Looking at my posts, the last time I was around was the 11th of December, with a week of work to go before the Christmas holidays started. That last week is a write-off; it was insanely busy with boring details not worth remembering, never mind mentioning.
The weekend of the 18th though, we were both free, and packing up the car for a Christmas adventure; we were taking three days to drive up to northern New South Wales to spend Christmas with MT’s brother and his family, stopping along the way at a few National Parks and a place called Berkelouw’s Book Barn, to go crazy on the new and used books. We left at the crack of dawn Sunday looking only slightly like the Beverly Hillbillies, and really looking forward to every part of the trip.
Alas, it’s still 2020.
The day before we left, there was a COVID outbreak – a very small one – in the northern beaches of Sydney. We weren’t going anywhere near that part of NSW, but we got state border permits, to make things easy, and didn’t worry about it. By the time we got to our first stop on Sunday, 4 hours into the drive, the outbreak had grown significantly and moved further north, dangerously close to our final destination. Still we weren’t too worried, and we had a date that afternoon for some spelunking at Buchan Caves Reserve:
Afterwards, we explored some of the park around the caves, which is beautiful – I seriously fell in love with the place – took a few photos, and then headed towards our destination for the next two nights, Mallacoota, Victoria.
News-hounds might recognise the name Mallacoota; it’s the town where, during the bushfires, thousands of residents were trapped on the shoreline for a few days before the Australian Navy went in and rescued them. Fortunately, the lodge we were booked at escaped the fire and both it and the grounds were beautiful:
Unfortunately for everybody, things in Sydney had gotten progressively worse, and during our first night, we received two text messages from the Victorian Department of Health, saying our permits had been revoked and anyone entering Victoria from New South Wales would be required to sit a 14 day hotel quarantine at personal expense.
And just like that, we had no Christmas plans. (to be continued)