Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Blowin’ from Bowen to Brisbane
Wednesday 6th February

Today is our anniversary…..31 years today.

We were joking with Ben last night that we would leave at 9.30 today because it has become our standard departure time.  It seems that regardless of plans and preparations we always end up leaving about 9.30. If we get up early we are delayed and if we intentionally lie in we still leave around 9.30.

Determined to get away early this time, we were up, packed and about to leave at 8.30. Ben came home from work to say good bye and we chatted in the driveway for a while. He left and Ron went to back Indie up to fill him up with water and bang…..no go. He would start up, run for a few seconds and die. Ron had a bit of a melt down and pulled Indie apart and found a blown fuse. It seemed to do the trick so we went in and said goodbye to baby Xander, Anita and Dollar and drove off at (you guessed it) 9.30.

We bought provisions and headed south with no route or itinerary…..the way it should be. After a short stop at Home Hill we continued on to Bowen….beautiful, blowin’ Bowen.  We called at the Big Mango Tourist Info. Centre, bought a Mango Sorbet and went off to the Harbour Lights Caravan Park ($33.00).

 It was the nicest little caravan park, not least for its close proximity to ‘Arabon Seafoods’ at Bowen boat harbour just across the road. We went for a walk along the waterfront and then went and bought seafood for our dinner. I would go so far as to say it was the best seafood we have ever bought. We had oysters and prawns, the size of which were amazing, huge, ginormous and they tasted divine!!!!!

Thursday 7th February
We drove through Bowen, bought a few groceries and admired the murals. They have heaps of them and they look really good.
We decided to go inland because we wanted to avoid the flooded areas on the coast and we thought there would be lots of road works (repairs). We drove through Collinsville and Glenden and of course, encountered more road works than you could poke a stick at. We stopped overnight at (82) Lake Elphinstone. It was beautiful. The temperature was perfect with a lovely cool breeze and there were toilets, hot showers and electric BBQs all for free!!!! We camped about 20 metres from the water’s edge. The lake was teeming with birds….I am beginning to wonder if there are actually any black swans left in Western Australia at all…..we have seen so many on our travels.

And of course when Ron went to cook our dinner, Huey, Dewey and Louie followed him.

Friday 8th February

Because our fridge is playing up, we can’t stay out longer than one night now without power. We would have loved to linger by the lake but needs must so we moved on.
We drove through some pretty awesome country and past incredible mine sites via Nebo and on to Clermont.

The number of mines through here is staggering and they are enormous.


Actually, the colours are quite striking and although they are a blot on the landscape in places, out in the bush sometimes you would never know they were there.

After our long drive, our batteries had recharged and we opted to stay at (425) the BP Roadhouse. It was not the most salubrious of accommodations but it had hot showers and was free! It was also a truck stop so there were lots of road trains coming and going. Lots of travellers had been before and left their shoes hanging in the tree nearby. We have seen this done a few times now in different places.



We met the neighbours, Len and Nell. They were really nice and have been on the road for about the same time as us. They go fossicking for gold and were saying they use their findings for petrol money. They insisted we go out the next day and look at (426) Theresa Creek Dam.


Saturday 9th February
We drove, as instructed, out to the dam via Copperfield. This is the first copper producing area in Queensland. All that remains now is the chimney and the store.

We continued on to the dam. It was beautiful. Sadly, there was no power there so we could not stay. We consoled ourselves with the fact that it was packed out anyway and they were having a Triathlon there tomorrow.


We continued on our way, through Emerald and Springsure and on to Rolleston were we stayed the night at (431) Rolleston Caravan Park for $25.00. I rocked up to the office and rang the bell twice….no response after 3 minutes or so…..so I went back out to Indie and rang up. They were very nice and didn’t even yell at me later when I broke their Coke vending machine…….I didn’t actually break it, my 50 cent coins just jammed it up and they had a dreadful time getting it all back together again after they dismantled it to retrieve my Coke and coins!!!

Sunday 10th February

We set off early and stopped at Injune for lunch. I swapped my Ruth Park novel ‘A Power of Roses’ for ‘Murderers Prefer Blondes’ by Amanda Matetsky at the Tourist Info Centre and after lunch we drove on to Roma. We were going to stop at the Show Grounds there but they looked all locked up so we decided to go on to Wallumbilla Show Grounds. It was really hot and we were after power for the air con. As we pulled in, we saw the sign saying ‘closed till late March for refurbishment’. Undaunted, and armed with our ‘Camps 6’ we drove on to (641) Dulacca Hotel.

I walked into the bar and enquired as to availability only to be told that they are the new owners and camping is no longer available but the council will allow you to camp in the back of the park up the road. Do not park near the War Memorial or the police will fine you $75.00 per person!!!!!

We were hot, tired and miserable (not to mention a bit cranky) by the time we set up but the area was quite pretty.


Fortunately we got a bit of a cool breeze for a while and by about 7.30 it was lovely. We watched ‘Burn Notice’ for two hours and later it cooled right down.

What started out as a horrendous day of driving and finding no room at the inn (literally) turned out to be quite fortuitous in the end.

Perhaps the Lunar New Year will be a good New Year!!!!!

Monday 11th February

This morning the weather is just divine….sunny but still with that lovely cool breeze. In fact, we are soooooooooooo over the hot weather, we can’t wait for it to be cold. To this end, I am actually knitting myself a multi coloured beanie!!!

I have booked Ronnie into the optometrist, Kay at Everton Park tomorrow so Brisbane….here we come!!!!

We arrived in Toowoomba this afternoon about 4.00pm and went to the Tourist Info Centre to find a Caravan Park. (Ronnie wants to look his best for Kay). As I was standing at the counter enquiring about accommodations, a customer sang out that the Caravan Park she was in was really nice. We had a choice of three in the near vicinity and finally decided on Toowoomba Motor Village ($32.00). We arrived without incident and set up camp. A fellow nearby stopped for a chat…he and his wife and baby had been out at the gem fields and found some orange sapphire.
Ron was feeling really tired and I decided to go for a bit of a wander and check out the facilities. Lo and behold, who should I meet but Roslyn, the customer from the Tourist Info Centre. We had a great old chin wag. She is from Rocky and she and her hubby keep bees. He is working down here for a while driving a grader

went for a walk around the walking track behind the caravan park. The council has made the loveliest area there.


It is all open parkland with walking and bike tracks and the lovely waterways (I think they may have started life as storm water run off) which have been beautifully landscaped and planted with lots of  trees and shrubs.

Honestly, I don’t know if they are native or noxious, but I think they are pretty!!!!

noxious, but I think they are pretty!!!!
We ended up cooking our BBQ dinner in the Camp Kitchen and chatted to a couple from Newcastle who were just setting out on a roundabout trip to Tewantin and a fellow from Robina who was up here working.
We will be setting off to Brisbane in the morning and when we get all sorted out with eyes and fridges etc we will get down to some serious catching up with everyone.

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