17/10/88

V.V. HOT  I got up at about 5:30  and had a light brekkie then packed up and hit the road. Drove down to Springsure then the car blew up 10 kilometres from Rolleston. A couple of guys came by in a Toyota and towed us into Rolleston where the mechanic diagnosed broken timing gear. We hitched a ride in a big road-train back to Springsure, withdrew $300 from the bank then hitched a ride back to Rolleston. The repairs cost $183 -00 ($54 for the parts, the rest for labour!!) and we were headed for Carnarvon¹ again. Stopped along the way to collect firewood and arrived, hot and dusty, at 4:30. Pitched the tent beside an English couple named John and Naomi who have ridden overland from GB² on motorbikes.

¹Carnarvon Gorge National Park. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnarvon_Gorge
²Great Britain

 

16/10/88

V HOT We set the alarm for 5:00 &  got up at about 10 past. Packed up all our stuff and headed out. Stopped at a roadhouse for a bacon and eggs brekkie (YUM)  then drove through thick fog for about 10 minutes. The drive out to Emerald was pretty boring through cattle and wheat country.  We got there at about 12 and booked into the Karina Motor Camp in one of their units. Went to the Emerald pool for a swim then relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. Went to a market and got some veggies and had chops for tea. Watched TV which is shit on the ABC¹ in went to bed.

¹The ABC is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s national, state-owned tv channel.

15/10/88

HOT  I got up at about 7 this morning and went up to the office to pay for another night in the camping ground. No one was up there so we had a swim then went into the shopping centre. Bought a few more stores at Woolworths and went to Franklins to get a few more No Frills groceries.  After lunch, we went to The Criterion for a drink then drove around for a while. Spent the rest of the arvo reading and Linda wrote to Rachel¹. We got a meal of b-b-q chicken from across the road for tea then went to the Drive-In. It was weird but the two movies “Someone to Watch Over Me” & “Like Father, Like Son”, were good.

¹Her step-sister.

14/10/88

HOT  We got up early and went up to the office to ring Terry Vail¹.  He wasn’t home so we left a message to ring back. We went to the shopping centre and bought a chilly bin and got our photos developed at Kmart.  Went back to the camping ground and had a swim then Terry turned up. Went to The Criterion pub for a beer then drove (fast!!) around Rockhampton for 2 hours.  When we got back to the CG we were dropped off and slept for the rest of the afternoon. We had a meal of chilli sausages for tea which wasn’t very nice then had a swim before we went to bed.

¹My cousin Terry Vail worked on Mena Park (see BACKSTORY Part 5: Australia  https://wordpress.com/view/curseofthetraveller.wordpress.com ) and was in Rockhampton on business.

13/10/88

We had brekkie in bed (toast, juice, & bacon and eggs YUM!!) at 8 then got up and showered.  Rearranged all our gear so we can operate out of one pack. Packed the car up then went and got the spare tire fixed then we went into town to look for mattresses. Wandered into the mall and had a beer in a pub then went and bought 2 single mattresses for $30.  Went to the RACQ* and tourist info place at the Capricorn Monument*

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Linda at the Tropic of Capricorn Marker, Rockhampton, QLD.

then went and booked into the “Tropical Wanderer” camping ground. Pitched the tent and had a swim then went to a nearby Woolies and stocked up on utensils and cheap food. Linda’s cooking steaks on an open air gas barbie and the trees are full of rosellas squawking.

 

*Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.
** Rockhampton is situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, the line encircling the globe halfway between the Equator and the South Pole.

12/10/88

V HOT Woke up about 7 and got up, showered, breakfast, packed up and did our duty. Left our gear on the pallet* and went down to the resort. Cashed a traveller’s cheque then bought a couple of G.K.I. t-shirts and some other souvenirs.  Went down to Keppel Quatics and hided a catamaran and spent an hour on the water. Had lunch at the Shell House then went for a swim. The “Victory” departed at 4:00 after we had carried out packs down from the YH because the Land Rover was kaput**. Got the bus back to the hostel said goodbye to Sean and Ann¹, and drove down and booked into the “David Motel.” Had tea there and did all our washing.

* a wooden landing where luggage to be loaded onto the island’s shuttle boat was left.
** The only vehicle on GKI was an old Land Rover used to transport people down to the beach from the resort. On this occasion it wouldn’t start.
¹An English couple we had got to know on the island.

11/10/88

VV HOT  We woke up at about 7:30 and dozed for a while then got up and had brekkie and did a duty. Went down to the beach for a walk then caught the Victory (the island’s small cruise boat) for a 10:00am sailing.  First stop was the Middle Island Underwater Observatory then out to Monkey Point Reef we we went snorkeling. The boat cruised round till 1:30 p.m. when it dropped us off on the beach again.  We had two hours rest then went down for a swim. Went for a ride on the “Banana Boat” and swallowed 1/2 the water in Keppel Bay! We had tea at the cafe then sat and talked with a few other people in the hostel till 9:30 when we went down to the Wreck Bar.  Boogied till about 1:00.

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Postcard sent home by Linda from Great Keppel Island.