It seems like ages since I last mentioned the M1. But at last I was back on it again, heading for Sydney. In no time at all I’d covered about 130 miles when I made a decision that may surprise you. I decided to turn OFF of the M1. I didn’t need to, it would have been quicker to stay on it. But I didn’t.
I decided to turn off and head towards Newcastle to take the scenic route for the final 100 miles. It would add an hour or so to the journey, but I have my family with me and we are on holiday after all. I thought they might like to see some scenery. Anyway, who’s counting time? So we turned left to hit the coastal route.
We drove straight through Newcastle, old habits die hard. We were amused to see that we passed through Gateshead straight after that, so it seems the town naming wasn’t a coincidence. We were hungry and had earmarked Swansea as the place we were going to stop. (Swansea? Has somebody been copying?) But despite having the Pacific Ocean AND the huge Lake Macquarie each side of it, there wasn’t much at Swansea. Glorious coastline but no amusement arcades or MacDonalds. These Australians have too much beach for their own good. They have no idea how to commercialise them.
Four minutes from Swansea was Caves Beach.
It was hilly, had beautiful houses with stunning views. It was very quiet, calming. And just an hour and a half from Sydney. But nothing to eat here either, so we quickly moved on.
About ten minutes past Swansea, we noticed a river appear to our left and then, a short distance later, a left turn onto a bridge to take us over the river. So we decided to take a look. As we turned the sharp bend at the end of the bridge we discovered….. Budgewoi AND…….. a fish and chip shop.
So for us, Budgewoi (pronounced Budgie-woy as in rhymes with Roy) was just what we wanted. Small, pretty, quiet, by a river and it had food.
Rested. Refreshed. And most importantly, we’d been fed. So we got back into the car to continue on to Sydney.