Monday 7th October
Today is our last day in beautiful Noosa.
Tomorrow we hit the Bruce Highway and recommence our northward journey.
In the morning we parked at the end of The Woods a Noosa Park area at the entrance to the Noosa River. From there we walked along the path to little coves along the Noosa River foreshore until we reached Hastings Street. This is the main road through the beachside suburb and at almost any time of the day or night, it is busy. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=hastings+street+noosa&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=GjtSUtv9Gq2uiQftloG4Bg&ved=0CIoBELAE&biw=1366&bih=643&dpr=1#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=mQ4voLx5vEG3lM%3A%3BljqeQf9UmwVtKM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.noosaeguide.com%252Finfo%252Fupload%252F_pool-ev.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.noosaeguide.com%252Finfo%252Faccommodation_info.php%253Fns%253D15%3B400%3B289
We had coffee and croissants at Seasons Restaurant overlooking the beach. http://www.seasonrestaurant.com.au/
We then followed the seaside path through Noosa Woods to a refurbished cove called Doggy Beach. http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/noosa-dog-beach-project-track/1217743/
Once, it was a forgotten backwater filled with concrete stumps, fallen trees, rocks, debris, snags and a bit isolated and unfriendly. Now it is a wonderful family dog friendly location, sheltered from all winds except a direct northerly. A sandbar just offshore is exposed at low tide but the naturally shallow water is a great place to take young children and dogs of course. Did we wander into the water and go for a swim and splash around on the sandbar almost catching waves which reflect off the north shore of the river?
Of course we did!
For a wonderful time line potted history of the Noosa area, have a look here http://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/library/documents/heritage/timeline_of_the_noosa_district.pdf
Tuesday 8th October
We woke early and went for our usual walk followed by my exercise routine. In my mind I calculated that worst case scenario we would be on our way by 10am. As the morning progressed I updated that departure time to 11am. Later still I gave up entirely, realising we would get away when the CO-PILOT was ready!
Hallelujah Brother! We finally got started at 12.15pm. Even then the CO-PILOT wanted to visit another Over 50’s Resort on our way out.
Today our destination was Yandaran about 36 Klms north of Bundaberg a 326 Klm journey for the day. We called in to see old friends Jerry and Pam R. We passed through Gympie on the Bruce Highway and noted as we travelled the countryside turned from green, healthy and lush to a dried out brown and dusty the further we drove. We by-passed the turnoff to Maryborough and left the highway for the drive into Bundaberg where we could see the devastation from three years of floods still evident along the banks of the Burnett River. The council caravan park beside the bridge was wiped out. The locals are still struggling to recover.
Jerry and Pam commented that the little settlement of Yandaran was not affected by floods.
Wednesday 9th October
We spent a quiet day around camp.
Some essential repairs/maintenance took up about an hour of my time. Somehow the rear view camera had a dirty smudge so I climbed the rear ladder and cleaned the lens. That took all of 5 minutes. The forward view travel camera had fallen down on Tuesday so I cleaned the windscreen and re-attached the video camera. Another 5 minutes well spent. The main job was to re-attach the windscreen washer attachment. It fell off when we were driving to the Gold Coast a few weeks ago. Finally the moon, planets, stars and earth were aligned enough for me to get stuck into the task. The rest of the day was spent in umm err, rest. We just sat around talking with P&J.
Thursday 10th October
We are on the road again!
Tra la tra la la la la.
It was a big travel day all of 2 hours or 150 Klms. We saw Calliope River and decided to stop for lunch. After lunch Donnis took a vote to stay the night. On arrival there were probably less than a dozen rigs already in place along the elevated river bank.
As darkness fell we found perhaps nearer 50 rigs keeping us company.
In the afternoon we took a walk around the area and found a GPS Mark. Long term readers will recall that in our travels we have often found Trig Points. Not so many in the last 12 months. It was therefore a surprise to find the new version of the trig points. According to the plaque, we can expect to find more of these GPS Marks in our travels.
I have developed a “red eye” which looks terrible but is not painful or uncomfortable nor has a discharge. My eyesight seems to be unaffected. Donnis has been using saline drops but it seems to be spreading. I made an appointment to see a doctor in Mackay next Tuesday but if it worsens we will go to plan B…which we have not yet planned.
Friday 11th October
We were on the road early…6.30am to be exact. Donnis wants to travel in the cool of the mornings.
We have watched the passing scenery with interest. Yaraman was dry, dusty, brown sparse spindly trees dotted the landscape. As we travel north the countryside has changed. It is now dry, dusty, less brown more green with thick bushland and healthy looking trees. As has been the case for the last week there is a strong gusty wind and we are driving into it which is pushing our fuel consumption up…dramatically. We stopped at Rocky (Rockhampton) to fuel up, dump toilet tank and have breakfast.
We stopped at Waverley Creek Rest Area for lunch. http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/waverley-ck-rest-area-is-upgraded/1655689/ This was once a run-down poorly equipped and maintained Main Roads Department rest area midway between Rocky and Mackay. Being midway it was a convenient stop for travellers. We often used it as an overnight stop. Main Roads have organised and refurbished the area with marked parking bays and the entire area is sealed. The toilets and lighting are all solar powered and shaded picnic benches dot the area. A separate area is set aside for trucks. Well, hats off to Main Roads.
I thought it would be nice to stop at the seaside town of Clairview for the night as it is an easy run of around two hours to Mackay in the morning. Clairview was dry and dusty and the wind off the sea was uncomfortably hot and salty. We moved on to Carmilla by the sea. If anything it even drier, dustier and with the salt laden wind blasting away I felt it better to protect my eye. As well the only sites still available are soft sand and would be easy to become bogged especially with us towing TERIOS. Tonight we are safely tucked up in sister Sandra’s house in Mackay. Along the highway a stone hit our windscreen leaving a star shaped chip which will no doubt spread.
I managed to find a late afternoon doctors appointment to find I have a burst blood vessel in my eye…http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/subconjunctival-hemorrhage/DS00867 nothing to worry about!!! It looks rather YUK!
My lovely Subaru Liberty Rallye was waiting for me and although it started first turn of the key and sounds good, the paint finish looks terrible and the window tinting is beginning to peel. The drivers seat springs have given up providing support. There is a stone chip in its windscreen as well.
Tomorrow begins the first day of …what!
Saturday 12th October
We drove to Canelands Shopping Town in Mackay. The Liberty runs well although the air con stopped some time ago. The driver’s seat is a bit uneven and the remote latches to the fuel tank and the boot no longer work. It feels strange sitting so close to the road compared to sitting high up in WWWGO. While at the shopping centre car-park I noticed the Liberty has 301,500 Klms on the clock! Hmmm! It still corners well and clings like glue to roundabouts.
Most of the day was spent resting from four days of travel. For dinner tonight we prepared a Pork Rogan Josh while Sandi prepared a Chicken Honey Soy Ginger stir fry for a combined pot luck dinner.
The @#$%&!g next door neighbours had a childrens party today. It started about 10am and some parents stayed while their children played in the small inflatable pool. About 2pm the children left and the two slushie machines had booze added to the mix and the adults got stuck into it. Their bad language and loud and often aggressive attitude to each other, combined with annoying thumpy thumpy music meant they had to shout at each other. This went on until about midnight when we turned on our air con which drowned out all the drunken noise they were making. Eventually we were able to fall into a fitful sleep.
Sunday 13th October
I am so tired today. The party animals next door finally called it quits in the early hours and I struggled to get back to sleep. My red eye feels gritty and has not helped my general feeling of BLAHH!
We drove Sandi to the airport at noon. She is attending a conference in Melbourne for a few days. Dave went a friends house to watch Bathurst Day on TV. For our overseas readers I will explain. It is not really Bathurst Day, that is just a popular fun name given to the biggest event on the Australian Racing Car calendar. More correctly it is the Mt,Panorama Bathurst 1000Race http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Panorama_Circuit and is probably the most difficult race circuit of its type in the world. It has become an Oz tradition to watch the race on TV from start to finish while drinking beer and eating meat pies. In other words the entire day is a write off so it is impossible to make other plans on this day. I have long been over the need to watch the entire race and am usually content to watch the start few laps and the final 10 or so laps. I missed both today.
In the afternoon we visited my daughter Avery, hubby Paul, children Shelby-Rose and Anakin. It waqs a full house this afternoon as Paul’s son Beau, his partner Emma and their child Malakai were there as were Jerry and Pam from Yandaman were also visiting. After a wonderful dinner and filling dessert we called it a night.
Tomorrow we should start a bit of local exploring.