We hadn't posted any photos of the truck finished... so here's a few of the inside and from the back, showing Aaron's drawers he made..and all our storage compartments.
Yesterday was our first ‘real’ day on the road. We had stayed at Aaron’s parents’ house for 2 nights to work out the bugs we’d found in the drive between the Gold Coast and Toogoolawah. Lucky we did, as Aaron spent a full day working on the truck (I shall refer to our ‘rig’ as THE TRUCK.. hehe). I was finally over the bug I had and was able to give a hand.. of moral support – and sweeping up after him (which I might add can be a full time job!).
We left in the wee hours of the morning (about 5.15am) – and had had a night full of rain and storms, so everything was a bit damp. Sleepily, we started the journey. We were both quite excited about what lay ahead, albeit a little anxious not knowing what we were getting ourselves into.
Our first stop came quite quickly, as we had to fill up and were pleasantly surprised that the diesel was cheaper than the Gold Coast. We stopped at a place called Yarraman. It’s just a small town, one of those country towns that has the handpainted town maps with activities numbered and the corresponding number marked on the map showing it’s location. As the petrol station didn’t have a toilet (I don’t think it even had heating!) we stopped at the public toilet up the road. I can see that my legs are going to become quite hot from all the squatting I’m going to be doing over public toilets!! As I was about to lower my rear onto the toilet I glanced down, to see a shape very similar to the rear legs of a frog… needless to say my business was concluded in a very fast manner and the ‘toilet squat’ was born.
We continued on to Kingaroy for a naughty brekkie of ham and cheese toasted sandwich (yes, Mum, we are being good and making all our meals..apart from this one). As we were waiting on our brekkie, I looked across to an elderly man walking his dog. With all the rain, the small bridge across from the petrol station was flooded and water flowing quite quickly. The old man proceeded to take off his sneakers and socks, and wade across the bridge (it didn’t appear to be anything of interest on the other side of the bridge) and sit on the other side and put his socks and sneakers back on.. quite odd I thought. Why wouldn’t he find a path that didn’t require him to disrobe his feet and possibly catch a cold – as it was quite chilly. His dog was loving it though!
Once we had yummy food in our belly, we were ‘back on the road again’… we did a big drive until we arrived at the Citrus Capital of QLD… Gayndah. Home of the Big Orange.. oh yes, a sight to see J As we pulled into the outskirts of town there was a field just full of oranges on the ground.. like they were being thrown away.. a bit sad to see really. Right next to that was a HUGE orchard of oranges. Then everywhere we went, we saw the Gay..ndah orange man .. even on the Court House roof!! In the coming days they are hosting the Orange Festival… sure to be a great festival (with lots of yummy food!!). You know you’re in the country, when you see a Festival stall that sells pumpkin food!! Pumpkins painted all over the van.. I’m curious!
Just a field of oranges on the ground.. very pretty though
This little guy was everywhere!
The Big Orange!
There he is again.. on top of the Court House
Love this sign.. looks like a little choo choo train on the side road
Right up from the Big Orange, we came across the Big Mandarin! Unfortunately, he wasn’t on our route so we couldn’t get a photo.
As we were walking through town, it got me thinking about small towns, and I realized that no matter how small their town icons may seem to the outside world, they held them quite close and promoted them with a great pride. This made me smile, as I realized this is what made small towns so appealing – the people in them and the pride they took in their small piece of Australia.
Monto was our lunch stop – we pulled over to a rest stop, just like a couple of grey nomads and made our sandwiches. As we pulled in, I glanced out the window to find a jockey statue encased in a plastic box…. Yep, they have a jockey in a plastic box. I had a good chuckle about it, until I actually walked over and realized that it was a tribute to a jockey who had passed away in 1993. In saying that, surely they could have given him a more fitting tribute than a statue in a plastic box?? Before we pulled over, Aaron had stopped at a corner store to pick up some cordial…they are very relaxed out here. He had to go out the back to find someone to pay for the cordial.. he found the staff out the back having a ciggie and a chat. The birdlife in Monto are very friendly. As soon as we sat down at the table, we were joined by about 10 birds.. jumping on the seats next to us, on the tables and on the beams above us… As we started eating, they became very curious and starting jumping over to us.. I was half expecting them to start jumping on our shoulders and eating from our mouths!!
Aaron looking very pleased at my photo taking.. he was the lunch chef today
Pulled over at the rest stop
Jockey in a plastic box
After stopping at Bilouela, I now understand why country folk get quite overwhelmed when they come to the ‘city’. We stopped at the local shopping centre to grab some fruit and water… the shopping centre had a ‘food court’ consisting of 3 food outlets. Outside the shopping centre there were the local teenagers, up the duff… smoking.
From here we went straight to Rockhampton – which we made in good time. We got there about 2.30pm, and drove around searching for the battery isolator thingo. We stopped in at the local supermarket to get some groceries for dinner and then drove some more to find a rest stop to stay the night… which took a little longer than anticipated. We ended up driving out of Rockhampton about 30km to Yaamba where we found Joan Tierney Park. It’s a free rest stop with public toilets etc. We have started a rating system for our free rest stops.. and would give this one 7/10 – it had a clean public toilet, all night lights, BBQ and table and chairs. There’s also a little pub next door. As we pulled up, there were 2 big mine trucks on the back of trucks ready to be hauled somewhere… It was a pretty busy little rest stop, which made me feel quite safe.
When we first got into the truck for sleep, I had my first little panic attack. It was really hot and felt really cramped. After having a bit of a girlie moment of ‘open the windows, I need air!!’, I settled down and worked out where things went and how to lay etc. We are both so glad that we ended up going with the thinner mattress!! There was one thing that I hadn’t really thought too much about since we decided to sleep in the truck.. and that was the midnight pee. Now, I am quite open to admitting that I am a big girl when it comes to the dark.. depending on my mood, I still need someone to walk me to the nearest toilet when it’s dark. We all have our insecurities don’t we… As I lay there last night before I dozed off to sleep, I was working out my plan of action if the need arose to go to the bathroom before the sun rose. And I can tell you, I was coming up with some great ideas!! Basically though, I just bitw the bullet and grabbed a torch and became a woman… and went to the toilet by myself.. yep, I’m a big girl now (until next time when there’s no lights and it’s scary outside!).