June 13, 2011

Chicks Road Trip to Canberra!

For those of you who don't already know, Nicole and I love a good road trip and we have been on many together for Mookah in the last couple of years, and lots more for holidays in the years prior to that.  On Friday morning we left at sunrise in the Subaru with the trailer hitched on the back, knowing that we were headed to Canberra for Handmade Canberra and that we had decided to head along the coast to Cann River and then turn off to head up the Monaro Highway to Canberra, rather than go through Melbourne and head up the Hume Hwy.  Simple huh?

Something else you may also know or not know about us, is that we are both control freaks.  This means that we would normally be well organised, have a schedule of time for departure, planned stops for fuel, food and toilet breaks, a marked map of the trip and an ETA.  Maybe we're just getting older, I'm not sure.  But neither of us had never been to Canberra, had never been up the Monaro Highway, and on a friends recommendation that it was much better for us to head up the Monaro rather than the Hume, we just thought, okay, let's do that, without much consideration, research or planning.  The alarm bells didn't even ring.  All was well until we were at about Sale when we heard on the radio that East Gippsland had had their heaviest rainfall in like 20 years and that there was floods and land slips resulting in closed lanes, etc.  Uh-oh. 
The closer we got to Cann River, we saw more and more of the above, and the trip got slower and slower.  Below is a pic of the Cann River at full force.

 Many of the roads in Cann River itself were flooded and we got wet feet just trying to make our way for a toilet stop.  Then it was a turn to the north to head up the Monaro Highway.  Immediately the road became a little windey and a steady climb, making the Suby work hard to pull the trailer.  Our friend never mentioned this, she said the road was good!

There was plenty of land slips blocking lanes and delays as workers assessed the damage.  We kept climbing and climbing and the temperature kept dropping.  At this point we decided to check the Melways, and OH MY GOD, the road went over the great dividing range, and over the Snowy Mountain Plains.  No one told us that!  The temperature got as low as 2 degrees before it started to climb again after the slow descent back down to normal heights in the approach to Canberra.  Check out these 2 wombats that decided to cross the road in front of me in the middle of the day.  What's with that?

I had looked  at a map of canberra online a couple of days prior and noticed that the Monaro Highway led to Northbourne Avenue which went through the centre of Canberra and our motel was just off that on the north side.  Looked easy enough......until we got real close and Nicole kept saying "Where do we go", and "What roads are we looking for" and I kept saying, "err, don't know, just keep heading to city centre" and hoping to hell that when we got there, or got close we would see Northbourne Avenue and all would be well.  I thought she was going to throw a tanty. I thought she was going to hit me.  I thought she was going to crack it and stop the car and demand me to drive, and then there it was Northbourne Avenue, and yep it went through the centre to the north of the city and I'll be damned there was the road our motel was on.

After checking into our motel we made a quick dash into the city to check out the Handmade Shop before it closed, and took a quick walk down to the Convention Centre to check out where we had to go the next day.

 Apologies for lack of photos, we didn't have time and before we knew it, it was time to load up the car and head off again.  Note Nicole wore her skirt that we blogged about last week.  It was a hit with customers and we sold all that we took with us.  You know what we'll be doing this week don't you?

The location was fantastic, the organisers were friendly, fun and helpful, we met some blogger friends such as Posie Patchwork, the day was busy and we had a ball.  Thanks Canberarians (is that a word?) for supporting Mookah and handmade goodness in general.  Thanks also to Stacey from Koolaman Designs for tips on where to stay, where to eat and where to play.


  1. My goodness, what a trip! I'm exhausted just reading about it....one with the lot? (including bonus wombats) Great you made it there and back in one piece. Hooray for lovely and successful markets. Back to work!

  2. Oh my lord what a story! I've got to tell you that every January we stop at the toilets at Cann River - and they're a bit boggy then. So when I heard about the rain I thought "uh-oh there goes the playground!". We've done the trip to Canberra from the coast, and I'd sincerely have to recommend the Hume. Although, you wouldn't have had the wombat experience...

  3. Oh dear God, the Hume is the only way, unless you want to go through the Snowy Mountains & do some skiing. What a trip, so fantastic to meet you, loving my new Mookah ottoman & freebies, i just blogged about them, thanks gorgeous sisters, love Posie
    PS I think it's Canbereans?? I'm from Sydney!!