This week we haven't done too much besides lots of driving. We didn't explore magnetic island, we didn't visit the Whitsundays or Airlie Beach, we didn't visit Yeppoon, Fraser Island or any of the Glasshouse Mountains. We haven't snorkelled or dived on the Great Barrier Reef. Lots of Queensland things for our 'next adventure' list. So what did we do..?
We bid farewell to Alison in Townsville and set about the simple, ten minute job of applying for a police clearance for one of Ruth's job applications at a post office. What followed was a comedy of bureaucracy.
The first post office was on the nearby University Campus which was absolutely packed with students for O-Day, we wove through the dense traffic and drove back off campus without even parking.
Post Office number two informed us that we needed to do an online form before going into a post office - off to Officeworks for printing. A comedy of corrupt USB sticks, WIFI non-connectivity, print station software freezing and print card swiping fails meant a two minute print job took about half an hour. Lunchtime hangriness intensified. We stopped off in a nice little park in the CBD with pretty flowers for lunch and hangriness banishment.
Printed form in hand we proceeded to Post office number three. It was in a local general store and the postmaster was out to lunch. Post office number four had closed down. Post office number five was the new location for Post Office number four, where we finally got it all sorted. Phew.
With a late afternoon departure, we only made it a few hundred kilometres to a little place just north of Mackay.
Tuesday we resupplied in Mackay, Gary had a brief senior moment [fixed by contact cleaner in the red ECU plug (really need to do the injector loom), picked up two more cans from the Super Cheap over the road with loyalty club credit, just in case] then we drove, and drove and drove, making it just past Gladstone.
Wednesday we departed the highway and wound our way through more interesting roads to Bundaberg. We had a nice lunch in a great little park before continuing to Maryborough for the night.
Thursday we got to slow down a little. A mid-morning coffee and picnic lunch in Tin Can Bay between Ruth working on a job application. We grabbed some supplies from Gympie then met up again with Jazzy of Cape Tribulation fame. She and her housemate Jackson let us camp out at their place in Cootharaba for the night - in return we made tasty vegan pizza and gave the three Border Collies lots of pats.
A crisp and dewy morning saw us mosey on in to Coolum Beach for a coffee, a brain power brownie and some more job application administration at a great little vegan cafe called New Earth. Ruth found a stylish jumper for ten bucks at an op shop.
We drove the coast to Maroochydore and Elixaba - a cafe/bar of epic vegan proportions. More job stuff, young coconut calamari and yummy drinks.
Then it was off to stop three on our approaching-Brisbane-vegan-food-safari: September 18, a cafe full of fake meat deliciousness.
Full bellies and getting weary, we finished our drive across the gateway bridge and made it to visit cousin(s) Andrea, Scott, Griffith and William (and cats Hobbes, Ernest and Roger). Tasty dinner and family hangouts (and some more job application stuff) and we rested our weary heads.
Today we dried out the roof tent, did some washing, rested without driving anywhere and wandered down the road to a great little grocer, where we had some super delicious smoothie bowls and later played with the cats some more.
Tomorrow we keep heading south - eight more sleeps until we are on the ferry back to Tasmania. Exciting!
All our love,
Adam and Ruth,
Days on the Road = 227
Distance Driven = 32 971 km
Mean Distance per Day = 142 km
Mean Fuel Economy = 13.48 L / 100 km
Best Fuel Economy = 10.12 L / 100 km (Kununurra to Timber Creek)
Nights Free Camping = 44
Nights in Roof Tent = 198/226
Coffees Purchased = 74
Instagram Posts = 489
Instagram Followers = 205
Geocaches Logged = 34
Gary Breakdowns = 0.38
Drone Flights = 2
Videos Made = 0
French Land Rover Drivers Scared = 1
State or Territory Borders Crossed = 16
Bucks Parties Accidentally Crashed = 1
Vegan Vanilla Slices Eaten = 8 (Adam 4.5, Ruth 3.5)
Times Set Up Camp after Dusk = 7
Chairlifts Not Used = 1
Waves Returned by Tasmanian Land Rover Drivers = 2
Cups of Tea Made for Strangers = 1
Tasmanian Short Walks Completed = 10/60
Rounds of Lost Cities Played = 80
Longest Continuous Sleep in Roof Tent = 11 hours
Gary Oil Changes = 3
Blood Donation Dates = 2
Sick Days = 5 (Adam 4, Ruth 1)
Australian Deserts Visited = (5/10) (Strzelecki, Perdika, Great Sandy, Gibson, Great Victoria)
Cattle Stations Camped On = 4
Iconic South Australian Track Completion = Oodnadatta 100% (617 km), Strzelecki 26% (122/475 km), Birdsville 0% (0/517 km)
Uluru Climbs = 0
Tyre Punctures = 1
Tasmanian Job Applications = 10 (Adam 4, Ruth 6)
Babies Met = 5
Boat Rides = 12
Songs Swap Sessions with Strangers = 1
Most Consecutive Days with No Phone Reception = 6
Northernmost Latitude of Adventure = 12° 22.881' S
Random Breath Tests = 2
Beach Coconuts Eaten = 1
Australian UNESCO World Heritage Sites Visited = 11/19
Wild Platypus Sightings = 1
Most Post Office Visits in a Single Day = 5