportions that it could have easily claimed the title of Australia's largest.

    Beneath the relentless sun, we embraced the rustic simplicity of Wanda Wadong. Sheets, pillow slips, and a week's worth of clothes danced merrily on the makeshift clothesline, surrendering their dampness to the parched air. The heat, though intense, was a welcome change from the humidity that clung to our Queensland home like a persistent fog. It was a dry heat, one that embraced rather than suffocated.

    Two weeks of meandering through the untamed heart of Australia had woven their magic upon us. A newfound tranquility coursed through our veins, harmonising with the unhurried rhythm of the road. The burdens of routine and expectation had melted away, leaving only the pure essence of being. It was, in every sense, a state of grace.
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  • Day 18–19

    Whispers, Winds, Heat & Haven

    January 21 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    The first whispers of dawn hadn't yet kissed the horizon when we stirred, cocooned in the soft glow of candlelight and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The bush campsite of Coobang National Park had been a welcome sanctuary, but the open road beckoned with the promise of new adventures.

    With a final farewell to the familiar embrace of the Newell Highway, our trusty guide for days past, we veered westward, drawn towards a cosmic beacon. The CSIRO Parkes Observatory, a celestial sentinel of knowledge, stood poised beneath the vast canvas of the outback sky. Sal had last pilgrimaged to this hallowed ground 38 years ago, while Anth gazed upon its majesty for the very first time. For what seemed like hours, we stood in silent reverence, captivated by the ballet of the colossal dish as it pirouetted in a symphony of science and curiosity, reaching for whispers from distant galaxies.

    The unabating sun cast a shimmering veil over the parched landscape, but we pressed on, sheltered in the cool embrace of our air-conditioned sanctuary on wheels. Fate, or perhaps the whispered guidance of the outback winds, led us to a tranquil oasis on the shores of Lake Wyangan. Our original plans had been forsaken, a testament to the fluid grace of a nomadic life. In this boundless realm, we were the architects of our destiny, free to embrace the unexpected and dance to the rhythms of the land.

    The relentless heat, a fiery dragon exhaling 37° breaths, could not penetrate our refuge. Tinted windows, heavy curtains, and the gentle chorus of fans transformed our humble bus into a palace of tranquility. As the sun surrendered to twilight, we savoured a nourishing feast, a symphony of flavours defying the scorching embrace of the day. Sleep came swiftly, a tender embrace after a day of boundless exploration.

    The first blush of sunrise painted a watercolour masterpiece across the lake as we emerged from our slumber. The camera captured fragments of beauty, but the true essence of this scene was etched into our souls.

    Griffith, a city woven from the dreams of Walter Burley Griffin, whispered tales of familiar design to Sal, echoing memories of her Canberra childhood.

    As orchards heavy with citrus and vineyards stretching towards the horizon unveiled their bounty, our journey continued, each mile unfurling like a chapter in a grand adventure.

    The outback unveiled its vast tapestry, threads of cosmic awe stitched with searing heat and serendipitous havens. We were woven into its timeless fabric, forever marked by its rugged beauty.
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  • Day 19–21

    Birdies, Bites, and Backroads...

    January 22 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The Murray River, a shimmering serpent sunning itself on the border of New South Wales and Victoria, whispered tales of adventure as we crossed its glassy bridge. Our destination: Barmah National Park, a haven for curious creatures and whispers of the wild. But floods, capricious spirits, had reshaped the map, closing the usual paths. So, Anth, our fearless pilot & navigator, spun a new yarn, one that snaked down forgotten backroads and promised a taste of untamed beauty.

    Fallen logs, slumbering giants across the dusty track, demanded a gentle hand to awaken. Trees, gnarled sentinels of the bush, forced us to dance a sinuous ballet, tires whispering secrets to the earth. Muddy patches, hungry for careless wheels, were outwitted with practiced precision. Finally, the campsite emerged, a verdant oasis nestled beside the mighty Murray.

    This wasn't just any campsite; it was a front-row seat to a wildlife spectacle. Pelicans pirouetted on the river's surface, their ivory wings flashing in the sun. Herons, patient predators, stalked the shallows, spear-like beaks poised to strike. White spoonbills painted the scene with exotic flair, their snowy plumage glowing like embers against the river's glassy skin.
    And then, the dawn chorus. Hundreds of raucous currawongs, magpies, corellas, and cockatoos erupted from the trees, their symphony shaking the stillness of the morning.

    Days unfolded in a languid rhythm. The sun, a fiery orb in the sky, partnered with pesky mosquitoes to confine us to the cozy embrace of our bus. Laptops clicked with the symphony of work, stories whispered onto paper, photos transformed into memories. But amidst the chores (gleaming windows, sparkling floors, dust banished), magic bloomed. Each night, as dusk painted the sky in fiery hues, we'd light two candles, their flames casting dancing shadows on the walls. Jazz, a whisper-soft serenade, lightly filled the air, weaving a spell of enchantment. This wasn't just a journey; it was a life, unfolding like a storybook beneath a canopy of stars.

    The Murray River sang its lullaby, the wind rustled secrets through the trees, and we, nestled in our rolling home, knew we were exactly where we were meant to be. The adventure wasn't just in the detours; it was in every sunrise, every mosquito-battling laugh, every quiet moment bathed in candlelight. And that, dear reader, is the truest magic of all.
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  • Day 21–22

    Ruins to Raindrops: Nature's Path

    January 24 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    The adventure didn't end with Barmah Lakes. Leaving camp, the dusty track gave way to a smooth, almost disappointingly easy bitumen 'highway'. The Victorian National Parks website, it seemed, needed a refresh. We giggled at the sudden shift in terrain and pressed on, eyes peeled for the next chapter in our journey.

    Along the way, a tumbledown homestead snagged our attention. Walls slumped against the sky, whispering stories of lives once lived. Only the trusty fireplace remained, a stoic sentinel amidst the ruins.

    Our lenses, hungry for stories etched in time, devoured the weathered beauty of the homestead. With a final click, we bid farewell to its whispering walls and pressed on, anticipation simmering like campfire embers, towards the verdant embrace of Lerderderg State Forest.

    And what a welcome it was! Nestled amongst towering gum trees, our new campsite unfolded like a familiar Aussie postcard. Yet, each stop on this journey had held its own unique charm and this was tonight's haven.

    As the symphony of raindrops danced on our roof, a cool sigh swept through the bus, lulling us into a slumber deeper than a moonless night. Each rhythmic tap resonated like a secret whispered by the clouds, painting the air with a crispness that invigorated the soul.

    Leaving Lerderderg the following day, we encountered a friendly park ranger. His eyes widened in surprise as our trusty Coaster bus rumbled past. "That hill?" he exclaimed, "I've seen plenty of vans give up on that one!" Anth grinned. He'd prepped the bus for the unexpected, adding a rear locker that, as the ranger's words confirmed, would prove invaluable on the road ahead.

    The open road beckoned, and with it, the promise of countless stories yet to be written. The adventure, it seemed, had just begun.
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