Last Christmas, I had my first Christmas back on ‘home soil’ in more than 18 years. My husband took me ‘back home’ as a thank you for caring for his mum.
I guess I should explain that, for farmers in Australia, Christmas is held at the wrong time of the year! It’s really difficult for us to even think about going away on the special day, while we’re harvesting, making sure animals have water and food. There’s always the threat of thunder storms lighting fires around our land. So to leave the farm was a pretty big deal.
It was also a pretty big deal to travel over 2,000 kilometres for two days!
I thought I’d give you a pictorial of our trip – it’ll also give me a trip down memory lane, because I won’t be there for Christmas this year.
We left at 5am and took the ‘back track’ up to Balladonia. This track is full of bull dust, rough as hell but full of exciting things to see – we had a dingo pup play with the ute and caught glimpses of the brumbies which roam all through the area.
Now crossing the Nullarbor, is a big trek, because it’s a long drive – not for any other reason. You’d think it would be isolated and even perhaps frightening at times. It’s neither. The road houses are about 200kms apart and there is mobile range covering most of the way.
There’s more traffic on that stretch of road than there is on the road that comes out to our farm (and ours is a sealed road as well!)
But in saying all of that, I wouldn’t recommend you ride your push bike across it, like some people do.
The locals have to make do with what they have, which includes using the road for the Royal Flying Doctor, if needed!
This is my favourite road sign. No exceptions. I’m back in my home state!
When we hit Port Augusta, I’m positively in home territory. These are part of the Flinders Ranges.
Then we arrive. This is one of my favourite views. Ever.
So is this.
Along with this one.
I have a brother and sister. We’re all married and live in different parts of Australia. We all do different things for jobs, so to get us all together in one place, is a near on miracle! We managed this last year. Their faces, their kids faces and Mum and Dad are also part of my favourite views!
We’re all mad about dogs. My dad treats them better than us sometimes! In fact he has been known to greet them before mum after he’s been away! So these twins, Tilly and Tessa are always involved – chasing the tennis ball, while we play cricket, going on walks with my sister and I, just everything and home wouldn’t be home without them.
All too soon it was over and we had to head back out the drive-way and make the long drive home. I can guarantee there is always tears at this point.
This year we’ll be back at the farm, we’ll have a pine tree decorated, chicken and pork, with veggies, roasted on the weber and a pavolva for sweets. There will be Christmas giggles and laughs and time spent with the kids and no matter what gifts there are, that is the most precious gift I can have.
What are you doing for Christmas?
Soooo know how u feel… with 5 of my own children (still in school) we cannot afford to fly (to everyone else’s amazement) (??) so we do the big drive… 11hours fast trip to spend 2 or 3 days with my family, then we all pile in for another 16hours to see my husband’s family!! I wouldn’t have it any other way. We love the time spent squished together and the roadtrip has expanded my children’s awareness of the differences in localities. Hurrah for Australia – it truly is an amazing, expansive country with such beauty.
Oh… those hours are just ONE WAY!!! Then there’s the HUGE roadtrip home!
I made the return trip from Condingup to Adelaide 5 times one year, with two toddlers. I agree, it’s an amazing drive. My favourite view of home is the big bend around the creek on the outskirts of Melrose. The big gums are just “home”!
This Christmas I am working again in the UAE, and I will miss those family times. But expats always pull together at times like this, and no doubt I will be with some nice people.
Best wishes to all those that read this.