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Ups and downs – Bennsville to Swansea

(written by Nancy)

We woke up to clear blue sky and sunshine this morning, which is always good for one’s mood. We both slept pretty well in Jacques room – especially after reading a bit of his book last night appropriately called ‘The Really Really Epic Minibike Ride’. Okay, our bikes are absolutely not minibikes, but I do think we are on a really really epic bike ride!

To make it even better, this morning Adrian made us each a proper Turkish coffee in little Turkish cups – there was no way we should be lacking energy today. After a nice breakfast and that great coffee we rode off about 8:45 leaving the Englebrecht family to their busy Saturday of sports. One thing we neglected to mention in yesterday’s post was that there was a handmade Easter card on our bed last night together with 2 chocolate eggs – thanks to the kids for that.

The Scenic Highway from Bennsville to Terrigal was a bit up and down, and my legs and arms had that ‘second day’ soreness but we managed okay. Actually, I had no soreness in my collarbone. We dropped down into Terrigal (a vacation spot along the coast) for a hot cross bun – one of the delights in Australia around Easter time and a perfect thing for morning tea.

The climb back out of Terrigal to get back on the Scenic Highway got the better of me – I might have had a slight dip in the cheerfulness factor for a minute or two. But, onward and upward, we made it back up and continued along the Scenic Highway, which runs along a ridge above the coastline. Eventually the Scenic Highway runs into the Coast Highway, which seemed to be a bit less hilly. Traffic wasn’t too bad and most of the roads had a decent shoulder so it felt pretty safe.

We stopped at The Entrance, a hot holiday spot on the Central Coast that straddles the ocean and the southeastern shore of Lake Tuggerah. We knew there was a Tourist Information center there and we were after some free maps of the areas we will be heading. We got some detailed information on the route from there to Swansea in addition to the maps so it was a good stop. There were a whole bunch of pelicans flying about and sitting in the lake – they seem so huge, especially when they are flying.

We stopped for lunch in Budgewoi, which is a small community at the southern end of Lake Munmorah. We had our second egg and bacon roll – extra points for the nice presentation with herbs sprinkled over the top. Also got a great coffee, which hit the spot. From there we figured we had about 20k left to Swansea. We took Elizabeth Bay Drive, which goes around the east side of Lake Munmorah as an alternative to heading directly up to the busier Pacific Highway. It had very little traffic, which was nice.

Finally we joined up with Pacific Highway, which is one of the more major roads up and down the coast. The traffic was heavier but the road had a great shoulder so we never felt pinched. We had some gentle ups and downs but nothing too long or too steep and before long we were at Swansea. We made a quick stop at the Tourist office and the grocery store before heading to Swansea Gardens Lakeside Holiday Park.

The tent is up, we’ve had our showers, done some laundry, and eaten one of the ridiculous freeze dried food packages we are carrying for some reason! Trying to reduce the bulk. Dave got some sausages at the store to spice up the Nasi Goreng. It wasn’t too bad, actually, as odd as it sounds. It is now dark so that means we can go to bed – if only all the kids in the campground would come to the same conclusion we would be set!

Tomorrow we aim for somewhere around Nelson’s Bay.

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8 responses to “Ups and downs – Bennsville to Swansea

  1. Really great to see you off and away on the trip and having a good start. Enjoying the pictures and text. The egg and bacon roll sounds good, don’t recall coming across those around here. Remember, doctors orders, Dave is supposed to have all the heavy gear on his bike.

  2. Light snow on the ground here today with fog and the sun breaking through! The daffodils aren’t quite sure what is going on, but are trying to put on a brave face. I’m going to find a map of your travels and see if I can follow you day to day. I’ll share it with the kids on Monday. Is there a way to put one on your web site? I’m off to Kirkwood. Nothing like a day on the slopes for reducing stress from a busy week with the kiddos! Love your photos!

  3. Prajakti Khursale

    Take care of the (recovered) shoulder/neck. It is indeed very exciting to follow the trail and see the photos. Love, Prajakti

  4. Saige Engelbrecht

    i like your photos but not the one with me in it.sounds as if your enjoying your trip so far.i remember going to swansea.you must be excited on it all.
    can`t wait to hear next.from Saige

  5. Everything continues to sound good! Visits with friends, bacon and egg rolls and a picture of the tent, too! Sunny here today while I worked on a Habitat for Humanity house. Out of shape – sore – off to a hot, hot shower! Love, Mom

  6. Oh how wonderful that your great adventure is underway! Have fun, although it does not sound like fun to me!! Always a spot for you at Bilpin if you are ever that way
    Martha xx

  7. Looks like a good start to the trip. Dad said if he won the lottery today we’d head out on our cross country trip next year after I finish my masters program, but no such luck. Guess we’ll have to keep dreaming for now 🙂 Glad you got out there to do it. I remember conversations about this trip way back in 2000 when we visited, and I’m sure they existed long before.

  8. wow its been awhile since you were here!!

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