Monday, March 10, 2008

DAY 137: Maryborough to Apple Tree Creek

Sun 9th March 2008

66 km @ 19.0 km/hr

Distance to date 8173 km (5108 miles)

Sunny, cloudy, occasional shower

A very quiet night and sunny start to the day. I hit the road at 9 but hadn’t got out of town when I noticed the lake wildlife reserve in the park so went to have a look, and I’m glad I did because it was teeming with screaming and squaking birds of all kinds.

At the waters edge stood a dozen or so geese, a mixture of White and Magpie Geese having a blather, but easiest to notice were hundreds of Little Corellas who as usual were causing mayhem - squabbling and tearing the trees to shreds in search of seeds - they look like thugs with the blue rings around their eyes looking as if they’ve been thumped. Black Swan glided gracefully around in haughty contrast to their white cousins. Ibis were everywhere practicing taking off and landing on the water. I haven’t identified the large duck with the black head (pic) but recognised the Cattle (or Little?) Egret which were nesting in the trees all over the place. I could have spent longer watching all this going on but it started to rain heavily and I dashed for cover. The pic of the swing-type apparatus is exactly that - a swing for wheelerchair users - how cool is that? Never seen one of those before.

Most recent showers have been short-lived and this was no exception, and I left town to join good ‘ol (not!) Bruce Highway (Highway 1) which I must (unfortunately) use all the way to Childers. My destination is the town where a few years ago there was a contraversial fire in a backpacker hostel, unfortunately with loss of young life. The Highway wasn’t quite as busy as further south, but busy enough. Thankfully most of this lef features a decent-width shoulder, although this narrowed alarmingly on unimproved stretches of road. My mirror is starting to fall apart already, and the Duct Tape I ‘fixed’ it with prevents proper adjustment, so ,i need to sortg this out asap - I can’t do without the thing now, it certainly aids safety and makes me feel more in control of my actions.

I stopped briefly at Howard and had a cold drink from IGA, took a pic of the bus shelter, and continued to Childers. First stop VIC where the very helpful ladies discussed camping with me and even phoned one site up, but they were closed to tents for some reason, but they told me about a free site at Apple Tree Creek 6km up the road to Bundaberg (where I’m going next). So after a Subway 6” and a look around the pleasant town, off I went.

The site was OK but a bit close to the Highway (noisy) but hey, it’s free! I was slightly concerned that there was no-one else camping here, which makes me slightly less secure, but never mind. Just as I was making a cuppa 2 guys came over from the group of parents and kids playing at the other end of the recreation area, and said they were having a family day from a local church and would I join them for a barbie!? Why not? Better than same past dish and it’ll be nice to meet some new people. Later on once I’d set the tent up they came over for me and before long I was tucking into steak, sausage and salad and chatting over the table to my new acquantancies. I regret not remembering all their names but that’s par for the course with me. I did leave my website address so I hope they’ll be in touch. This isn’t the first Christian kindness that I’ve encountered on this trip, and I appreciate their warmth and kindness, and also their spoken prayers for my safe journey. I also got plied with food before I departed, and a little gift also - very heartwarming for me.

It was practically dark by the time I got back to the tent and the lorriews / traffic was still rolling in earnest. I wanted to phone Lyn on her first morning back in Caithness, but the phone box was quite a distance away and i didn’t want to leave the tent alone so texted her instead, and got a quick reply. She got home without drama and managed to take quite a bit of my stuff back too that i didn’t need, without incurring excess baggage charges.

Here’s hoping for a peaceful night.

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