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Training wheels & cyclones

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It feels like a lot has happened in the last month. Packing up and saying goodbye to our house and lovely neighbours, cramming the storage unit full to overflowing, stocking the caravan, not to mention all the other little things that need to happen when you change jobs and move house… Our heads were spinning there for a good few weeks, but almost 20 days into the road trip now, it all seems worthwhile.

You will all be glad to know that we completed the initial caravan pick up and made it safely to Lane Cove National Park; albeit with a slight case of white-knuckle fever. Since this time it feels like we have been thrust headlong into the world of weight distribution hitches, fuel consumption calculations and trailer reversing tactics. A very foreign existence for a city-dwelling family that was driving a hatchback only 3 short months ago.

First stop on the road trip was beautiful Lake Macquarie. We had a gaggle of family and friends around to ease us into life on the road when we arrived. We also had our first meeting with photographers at the Belmont 16’s Sailing Club. Thanks to Roy for setting up what was a very worthwhile first step in spreading the Austockphoto word in physical, rather than digital format.

Onto Soldier’s Point in Port Stephens, and a caravan park with facilities that may well be hard to beat on this trip. This was a targeted approach as we could see some unfriendly weather closing in, and thought the heated indoor swimming pool would be just the ticket. Our camping neighbours also turned out to be a lovely family whose young kids became immediate new besties with ours.

Everything was going swimmingly, until that weather we were anticipating hit. It is one thing to expect a little rain, but we were a little surprised, like many others, when a mini-cyclone rolled over the hill. We spent part of the evening attempting to dismantle our new canvas annexe before it catapulted us into Nelson Bay, and the rest hoping that the caravan would stay upright as it rocked and rolled in the gusty conditions.

Early the next morning we made a quick, soggy exit, and headed north for some slightly bluer skies. We feel like the road trip gods have challenged us early, and we feel very fortunate to have come out the other side relatively undamaged, physically at least. We then made a couple of short hops to Harrington, then Port Macquarie, for some pristine beaches, sunny weather and more family catch-up’s.

So far so good on the road, and likewise for our growing collaboration. We are really wrapped with the response so far to the Austockphoto crusade. And we are quite humbled by the amazing photographers that have been in touch and shared their images, many of which you can now see on the website. It’s only early days yet, but the faith shown by our contributing artists makes us more determined than ever to get this project off the ground.

Please check in again soon as we continue our journey north, and get in touch if we are passing through your patch of this wide brown land.


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