Hello my wonderful friends that follow. We took some “personal time” off our journey. We are now ready to continue our lap around Australia. ?? Thanks for continuing to follow and for your patience. ?
After 4 weeks in an apartment in Mt. Nebo, today is our first day back on the road again and it feels right. ? We cleaned the apartment today, and as I was cleaning the refrigerator and kitchen, a sense of warm happiness came creeping in with gearing myself up for the road again. Geoff is cleaning bathrooms and floors out the back, and I yell out “hey Geoff, I’m getting excited about hitting the road again. I’m happy. How are you feeling? He says, “I’ve been happy for a month now, Robin; I’ve worked side by side with Pat who has a wealth of knowledge in a “men’s shed” shop building things and fixing things together, and I just learned so much.”
I never realised it, but Geoff really rarely gets a chance to do “manly things” like tinker in shops, tinker under bonnets with guys, tinker on boats, cars and whatever else excites “manly man,” thinker, sorta guys. This reminds me of a story…I’ll never forget a time when I came home in Perth, pulled up and found 3 “manly men” neighbors (not including Connor and Geoff) with a raised bonnet on Rocky, our ’93 Daihatsu, all discussing what’s wrong with Rocky and how to fix it….all the while sipping on suds, chatting, laughing and grins from ear to ear. In actuality, I think there was only one guy speaking on how to “fix” Rocky and that’s the toyota mechanic of 20+ years and the rest are just listening, learning and nodding. =) For me this was so exciting as it was our community showing strength and togetherness.
Geoff just had a wwwwhole month of that sorta stuff with Pat, and he couldn’t have been happier!! He likes to keep busy during unforeseen times, and I like to hole myself up with a broken “shut off valve” with too many thoughts to count. Boy how we are different…I had no idea! And boy…how he has the better coping method!!
Nonetheless, we spent a month in Mt. Nebo, so let me tell you about this little greenie, off the grid, mountainous town called Mt. Nebo. Mt. Nebo=?. It’s a place nestled in the D’Aguilar National Park. You’re surrounded by mountains, trees, wild life and a population of maybe, on a Sunday w a family roast, …500 people. The road in is a trek; very winding and steep often times one lane at the top. Accidents happen all the time on this very winding road and people die…it’s really that simple…people die. I didn’t drive it for awhile as Troopy is too big, and I just didn’t feel comfortable until I was ready. Mt. Nebo is tucked up in there and the closest grocery store is an hour away (ok…40 min. For the locals, and 30 minutes for the hoons (USA=redneck, loud car, race car drivers). Geoff drove me every time I needed to go down the mountain until I felt comfortable. ?
Going down the mountain was like a field trip for our family. You didn’t drive down too often and when you did drive…you made sure you grabbed your shopping list! At first we went down the mountain often, every couple days, for bits and pieces, but after awhile we started settling into the “mountain lifestyle,” creating a list to grow in length and not go down often at all. The shopping list started to grow in size before we went down. What’s for dinner, mom? “Porridge or homemade sourdough bread with veggie mite or jam…skip the butter….we’re out!” While it might sound like a “buggar of a meal,” it grew to be kinda exciting as we knew the next day, after school and work, we were going dddddown the mountain and definitely making an outing of it! Much like a Sunday drive with a bonus dinner out on the way home! Each time we went down the mountain, we ran our errands and had dinner at the closest suburb at the base of the mountain, “The Gap.” We ate at the same restaurant often, an Irish pub named Finnegans. They had just remodelled their place, and it looked, to me, to be one of the nicer places in town as we had tried a few before settling at Finnegans. We met several people at Finnegans, some to be “neighbors” from our apartment in Mt. Nebo, and others who are looking to move to Mt. Nebo.
It’s a funny thing when you meet people traveling. You engage, have a lovely few hours together, exchange numbers, set up “tentative” next meetings and wonder if it will come to fruition??? There are some that do, and for whatever reason, some that never have lift off. For those that you meet again…you make another “emotional deposit” and find you have more in common. This happened to us with Mark and Ollie. They were two best mates that came to Finnegans for an evening out for a catch up. Ollie was waiting on Mark to arrive, so thus the conversation began. Mark arrives and, through conversation, is looking to buy a house in Mt. Nebo for his family….and thus the conversation unfolds even more.
As time passes, texts start between Geoff and Mark each time he’s down the mountain. Mark responds, “Hey, will you still be at Finnegans at 8:00pm after I help put the kids to bed? I can meet if so.” Geoff gets the text…it’s like ice-cream delivered! Mark Uber’s out, we have a lovely time together, we give him a lift home and head up the winding road to our flat nestled in the National Park in Mt. Nebo. All the while, I’m thinking “what a lovely spot we have in Mt. Nebo…what a lovely people too.
Weekends are sacred to Geoff. He’s actually off and enjoying his surroundings. While in Mt. Nebo, it’s with Pat and “Pat’s shop.” Did I tell you Pat is 70 and is fit as a Malley bull? Our families spend more and more time together; we get invited to family dinner on Sun. During the 4 weeks, we start getting into a rhythm of dinners at each other’s houses, dinner at Ni-Ni’s (Lissa’s sister who lives in a cottage Pat built), pop-overs at Ni-Ni’s…the grand kids and Stella play together…Stella plays with the neighbor girl who’s her age…it’s a beautiful thing unfolding here. The only missing link is their daughter and son in law, Lissa and John. While we have met each of these lovely people in Perth at John and Lissa’s house, they are not here during this time and it’s like a cupcake with no icing…. I think that makes it almost a muffin which is delicious in its own right…but the icing on the “muffin” would be for Di-Di (Lissa’s family nickname) and John to come out for a visit while we are here, so we can all be together in her little, mountainous hometown. [hubby John lived in The Gap, bottom of the mountain. He used to hitchhike up the Mt. Nebo’s winding road to Lissa in High School..so the story goes…now that’s true love right there! ?]
Our Mt. Nebo life ticks on. We settle in. We not only get a taste of Mt. Nebo, but we get the full flavour-we get the sweet spot. We take a break from work and school at the only good cafe in Mt. Nebo and pick our mail up at the only post office within miles. In cooking this would be “Umami”…in tennis or any club or bat..it would be the “sweet spot” ..at the casino… it would be the “hot streak”…in swimming The Rotto Channel swim it would be “looking down and not seeing anything with sharp teeth”…in running an organised event it would be “catching the bigger butt than yours just before the finish line.” ? We embrace The Mt. Nebo lifestyle and grow to respect and relate to those that live around us. They are mostly second and third generational true blue Aussies. What a beautiful experience.
Well just in case you thought the adventure ended there, it didn’t! False alarm! ?We’re settling in to our apartment, Geoff being a geek with his day job and a “manly, actually studly” guy at night…building a camp kitchen, dropping gas tanks to remove some sludge that puts us on the side of the road with warning lights, using a table saw that looks like ? or someone is going to lose a finger or two! Eeeek! Hubbba..hubbba… though…he still turns the lights on for me and he still has all 10 fingers too! The camp kitchen is finished! The gas tank dropped and repaired! Life is looking good on the road thus way forward.
Wait…did I tell you???? I don’t think I did??? Out of all of this lifestyle…Mt.Nebo experience, Geoff got a text from Ollie they were in Mt. Nebo down the road having a Sunday lunch picnic right now….could we join?? Geoff came in with grundge and dirt and said…”what do you think?? Should we go? I have projects to finish?” Now what do you think my response would be, peeps??? Go..on guess…???
AAAAbsoulllletly…. it’s a rare moment …..and…we have “TIME” on our side… tidy up, clean up and let’s join Mark & Ollie with their families for lunch! How exciting…a spontaneous lunch!!
Oddly enough….we find the trail to meet Mark & Ollie ++++.We pack some nibbles to share as we’ve already eaten lunch. We head down the trail and see a couple of women with several happy children running about with an open fire, hippy music, wine glasses and happy souls. We nearly get passed them before I take a second look and I say… “Hello, are you ladies Mark and Ollie’s wives per chance??? Big hellooo’s and an emphatic “Yes, we are …you must be Geoff and Robin Hibble…the boys went for a wander.”
We joined the ladies and children. The fellas came back not so long after. The lunch was full on with: fire pit, grate over an open fire to grill, music ?, snacks, wine, bubbles, entres, smiles, culture, happiness, games and just a sheer delight. We found one of many common denominators….we found the women were all older than the men (weird..?), each couple were of different cultures, and neither male nor female were similar in thought or behavioural patterns…alll were either right brain or left brain- pot or lids. How bizarre!??
Something tells me I will see these lovely couples again.
That’s been our story for the last 4 weeks. We’ve: lived in Mt. Nebo, D’Aguilar National Park, in the “Flat that Pat Built”; integrated into Lissa’s beautiful family; met a lovely couples along the way; had lunch ever so often at the only good cafe on the mountain and checked the only post office for miles for Hibble mail. Life doesn’t get much more simpler or better than this. ??✌?