Left IS Right
Bellingen Travel Blog› entry 6 of 45 › view all entries
December 7th, 2008 – by: Connie
Problems to overcome:
1) After having my drivers license in Canada for 10 years, I've NEVER driven on the left hand side
2) Having only ever driven a vehicle in North America, I've NEVER had to drive through a roundabout
3) Like hell I know where I'm going in this foreign country!
And it didn't stop there. Having never driven a car rigged for driving on the left, I had to wrap my head around the fact that all the controls and mirrors are now on the opposite side! When I lifted my hand off the steering wheel to shift the car into reverse, my hand hit the side door. The first time I went to check my rear-view mirror, I ended up looking out my side window. Every time I went to signal, I kept setting off the windshield wipers instead. All this while trying to successfully navigate roundabouts - but I needed Rod to give me instructions at every step!
Needless to say, we survived my first foray into Australian traffic. Thankfully I was only driving up the east coast on a weekday meaning that there was little traffic to deal with and only the occasional roundabout. Still, I'm quite proud of myself thank you very much.
From Port Stephens we ended up in Bellingen, a little further inland than the coast. Bellingen was a quaint, friendly town full of New Age shops, organic grocers, and live music in the evenings.
And bats. Lots of fruit bats.
I mean, a GIANT COLONY of fruit bats. Every evening at dusk the whole colony, easily numbering in thousands, took off from the forest of trees on the outskirts of town and flew in a winding path over the town to another forest full of the fruit they nightly fed on. The Bellingen YHA we stayed at conveniently had a nice deck with excellent views of this incredible phenomenon.
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