How to get lost

OR – the road less travelled or driving miss crazy . . .or ‘are we there yet?’ 

At a pinch I could probably perform emergency surgery, whip up and decorate a four-tiered wedding cake, put out a bush fire, sail single-handed from Sydney to Auckland and hand tool a pair of leather boots. BUT I can’t drive. I don’t want to drive. And I have travelled all around the world without having to drive and am a well-travelled public transport passenger. (Never ride a bus or train without having a book at hand.)

And I don’t think I’m a bludger – don’t expect to be chauffeured like a princess but I do appreciate driving with my partner and friends.

I did try driving years ago and almost went into a wall in Maroubra and I actually drove into a river up the north coast of NSW. But you don’t need to hear the circumstances, it was a long time ago.

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This past weekend I went on a road trip with an old friend. Now, we are both pretty smart women, my friend an excellent driver and travelling companion. We were driving from Sydney to Cooma, with a short coffee stop and another lunch stop. It is 397km from Sydney to Cooma and should take 4 hours driving. We ended up doing 605km and the trip took 8 hours.

I don’t know how this happens. From Sydney – Cooma is south. You just drive DOWN the road.

We ducked off the Motorway for a little lunch in Jugiong and then when we came back on the highway it felt wrong so we did an emergency u-turn and ended up on the outskirts of Yass – TWICE. Hysteria was building and uncontrolled laughing was the noise of the hour. We had a map, both of us had GPS’ in our phones which we used and with my immaculate sense of direction and navigation skills we should have sailed down the freeways with the utmost confidence of a perfect ‘getting there and arriving’ result.

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We mulled the disastrous timing over and remembered several times we had been together and got lost. We had another weekend away just out of Sydney and were driving up and down a road looking for a haunted property (that’s another story) before we saw the sign hidden by lack of light – or maybe it wasn’t there and decided to appear to taunt us. Same trip we lost a major town – Camden! How did that happen?

You could plonk me down in the middle of a foreign city and I would find the way to where I had to go, but co-piloting with my old mate – can’t trust we’ll get there on time.

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Is it a Sliding Doors phenomenon? A car-cursed thing? Because we talk too much and get distracted? Or my explanation is that the Twilight Zone has the door open for us at all times.

Anyway, we reached Cooma as I predicted we would. Next day we knew exactly how to drive to Nimmitabel on the Monaro Highway. Had brekkie in town and popped into the tourist bureau to pick up a little local info. Re-checked our route out-of-town (only to be polite, I knew where to go) and the woman behind the counter gave us totally different directions .. . and she was totally right. Geez.

The rest of the weekend went swimmingly perfect.

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An overnight at a B&B in Nimmitabel with old friends, an encounter with a large wombat (whom my old friend rescued and is giving a five-star life before it goes back into the wild), great food and hospitality. We gave permission to our friends to tell the tale of our trip down at dinner parties – and they thought ‘ya couldn’t make that up’.

Journey Jottings:

  • Jugiong (despite its treacherous navigation interruptions is a top place for lunch); the countryside from there and further south is soooooo dry you can imagine it crackling – but when you see the colour of the Monaro Plains – it’s white-hot under the sun and not a green blade of grass to be seen.
  • Friday night in Cooma and the joint ain’t jumpin’. Found a fab Lebanese restaurant ‘Roses’ for dinner – but didn’t even see a lone dog taking itself for a walk through town.
  • Stayed at the only accommodation in Nimmitabel, the Royal Arms B&B (originally an old coaching in I believe). Comfy, warm and welcoming. Not too flash but clean and quirky and did the trick for a good night’s sleep.

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  • AND because we were making such brilliant time driving back to Sydney we stopped in at Goulburn (Australia’s first inland city) to have a power lunch at The Paragon cafe.

    Vanilla Slice; Greek salad courtesy Garry Malzard; Paragon Restaurant.

Writer, Bev Malzard often dreams that she is in the middle of an emergency situation and has to drive someone to safety – no problems at all. Wonder what that means. And she was exaggerating in the first paragraph.

P.S/ Does anyone else have random Geographical Hiccups when they are driving?

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Royal Arms B&B royalarms.nimmitabel@gmail.com

Cooma Visitors Centre http://www.visitcooma.com.au Cooma

Roses Restaurant

Paragon Cooma

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4 thoughts on “How to get lost

  1. Very nice piece, Bev. It’s sometimes the journey itself that demands retelling. I love road trips. The passing miles, a compelling musical playlist, finding places I never knew existed, interactions with people I’ll never meet again and even getting lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it!

    I keep travelling on my own because I refuse to give up just because I haven’t anyone’s hand to hold. Been doing it for 20 years!

    But every day is an anxiety filled nightmare!!

    Six weeks of those last year, and I am off again for 4 weeks this year!

    I have become lost in a tube station; coming out of a tube station; coming out of a department store; at least 3 times in Hyde Park and don’t get me onto Hong Kong Airport. And Hong Kong! 😂😂😢

    When I reach home I literally run through the front door and vow never to exit it with a suitcase again.

    But what do I do?

    Pack that suitcase, grab that passport and never admit defeat!

    Liked by 1 person

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