Across a Continent – From Sydney to Perth: Part 3

If you’re still with me, you’ll remember that at the end of Part 2, I had finally figured out the car situation.

So… On a rainy Tuesday morning, I started the long trek to Travellers Autobarn to get my car. Let me just say right now: walking to a train station, getting two subways and a bus and then walking a mile in the pouring rain with a 25kg pack isn’t as fun as it sounds. Or maybe it’s exactly as fun as it sounds. I digress.

After drying off in the portacabin and watching my debit card physically cringe away from the card machine, I finally had my little car. First stop: Aldi. 

Yes, yes I know, very exciting. But I filled that car with as much pasta, tinned goods and dried milk powder (a very Australian thing?) as I could carry and I was proud of my apocalypse-worthy food shop. 

From there, I intended to head straight up into the Blue Mountains. Unfortunately, fate wasn’t giving me much luck here. The forecast for the whole week was scheduled to be freezing cold and pouring with rain. 

There was no way to double back and do it later because I was headed south. I put my big girl pants on and remembering the army’s stock phrase of “skin is waterproof”, I thought:

Screw it – how bad can it be? 

Well, as it turns out pretty bad. I don’t think it stopped raining for 3 days. Take a look at how beautiful the panoramas in the Blue Mountains can be.

Potential Blue Mountains View

Idyllic, right? Now take a look at my view…

Potential Blue Mountains View

Idyllic, right? Now take a look at my view…

Once I was there, I thought I may as well make the most of it and spent a very pleasant few hours wrapped up in my puffer jacket (in hindsight, a bad choice – very warm, not very waterproof…) and bright blue, oh-so-cool tourist cagoule, wandering around the picturesque trails. 

Well, they would have been picturesque if I hadn’t been walking inside a literal cloud. I’m also no longer sure my skin is waterproof, I certainly felt waterlogged after a few hours. 

That evening I was searching, later than planned, for a campsite. I found two within driving distance, but both were:

  1. Very expensive – think holiday chalets
  2. Closed for the evening

So, now I had a problem. I found a carpark on WikiCamps which was technically closed to overnight visitors but I had to risk it in lieu of any other choices. I parked up and got set up for the night. Every headlight made my heartrate shoot through the roof as I half expected the police to come and arrest me. 

Lying in “bed”, eating a peanut butter sandwich and watching Queer Eye under a sleeping bag to hide the glow of the screen has been one of my more unexpected moments on the road.

I really needn’t have worried. It was a deserted little carpark and by the time I finally fell asleep, there were 4 other campervans doing the same thing. 

Nevertheless, I woke up super early in fear of being kicked out. I ate my breakfast overlooking the water, trying to look as innocent as possible! 

An attempt at innocence

I was planning on remote working, writing for, whilst I did my drive. This was the first test of my grand, and financially essential, plan. I had discovered that my UK travel sim was not only speed limited but couldn’t it hotspot – thanks a bunch O2. 

Today’s office: a chicken joint in a shopping center because it was the only place with an accessible plug point. And yeah, I was that asshole who made fries and a lemonade last for 4 hours…

Oh this van life is glamorous, don’t deny it. Sleeping illegally, showering in a sink and working in a fast food joint in the space of 24 hours? Stop it…

  • walking-in-the-rainy-blue-mountains
  • overlooking cloudy blue mountains
  • rainy-waterfall-blue-mountains
  • overhung-rock-path-in-the-blue-mountains
  • blue-mountains-wet-ferns
  • rainy-waterfall-blue-mountains-self-timer
  • charles-darwin-plaque-blue-mountains

Next stop: Jervis Bay

1 Comment on “Across a Continent – From Sydney to Perth: Part 3

  1. Such an experience Rachel 🙂 amazing photos and the cagoule is not that uncool, it looks stylish eheh stay safe and greetings from Portugal, PedroL


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