Tuesday, March 11, 2008

DAY 138: Apple Tree Creek to Bundaberg

Mon 10th March 2008

54 km @ 16.1 km/hr

Distance to date 8227 km (5142 miles)

Sunny, hot, early showers

I slept OK last night but it’s a wonder! As I guessed no-one else camped here at the side of the road (it is a permitted camping area) so I was all alone. It does make me a bit paranoid about noises and movements outside, so I will try to avoid getting caught out in this situation in future. Creepiest noise was the squeak of the swing just a few yards away at 2130 in pitch darkness - clearly someone was riding on the swing, but why at that time of night? I didn’t really feel afraid, but it made me curious - but not so enough to go out and have a look so I sat tight and the squeak stopped eventually. I don’t see what I could have achieved by going out to confront someone anyway. Anyhow I was tired and fell asleep but awoke in the middle of the night when a car stopped nearby, but again fell asleep soon after.

The day got off to a bad start when I went to the loo and a guy was throwing up in there, but I needed to top water bottles up so came back when he’d gone. The first 5km on Route 3 to Bundeburg was mostly uphill, and I hate hills first thing, so didn’t feel too happy! Then the road turned out to be very busy with many lorries and no shoulder for 70% of the way so that wasn’t good either. Give me a break! There was nowhere to stop for coffee or even a rest area for the first 40km either, and a rest would’ve been good as it was pretty hot and humid. I still had a decent tail wind though which was good. At one point when passing over a pot-holed railway crossing I was forced to pull to the right a bit and immediately got a long blast on the horn, then to add insult to injury someone threw a plastic bottle at me as they passed - thanks guys, I love you too! I didn’t flinch so as not to give the person the gift of a reaction, and they probably thought I didn’t even see the bottle he he.

Some 5km from Bundaburg (home of Bundaburg Rum which is one of Oz’s favourite tipples) and had an iced coffee which lifted me little. I found the VIC easily and got good info about CP’s and what to see in the town, er city. It is a big place is Bundaburg....

I had arranged to stay with a Warmshowers host some 20km north of the city, but I have so much to sort out that I phoned him (Peter) to cancel. Main thing is a low bank balance that can’t be explained, and I need to get on the internet and check my account out, and then possibly telephone the bank to discuss. Also I have piles of washing and a few niggles with the bike which are best sorted in a big place like this where there are plenty of shops. I was looking forward to meeting Peter but I can’t avoid this.

I booked an hour on the net at the library for 3, but needn’t have bothered as they don’t allow uploading “....because of viruses....” Well the Council should get some bloody virus check software then like the rest of us.....grrrrrr. Practically every other library in Oz that I’ve been to is OK with uploading so it's a local thing?!

So I moved a block to an internet cafe, but although they allowed uploading (of course) the connection was very slow and Blogger was playing SB’s so I managed to post 1 pic in some 40 minutes.

Last 3 pics are of Bundaberg.

Anyway things improved with a nice CP on the banks of the Burnett River, and I got all my washing done (yes Lyn I washed my white Assos top first lol), charged many depleted batteries, had a shower, went out to the bottle shop for a 2l box of Shiraz and a 12” pizza (Hawaain if you must know) and downed the lot (not including three quarters of the wine). While I was out I saw the amazing sight of the nightly bat armada - thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of bats flying inland just as it got dark - they stretched as far as the eye could see in all directions, amazing, especially with an orange sky backdrop. These are images of Oz I won’t easily forget.

Thanks again to the Christian group from Childers for my gift - amongst other things it contained a small box of Lindt chocs - what lovely people!!

The CP at Bundeburg is very friendly too - I’ve been chatting to a pair from Norfolk on 2 months holiday and an Oz guy from inland somewhere, there’s a very nice atmosphere here. I’m going to stay another night and have the day tomorrow to do all my outstanding chores, and get a hair / beard cut. The CP is very close to the town centre so very convenient. Tonight I was spoilt for choice re food outlets; I may have a Chinese tomorrow lol. If time I’d also like to visit the botanic gardens and famous rum distillery (maybe need 2 more nights!)