December, the start of Summer. It began with us doing our Photosynthesize Taco setup at the Esplanade in Byron Bay. It was a success and learned of schoolies, the time where you go for a trip after high school and celebrate in the real world. After giving out all the tacos, we quickly packed up as we wanted to drive out to Nimbin before the darkness. The drive there was quick but stunning; it was cloudy, sunny, and rainy all at the same time. The timing was great as we got to our camp site the sun was setting. It was a majestic sunset as it set twice, first behind the clouds then reappeared and set behind the mountains. The following day explored the town, it was a superbly hot that day. After did another successful Photosythesize Taco outing and hit the road again.
After Nimbin, we passed through a cloudy yet beautiful area known as Gold Coast but only got there by mistake. Off the highway, there was a water park that was calling us but didn’t act soon enough for the exit. We then took the next exit that took us for an hour ride of being lost and never made it to the water park. Somewhere along the way there was a vegetable/macadamia stand and as usual we pulled over. The owner, Bobby, saw us in the drive way and came running out, asking if that was a teepee on our truck. She was thrilled and we then told her about our free tacos. So she told us to check out her garden and soon started packing us fresh vegetables and tomatillos (green tomatoes). We have been searching for these tomatillos over a year, they make bomb salsas. Bobby and her husband were wonderful people and said take anything from the stand for free, furthermore she busted out what’s called spaghetti squash. We wouldn’t use it for some months. That’s why we enjoy buying from these stands even if we don’t need anything as the people behind them are so great.
After much driving and not knowing where to stop, we ended up in Southwest Rocks. It’s a fine-looking small beach town that offers public showers so we took advantage. It wasn’t the sunniest day but still a great day to make tacos for the people. We did our setup at the entrance of the beach carpark and met some incredible people who really appreciated what we were doing. Had great conversations and the last ones to come happen to be a vegan family and were surprised that they could enjoy them. We were told about some good beaches around the corner so after packing up we went to check them out. One beach had such calm water and was at low tide thus Ben and I played Frisbee in the water. The next day drove out to Nambucca Heads, a place recommended to us, a beautiful beach park. Again did our Photosythesize project and got donated some goodies. Towards the end, we got invited to give our tacos out in front of a Takeaway shop.
Did as usual, drove south along the coast landing just outside of Sydney and decided to visit the Blue Mountains. The drive there was full with traffic and along the highway were some bicyclist commuting back home moving faster than the vehicles. There was also another water park that we were determined to visit. It was a windy, unpaved road to the campsite we decided to stay at, upon arriving walked around and started cooking dinner. The next morning many people asked to check out our rooftop tent as they’ve never seen one before. We also found out that this place is full of flies from morning to night, they were such a nuisance. We were able to catch them with jars and began collecting them with ants. During this time, we gave our truck a deep clean and took everything out, did some back seat chilling. After a few days here we set out for the water park, Wet n’ Wild and along the way we found a free bicycle so we strapped it to the roof on top of the teepee on top of the tent. We enjoy strapping stuff to the roof. The water park was just what we needed and the ques for the rides were short so we got to ride all the slides.
The next day was another Taco giveaway at Manly Beach and soon drove towards Sydney to meet up Audray, our sister. We booked a hostel where she lived and celebrated life later that night. The next day explored a bit of the city and the beaches. Andy joined us at the beach and relaxed there after not finding a good spot to do our Tacos. Later Josh, Audray’s friend came and said we can crash at his place so we cooked his housemate’s tacos and celebrated Josh’s birthday. Back to driving, this time it was a trio road trip to Melbourne, Andy joined us, he was also going to Tasmania but by plane.
The first day we made a quick stop to Royal National Park for a swim and then drove inland towards the capital, Canberra. An interesting location for a countries capital, there was nothing then suddenly a small city. We visited the National Museum; there we learned you need shoes to enter a museum. After had a munch fest and back to driving. It was less than a week we had to be in Melbourne for a ferry ride. Much of the ride was through small ranges and beach towns, the weather also cooler. One night we camped at 90 mile beach that was full a mosquitos at all times, even worse in the day. After another couple of days driving we made it to Melbourne the place we escaped from 8 months ago. It was one of our best Tacos outings on Chapel St, a busy street in St Kilda. Later, booked a hostel for the night and had a visit from another Darwin flat mate, Victoria. She came by the hostel for a visit; it was great to see a familiar face.
The morning left early for the ferry, Andy stayed behind as he was flying to Tasmania. We waited behind a line of cars moving little by little for nearly 2 hours, it was ridiculous. And once we got to the check in they took our teepee away since they don’t allow timber to be taken into Tasmania. They also took our bonsai tree and succulents. It was a strange feeling, we felt like they took our family. It was a sad day. The ferry was a 9 hour ride; they announced bingo so we went to join. Turned out to be Disco Bingo, instead of numbers its songs and the host was the best, she had disco attire. While playing I noticed a guy walking by and wanted to call him over but didn’t. Later he passed again. This time I called him over and he joined, we started chatting, the host explained to everyone about our Taco Truck and he turned out to be a chef and told us to stop by his work as they’re in need of chefs.
Finally we ported, starving we were and bought the biggest serving of wedges we can find. The next morning each of us had a missed called, it was the head chef to Josef Chromy Winery. Funny thing is that we applied just before leaving Darwin, with no response. He said to come in a few days to meet. That gave us time to drive a bit of Tasmania. The first thing was buying new plants for our dashboard but it wasn’t the same. The beaches were incredible, for some reason we didn’t thing of Tasmania having stunning beaches. Made it all the way west and stayed a night, gave the bike a test drive, the next day drove down the West Coast. Tasmania was unsuspectingly cold and soon started searching for the little warm clothes we had left. We got rid of most our clothes in Darwin. The views were unbelievable, there was even a bit of snow on the tip of the mountains during summer.
Next, we made it to Launceston to meet the chef, played a bit at the park and got futbol stuck in tree. Time to meet our new job, it was a 15 minute drive out of town. Upon arriving we knew this place was going to great. Nick was the head chef, straight away he was already telling us what days he wanted us to work. It went great. We chatted turns out he’s from New Zealand and seemed interested in us. He said come in tomorrow for a few hours. With the day still young, we drove up the Tamar River to the tip and then back down. Not too long our car broke down, not knowing what was wrong we got a jump start but only made it a few kilometres before breaking down again. This time we learned of RACT, road side assistance, they towed us back to town. The driver was so nice and told us we can camp in the car park of the mechanic but have to leave early before they open, he even gave us the code to get in. The next day we had to find a ride to work and the head chef Nick got one of the chefs to pick us up. That was unbelievably generous. The work was great and the people even better. After working at Cloudy Bay Vineyards in New Zealand, we made it our goal to work at a winery in Australia and there we were doing it. Make a goal not a plan and strive towards it. The truck just needed a new alternator and was fixed by the time we finished work.
Feeling hungry we bought wedges once again and drove to a river side camp site, where we met Kristine. Kristine would later join us to Falls Festival. Ben and I had the day off to explore the town a bit. Christmas was around the corner and wanted to meet with Maud a friend from work at the Ski Resort in New Zealand and Andy the homie. So our job scheduled us three days before Christmas which we did about 28 hours and on December 24 drove out to the Bay of Fires on the East Coast to meet up with our friends and celebrate with wine from our new job. It was great meeting up with them, a celebration with delicious food and mimosas to go with the spectacular beach views. After a couple of days Maud went back to work, Andy, Ben and I went to Freycinet National Park then to Hobart the next days.
In Hobart we met up with Kristine and a new friend Marius, who signed up to be volunteers at the festival. The next day drove to Port Arthur to check out Maud’s job at the Lavender Farm and in search for a shower. No luck on showers so we drove to the festival site and checked in. Fate told us where to park and met Emily and Riannon our new neighbors who were super cool. Andy set up his van and we with our truck made a patio type set up. Later Kristine and Marius came and set their tent up. This was the crew for New Years. It was just introduction the first day and time to meet the people you’ll work with. Ben and I ended up in Vehicle Inspection which turned out to the best I reckon. It was the first two days with an early star but also finished before any performances.
Vehicle Inspection was simple and easy, you get to see the crowd coming in and many were high school graduates. The first night highlight was Grand Master Flash who lit the crowd up. The night was stupendous. We all danced in the mud like wild animals. Our crew pushed its way to the front stage. Next was Hot Dub Time Machine who might I say made the crowd go to that next level. The following morning included a few hours of Vehicle Inspection and then a nap to cap of the work and now we were free to enjoy the festival. Ben and I made some sushi as we waited for Andy to explore the festival, played some Frisbee by the stage and met up with the supervisors of the festival. Watched it rain as it did a few times during the festival then made our way to camp to enjoy some delicious sushi. Did a little more exploring and dancing as we waited for the others to finish working.
We were able to gather up and Maud came and joined for the night again. The night was popping, filled with dancing, making new friends, losing each other then finding each other. Snaked our way to the front once again. Went to camp to re-up on drinks and had some munchies. After that we lost each other until the morning. With no work, Ben and I got to sleep in, though he for some reason chose to sleep in the back seat of the truck. I went to check out the beach and walked through the slums of the festival. Back at camp the rest were either working or barely waking up. It was New Year’s Eve and started with a whiskey Mark gave me for my birthday. All of us told our stories from the night before of what we remembered and later a few of us walked down to the beach again to toss the Frisbee around. Soon it was time to see some performances, later back to camp and then a hide and seek game for Ben who went looking for an old friend. After a few hours we found him and also made new friends along the way. Maud made it back to the festival and we all gathered up for the night activities and performances.
The evening was magical, it was just what we needed after driving around the past 3 months. There was a couple of hours until midnight and the rest were about to finish their last shift. At camp we waited and one by one the crew gathered along with a new friend Lily. We stayed at camp for a few drinks and chatted, soon it was the countdown. We were having too much fun to make it to the stage for the countdown. From our work Josef Chromy, we brought a bottle of sparkling wine for the introduction to 2017. POP! And just like that another year of amazing people, wild adventures and more stories to share.