A Trip Down Memory Lane
Day 9 saw the driving catch up with us: we were weary. So we mooched about Hervey Bay and generally chilled. Hervey Bay generally has older residents and I was pleased to bring down the average age for the time we stayed there. It looks like a retirement spot. It’s a big place with large stores, dealerships and a two lane highway through it. However, the end of the town we stayed at was residential and close to the beach. We enjoyed our first Australian stroll on the sand and along the pier. The layout at the front with showers, toilet blocks, walkways was fantastic along with outdoor gym equipment.
We’re conscious that with New Zealand coming up we’ll be eating out every night. So we used the B&B’s excellent kitchen and had some omelettes that evening. Sometimes something very plain is a welcome change. We have a cold bag and have been carrying vegetables, cheese, butter, milk etc from place to place. It also provides a useful place to stow the white wine and beer.
Refreshed we rose the next morning to find a rainy day and drove up to nearby Maryborough. This has a sad place in my heart as it is where I was told to abandon my 2020 bike ride from Melbourne to Cairns as Covid was shutting down the UK and I best get back whilst I could. I found the campsite where Trailfinders delivered the fatal blow on a late night call. At the time I had to find my way back to Brisbane to get a flight home. Not a piece of cake given that I had to quickly get back south with a bike. I couldn’t ride it and there was no rail link. One of the buses that runs up the coast came to my rescue. It was a fraught and stressful time. The problem came with packing the bike for shipment on an aeroplane. With shops shutting as part of the Lockdown and it also being the weekend I was struggling to get a box. You may find my blog at the time interesting (there again, you may not!).
So we looked around the campsite. Three years later the REO Speed Wagon is still there. A veritable trucking classic. (You may know the name from the 70s American rock band who nicked the name.) I also took a photo of the very spot my ride was ended in a phone call.
The drive to Brisbane was in the rain and the temperature plummeted to 24°C! The traffic started to build and the inevitable road works slowed our progress. We initially thought we’d swing by Noosa Heads, then Gympie but as time was lost in the traffic we only had just enough time to visit Kin Kin. I’d stopped here, sleeping on the boundary of a cricket ground in 2020. The nearby cafe/restaurant left a very favourable impression on me and so returned.
We continued and hit traffic jams on the outskirts of Brisbane. We dropped the wonderful X3 at the airport and caught a train link into the centre of Brisbane. In the early evening a rush of people came at you on the streets. It was also quite arduous wheeling and lugging our baggage in this busy place but we eventually found our apartment and settled in. I set off to find a ‘bottle shop’ or off licence for some wine. It was tomorrow we’d explore the city.