Dryland ….


For the few days I was here before the manservant I had a cute little Getz rental car but after a 3 hr trip north to see my parents I decided we needed something bigger for our road trip west.   I like to feel a bit more metal around me and more power under the bonnet.  

So back to Budget we went where we were given a brand new shiny white Toyota Camry with only 6km on it – which it probably got driving from manufacturer to truck and then off and into it's parking spot.    

In a week we have put 2,063 kms on it  (10 km = approx. 6 miles)  and made it very dirty.  I drive faster than the manservant and, as I sailed blithely past a speed camera yesterday, I commented to him that as the car was in his name he was probably going to be receiving a lot of speeding tickets in the mail.  At least there won't be any from school zones -  I am always very careful to stick to the 40kph outside schools – of course this is helped by the huge array of warnings and flashing lights and "check speed" neons around schools.   Speed cameras are cunningly hidden around bends and at hill bottoms and just at the exact spot where I have to speed to get past someone driving "weirdly".  Yes, I know there are signs posted saying speed cameras are used in NSW, just before the camera, but sometimes they are not very obvious.  

I've also found that everywhere I seem to want to drive requires an E-Tag –  and rental cars don't come with E-Tags.  Last year I drove through the Cross City Tunnel a couple of times and forgot to call and tell them and what I surprise I got a few weeks later when I received a big invoice all the way in DC.   
We drove through some very dry country heading from Coonabarabran back to the north coast…   

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28 responses

  1. Beautiful country, love your pictures……Too bad about the lead Foot but that's what happens when your from the country side. I guess it is a pain those camera traps but they have to make money some how! The land looks starved for a good rain hope it happens soon and I hope you have fun, love your attitude on size and power of car its scary to be traveling in a small underpowered car around a lot of traffic…..Have fun and hope not too much arguing over your speed!

  2. Ahhh…great pictures reminding me of what much of Australia is like. So different from the wet tropics. We have had a relatively dry year with only 100 inches of rain!

  3. Yeah, I only drive 95 MPH. There is a speed limiter on my truck. If I want to go faster, I have to get Z-Rated tires and a new chip for the engine. It has lots more to go too, but 95 MPH is top speed. <sigh>
    Now the Mustang on the other hand, I've had it up past 125 MPH…Allegedly

  4. I drove past the same stretch of road, with my daughter in the car, 3 times before she said "you know there's a camera there mum" ….. I hope there are not too many coming. I think the fines will double around Christmas so I might let the manservant drive then.

  5. Thank you RM. Some of these roads are long between towns and the scenery does get repetitive and you just get the feeling that you want to hurry through it all to something new.

  6. Yes – there is a point system here – you lose so many points each time you speed or run a red light. When you are out you lose your license. My daughter has one point left on hers so she is not driving at the moment in an effort to preserve it. I think they start with 12 points here (??). As I am driving on my American license I think I just get big fines ……

  7. Thanks Jamie. The land is so dry I think it would take weeks of good soaking rain to do any good. There were many dry creeks – it must be very depressing for those depending on the land for their livelihood. I love coming home even though it can be a little exhausting. We only have a couple day trips planned for the next week so no more big open roads…

  8. Thank you Purplesque – my son's wedding was a couple of weeks ago and it coincided with some observing on the telescope for the manservant so we are having the month here.

  9. I haven't had a summer here since 1999 so I've really noticed how dry (and hot) things are. In Sydney they have taken out all the toll booths on the expressways and replaced them with electronic E reader things. If you don't have an e-tag (ticket) on your car you are given a couple of days to call a number and give them your numberplate and credit card. After that grace period they send a notice which then involves an admin fee which makes a $4 toll about $20. You can go online and register your numberplate with a credit card for a certain number of days – that's what I've done now with the rental car.

  10. Here in CA, you're allowed to accumulate 4 points (most traffic tix are 1 point) before they suspend your license. I can't remember what it takes to actually lose the license. Nor how long points stay on your record. I just know that going to traffic school keeps a point from going on your record – but you can only go once every 18 months.

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