The day had finally arrived!
I woke around 4.00am. I'd told Judy I'd be at her place at
6.00am. I still had to pack my clothes into the caravan, find places
for the various tools I wanted to take and wash the van and the
Around 6.00am I still hadn't finished, so I rang Judy to see how she
was going. She was nearly ready.
Around 7.00am, I arrived and packed Judy's gear in. Then, the dogs
and the canary.
I thought we had everything and jumped into the
Daihatsu ready to go. We went through our minds to try to
remember if we'd missed anything. The trip had been more than a year
coming but even with all of the planning I was sure we'd forget
We DID forget something. The dogs' "Cubby House"!
I built it to take with us. It's designed to be the same as the ones
they have at Judy's, except, whereas at home they have one each over
their own bed, for the trip, they will both sleep in one bed!
It's made of aluminium and dismantles quickly into 2 light frames
and 6 uprights. It uses one of their existing covers that shields
them from the weather. It will sit beside the caravan and go over
their bed. Well, that's the theory anyway!
We had used it for the past week to see how it went. They didn't
notice any difference and it didn't blow away in a storm we had.
But it was still on Judy's verandah fully erected. Arrrrrrrgh!
So around I went and quickly dismantled it. In the Daihatsu
it is tied above the dogs and the canary to a "loft" I had made,
which stores a lot of our lighter gear.
I had designed everything to be available in "normal" circumstances.
By that I mean, at each stop everything goes out in a sequence and
when we pack up, it goes back in the reverse sequence.
So, that was how it was when we realized we had forgotten the dog's
Part of the sequence is, canary LAST!
The reason, because the cage goes up inside a square of the "Cubby
House" frame, AFTER the frame is tied above it.
Being keen to get away, I decided in my wisdom to try to fit the
frames without removing the canaries cage. BAD move!
As I was just finishing, the cage, which was unrestrained to allow
me to fit the frames, was bumped somehow and took a dive to the
floor of the Daihatsu!
The bird took fright, water tipped out of the reservoirs and worst
of all, bird seed went everywhere!
So much for starting the trip with a nice clean floor.
Judy wasn't a happy child of course. The atmosphere
wasn't a happy one. Our first disaster.
After the cleanup, with everything packed in, away
we went. We filled the fuel tanks at the outskirts of Kingaroy
and were on our way.
Judy likes her "cuppas", so, at Kumbia we
pulled into the rest area. It also gave us a chance to check how
everything had travelled.
No problems seemed to have emerged.
Like in most rest areas, there were a couple of
other travellers. We acknowledged them and went about our business.
Just before we left, one of them ventured over and asked about the
dogs. One thing led to another in the conversation and eventually I
learned he was from Hervey Bay. We had a great chat and found
we had friends in common in
He was in Kumbia to do fruit picking but was a retired
With the weather pleasantly warm, we headed for the
As we passed through Porters Gap in the
Bunya Mountains, we noticed a shift in the temperature, to a LOT
By the time we reached Bell, the north west wind was blowing
moderately but the temperature was HOT.
We grabbed a couple of bottles of cold water from the shop in
Bell and headed for
I had planned taking Judy there to see the
building. I'd seen it around 1986 and was impressed with it
and the gardens. As it was in the path on the way to the Warrego
Highway, I thought it would be a perfect chance to visit it
again and show Judy.
I have a digital thermometer mounted in the front of the Daihatsu.
It shows inside and outside temperatures. It was rising fast.
time we reached Jimbour House it was 37 degrees.
We drove in and found signs everywhere. "No vehicles allowed here",
there etc etc. It had chairs arranged outside in the heat.
building I had seen in 1986 was off limits.
Like a lot of places now, it was arranged as a "Cellar Door".
That's great if you are interested in wine. Judy is, but I'm not, but
anyway, as we run on a tight budget - near nothing - buying wine
doesn't figure in the budget.
So, being shockingly hot, no shade and signs preventing us seeing
what I'd hoped to show Judy, we drove out and on towards Jimbour.
We crossed the Dalby - Jandowae road near
Jimbour and pulled over to give the dogs a run.
All aboard and away we drove again, dogs panting,
humans sweating, even though the humidity was below 20%.
We crossed the Warrego Highway
at Macalister and headed towards Kogan.
Kogan is a very small settlement as I expected. A friend used to visit there a lot in the 80's, so I was
interested to see it.
The heat hadn't let up at all.
Tara was next
on the map. We decided to buy a cold drink and maybe something to
eat there. I once worked in Dalby and was sent to do a few
jobs in Tara.
I have to say it seemed a lot shorter trip
We arrived in Tara and I looked around for the main business
area. Either my memory plays tricks on me or there are a lot less
The main street seemed hot, dry and dusty.
There was no
place handy to park, so I sat with the motor running in the centre of
the divided street, while Judy walked over to the Bakery and grabbed a loaf of bread, some drinks
and a pie for Gary.
[ I love pies :) ]
As there was no real shade in the town area, we decided to find a
place out of town to pull to the side and have a break.
railway line ran alongside the road, there were no places to stop
for what seemed an age. In the distance we could see showers
Relief from the searing heat at last!
We found an entry to a property that had a few bushes and cactii.
They gave enough shade for us to walk about and eat our food.
dogs were pleased with the freedom, but not the cactus prickles lying
around on the ground.
The sun was disappearing into the clouds in the south west as we
The rain seemed to be getting further away as we
stopped at the Leichhardt Highway junction at The Gums.
The road was
getting bumpier and the heat getting stronger as we pushed towards
In Camps Australia 4, Site 541 -
Brigalow Creek looked like a good spot to stay for the night.
As we reached the airport and the turn into Meandarra, the
I drove to what I assumed was the site, ready to
pull up, when I noticed signs saying it cost x amount of dollars
Nothing was mentioned in the book and there was certainly nothing
special about the site that made you think it was worth paying for.
Glenmorgan was chosen as the overnight stop when I was
planning our trip, so, as the rain set in and blew horizontal at the
drivers side, I drove back out of town.
Glenmorgan was only another 23km further on.
The temperature dropped from 38 degrees to 25 degrees for around
10km, then rose back to 38 degrees as the cloud cleared.
At least it
had given us some small relief.
We arrived in Glenmorgan to find a great spot beside the
Railway Station, with tank water, toilets and hot and cold
setting the caravan etc up, I went over to the little shop and
bought some cold drinks and had a yarn with the owner.
She was very
friendly and welcoming.
We were concerned about running the alternator needed for Judy's
CPAP machine ( Sleep Apnoea ) and the fridges, but
noticed the only other camper was already running the same brand
alternator, a Honda E20i.
So, after a great shower and feed we settled in for the night,
hot though it was.