Friday, September 28, 2012

Trip Planning Braggadocio and Dorrigo Rainforest Hike

When it comes to traveling, I'm a planner.  And not just a planner, but I spend hours upon hours scouring the internet, doing Google blog searches, for any and all information I can find on the very best places around.  I figure if I'm only going to be someplace once, I want to see the things and eat at the places that I'd most enjoy (and if I'm hardpressed, I guess I think of my family as well...).  Wouldn't it be a terrible shame if I missed, say, a terrific cup of coffee at a cute cafe, or worse yet, an amazing chocolate shop with a resident wombat??  My hands tremble at the mere thought!

(if a wombat-adorned chocolate shop exists, I beg anyone reading this to write and tell me now before I leave this country because I will find a way to get there, come hell or high water)

I write all this because despite my travel-planning ways, we woke up in our hotel in Armidale, NSW without a clear plan of where to go next.  We knew we had to be at Bongil Bongil National Park (motto: So Nice We Named It Twice!) by Saturday morning for an Aboriginal Bush Tucker, Tools and Weapons tour.  But with no camping allowed at the park, I was unsure where to go--not a great position to be in at the start of a long holiday weekend where anyone and everyone is traveling.  There are only 22 million people in this whole country, but during a long holiday weekend they all seem to go wherever we want to go.  And with a husband tapping his foot and three antsy kids, I spent a frantic 30 minutes with my trusty iPhone and iPad working overtime to draft a plan.

I'm well aware of Australians' disdain for tall poppies and their view of Americans as loudmouthed braggarts...but can I take a moment and pat myself (lightly) on the back here?  Because I scored bigtime sitting on a concrete planter during this hasty motel parking lot trip planning when I scored the last room at the Bellingen YHA.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, because I also squeezed in a perfectly-timed mid-drive rainforest hike.  (again, let me pause to demurely bask in the glory of myself...)

Dorrigo National Park is a World Heritage-listed park that seemingly comes out of nowhere--we had just driven through terrain that bore an uncanny resemblance to Sonoma County, California when all of a sudden we were in a lush rainforest.

The Crystal Shower Falls hike was just the right length to stretch our legs, and you can't beat a picnic lunch right smack in front of a waterfall.

Behold, the obligatory waterfall pictures...

excuse the wrinkles and Sam's bad hair; we've been camping...and we're getting older.
I'd probably better add a youthful appearance to the picture...
much better
Then we were off to Bellingen, where I sit so contentedly writing this post and continuing to revel in my luck. And now I shall retire to bed, so declaring my undying love for this town I'm in must wait until tomorrow...


  1. All these pictures are fantastic AND you both look young and beautiful!!!

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