I have returned from a two-week road-trip through the national parks in the mid-north of New South Wales. We had a mostly good time; a few bursts of bad weather made for a damp camping experience at a couple of points, and a couple of car and equipment failures led to emergency dashes to nearby towns, but that's all part of the fun of travelling.
This is the route we took - a total of 1700km of actual travel, plus various side-trips (marked in red). We got to within 30km of the Queensland border at one point, but chose not to cross.
We saw more waterfalls than I can remember, watched whales, enjoyed the hospitality of small country towns and, strangely, met several people who not only lived in the same city as we did, but in the same or adjacent suburbs. I also bumped into a friend who used to live locally, but who I'd lost touch with about three years ago.
I did take figures and games away with me, but managed to play nothing using them, either due to weather, lack of a suitable playing area or just a desire to doze in a chair during times I could have been gaming.
We did, of course, take card-games with us, so played the usual rounds of Fluxx, Love Letter, Exploding Kittens and (after Maya bought a copy in a great little games shop in Armidale) Gloom. Here are Maya and Catherine considering their options in a particularly tense game of Love Letter, which went to the last possible round - all three of us were on four tokens, with five needed to win.
This was taken in a pub in Walcha (pronounced 'wol-ka') where we spent the evening celebrating my daughter Maya's 20th birthday. Here she is, having emerged from those difficult teenage years.
Fun Fact: The name Walcha may be derived from Walcheren, specifically the Walcheren campaign of 1809. A nearby farm is called Bergen op Zoom, and there is a Waterloo Farm close by as well. Officers who served during the Napoleonic wars surveyed parts of Australia, and named some of the areas after people or places involved, and obviously some of the settlers were veterans or had connections to such places and events. The truth is, though, that the actual origin of the name Walcha is a bit of a mystery.
I did buy a couple of gaming things. I picked up a big truck for Machinas, which I still need to get out of the box and investigate. I also picked up a retro Dan Dare card-game. This has great art, taken from the original 1950s series (not the revamped 1970s one or the much, much darker 1980s one), but the game itself is just a variant of knockout whist. However the cards may be useful as randomisers for other games, being in four distinct suits and numbered 1-11.
Oh, and I spent a lot of my relaxation time reading Herodotus 'The Histories', which proved to be far more interesting and entertaining than I first thought it would be.