Left IS Right

Bellingen Travel Blog

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Danger Falls near Bellingen
On the road and there it was, my first attempt at driving in Australia.

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.
travelman727 says:
Great blog! Your comments bring back memories of my first time driving on the "wrong" side of the road and trying to navigate roundabouts while looking for directions :-D
Posted on: Dec 18, 2008
rotorhead85 says:
Three rights still make a left - happy motoring down under!
Posted on: Dec 14, 2008
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Danger Falls near Bellingen
Danger Falls near Bellingen
photo by: Connie