I am looking at the glistening gums outside my window. After a warm, humid sunny day yesterday, I woke early to see a beautiful sunrise surrounded by some patches of blue sky and puffs of streaky clouds. Not long after, the thick and heavy looking cloud band came over the hill and it started pouring. This is not surprising, after all it is Spring in Australia at the moment. It is the long weekend of the Melbourne Cup, when most Australians either fully focus on horse racing, or their weekend away with an eye on the score in country pubs near their camp sites in the bush on a river somewhere.
I decided to drive up to the house in the mountains, where I also spend 3 Months in Winter. Every year we hold our annual Cup Weekend trout fishing competition there among friends. Apart from being an informal fishing competition, it is also an annual social get together and a lot of fun catching up with people you don’t see every day, but have known for years.
Even though it is a fair drive of at least five and a half hours, excluding the necessary fuel and toilet stops, I have come to enjoy it. The first few times I drove it on my own, it felt like a tedious waste of time and I could not wait to arrive and get it over with. Slowly over time my attitude towards this regular journey changed. At first I started to love the last two hour leg of the trip on the narrow winding road, that followed an old river through the mountains for a long way. Occasionally you had to slow down for a small settlement, but it was generally extremely quiet and in the middle of nowhere surrounded by seemingly untouched nature. On some of my late night trips up, I saw more wombats (they look like oversized nocturnal guinea pigs on steroids) than cars on the road. It made me feel like I had already arrived at my destination and was just taking in the views and nature surrounding me.
One day, a while back now, I was stuck behind an over size truck with an unusual load that had me curious in an earlier part of the journey. I think it was some kind of large water tank, but looked a bit like a rocket ship, that was in front for a long way and slowed the trip right down. There was no way around it, so to my relief it finally turned off the main road I was following and allowed everyone to get on with their journeys. That day was a busy day and it took a bit of time to get through the next town, due to congestion. By the time the following town came in sight, you guessed it, the truck was in front of me again! The slow moving truck must have somehow bypassed the busy town where ever it had gone! This made me look up the maps of the area and find my next favorite leg of the journey, so much quieter and more scenic as well! Driving on these secondary roads made me realize I liked driving through nature and on quiet roads and as a result I slowly started finding more and more country roads that did not hold up at all, to break up the boring bits, naturally, without consciously looking for them.
Yesterday was another one of those days! Police had shut off the main road (a half hour long mostly straight and boring drive) between two towns and was directing traffic onto a country side road. I was a little unsure at the start as it veered off a long way in a different direction to where I thought it should go, to get to the next town, and felt slightly nervous this could possibly add a lot of time to the already long trip. There was no need, as it took about the same time and was amazingly scenic and quiet. I loved looking over the rolling hills and long distance views with the sun starting to get low in the sky. There were a few farms and sheep dotted around and the landscape varied so much more than the usual drive! I’ll be back there again!
This event reinforced to me again that if we relax, enjoy the moment, focus more on what we enjoy and trust things to fall into place to our liking, this is exactly what eventually happens. Not just on actual road trips, but also in every other part of our lives. Every road block is at first met with resistance, only to turn into an opportunity to find a better way in the end! I am so glad the road block forced me to find this gem of a D-tour yesterday, for it made my journey so much more enjoyable! Please share your experiences in the comments below.