12 noon: driving
12:30: still driving
1:00: Guess what? I’m still driving. This pattern goes on for the whole day.
My family and I are driving from the Blue Mountains to Albury, Australia. Yesterday we were in the Blue Mountains at an eco lodge, and now we are in Albury, one out of two stopovers to Phillip Island.
We drove for 7 hours, 17 minutes in a car we call “The Wup” because its license plate says WUP on it.
Halfway through we stopped for lunch in a small town in the middle of nowhere. My lunch was a very dry fried thing. I wanted ketchup but it was $1 for two tiny ketchup packets. After lunch we got “cudge.” Cudge is a name we made up for an odd mix of caramel and fudge. We stuffed ourselves with cudge and then left.
While we were driving we played a game of trivia that soon turned into a competitive shout-off between my mom and dad. They sounded like they were at an auction, screaming out answers before the question even finished.
We also did home schooling: math, writing, and reading.
During the car ride I had an epiphany: this trip has turned me into a gumaholic. I constantly have a piece of gum in my mouth. I can go through five packs of gum in a day and I have. The weird thing is that I always chew the same kind of mint gum: 5 Electro (aka Rain in the USA).
All in all the drive was okay. Guess what? We liked it so much we get to do it again tomorrow! (Not kidding, we really have to do it again tomorrow to go to our second stopover).
ONE DAY LATER…
The next day of the drive wasn’t too bad. It was just like yesterday’s but shorter. This time we only drove for four hours. All the time, it was exactly the same landscape: very barren with eucalyptus trees and wide open plains of sand and dirt.
We were super happy when we got to Daylesford. We were stopping in Daylesford for three days for the Dirt Fest. The Dirt Fest is this giant two-day event with off-road running, biking and triathlon. We were staying in a cabin at the trailer park where the games were held.
When we first saw the trailer park, we were sort of underwhelmed. It’s a eucalyptus tree forest with box cabins randomly placed. There’s a huge green field in the middle the size of a football field where the games were held.
On the first day of the weekend, there was a kids’ biking race, then an adult biking race (which my dad did), then a kids’ running race (which my brother and I did), then an adult running race (which my mom and dad did). On the second day, my brother, mom and dad formed a team for the triathlon. I participated as their pit crew (ha ha LOL — I just didn’t want to run). My mom would swim 350 meters first, then my dad would bike a 10K, then my brother would run a 3K, and I would be cheering them on and taking pictures. Our team name was “Got to Try New Things” because we had never done a triathlon before.
The trailer park was a whole lot cooler all set up. The field had all these tents and cones arranged. Also, there were all these huge, macho athletes warming up.
The first day of the games, I woke up to Lady Gaga blasting outside my window. I got dressed and went outside. The race directors had set up speakers and it was all Lady Gaga all the time .
I said good luck to my dad as he was at the starting line. After he set off, I started talking to this girl named Nafie. She lives in Australia and was here for the Dirt Fest too. She is super nice. We went swimming together in the lake. She had this giant inflatable frog that we got to play on; it was so fun!
After my dad crossed the bike race finish line, we all sat on the grass around a podium. It turned out my dad won a third-place medal for his group.
After the bike race, my parents ran a 10K. My brother and I were alone, so we used the money they gave us and got ice cream at the camp store. When my parents came back, we sat around the podium for the second time that day. My mom got first in her age group, and my dad also got second place in his age group.
Day One of the Dirt Fest was a success. The Smiths took home one bronze, one silver and one gold!
ONE DAY LATER…
To see how the triathlon went, check out my mom’s blog. (I was just too lazy to write about it.)
IN THE END…
About a week has gone by and I’m still driving. In the car we made a list of all the places we have slept in since we started this trip on August 15. That list added up to 52 places! I am really glad I am keeping this blog, because I am already forgetting so many of the places I have been!