Chronicle, part 1

2:30 am, Boxing Day

I’m awake before my alarm. In fact, sleep has been in dribs and drabs these last few hours. Ben wants me to try to get there even earlier than early to help with some stuff at Eungai Creek. Most of my stuff has been packed into the car already, and so it’s mostly just the last few things – chargers, toothbrush, etc. – that have to go in.

4am, Boxing Day

The freeway is an eerie dark. All you can see are what the headlights reveal, the tail lights of the few cars ahead, and the bright headlights of those behind. It’s strange driving by yourself on a dark highway with no one around.

5:30 am, Boxing Day

I’ve had some form of breakfast at Raymond Terrace Macca’s, and I start up my “in-car stereo system” – aka my MP3 player + speakers. Works like a charm.

9:30 am, Boxing Day

I’ve made it to Kempsey in good time, except when I tried to call Alex and Ben, I’ve left the keys in the car. Good thing the mobile is on me, and NRMA arrives in about 45 minutes to get the keys out. I chuckle after, and see that I managed to:
a) get an enforced rest break
b) get a newspaper and read about the lead-up to the Boxing Day test, and also the weather
c) keep my head on
d) see how you get the door open without keys.
Although things were apparently well with the trailer, I get told to go straight to Sawtell, only to be told that there are yet more things to gather at Eungai Creek.

Noon, Boxing Day

We’ve arrived in Sawtell! Good time too, including mishap and slight detour. We crack the container open and get with the advance party setup process. Unfortunately, things were not so well with the trailer at Eungai Rail, and so those guys would be delayed. We also managed to forget some things (like the vent struts, rubbers, and other minor stuff that isn’t in that “tent setup” chant) which meant that we put tents up quite a few times, humourously put aside as enabling more “practice”.

6pm, Boxing Day

Advance setup is done. After getting ourselves setup at Boambee Baptist, where we’re staying the night, we pretty much all go to Toormina to pick up Subway or pizza. I start to get to know some of the guys I’ll be with for the next couple of days, relax with a few tunes on my player, and get some remarkably good sleep.

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