Townsville to Sydney
Aunty Lesley here we come
15.06.2011 - 15.06.2011 20 °C
Wed 15 Jun Silverleaf to Toowoomba
Up at 5.45am for coffee and breakfast. Went into the house at 7am to make sure everyone was up and getting ready for school.
We took a group photo before Minme was taken to the bus stop.
Bobby came and sat with me in the van as I packed up whilst Jimmi had a shower.
We finished up and following Bobby we drove into Murgon for fuel, said our goodbyes and by 11.20am were on the road to Toowoomba.
Found out the fields of what looked like dead immature corn was actually sorghum.
Through Kingaroy - big town. Delightful.
Stopped in Nanango at the rest stop for a coffee and bought boiled salted peanuts and roasted salted also hickory roasted peanuts at the peanut van in the park.
Just before the Cooyar Ranges we started to see a few random pine trees and then there was a forest of them.
Looks like we'll be in Toowoomba by 3.40pm with another stop for the boys.
Stopped off the side of the road for a break which turned out to be 300m from a rest stop - nothing flash so didn't miss anything by stopping before it.
Arrived in Toowoomba and had no problem finding Lesley's house. Jim did a champion job reversing the van on the front lawn bypassing the mailbox and front garden bed!!
Set up the van after a cuppa and then ordered a well deserved pizza, bit of a risk on State of Origin night.
The boys welcomed us for an early evening, since Lesley's backyard is only chainmail fence which both dogs could jump over which borders a path between two streets so there would be foot traffic and then there is the dog behind and next door that loudly objected to our boys. No point antagonizing everyone and the boys would find it stressful so they stayed in the van with the heater on during dinner.
We took them for a walk in the park that is two houses down which they were telling us disappeared under water during the recent floods. Hard to believe when you see grass and a small channel for the current constant level of water.
So we're all rugged up and toasty warm in the van. A recipe for a good night sleep.
Off to visit Bobby
14.06.2011 - 14.06.2011 21 °C
Tue 14 Jun Gin Gin to Silverleaf
Even though we were up at 6am and 10 deg. Jim had gotten up round 5am and put the gas elements on so when I woke up it wasn't that cold. I walked to the loos which was across the park and other than the cold dew on the grass it actually wasn't that bad but considering Silverleaf overnight was 4 deg I decided on a thermal singlet for today.
There were these crow-like birds eg all black but they had a thinner beak and they bounced! Hopped amongst the branches and on the ground and were fat. Jim says they were like morbidly obese black Happy Jacks!
We had eggs for breakfast and took our time with coffees so we didn't start packing up till 9ish. By then he majority of the other vans had left and we hadn't even noticed!
Pulling out after a final pee break at 10.25am and on to Childers for an "elevenses" (as my Grandmother would say) coffee break.
Ended up our turn off to Biggenden was before Childers so we'll pick another spot.
Stopped in the town of Dallarnil, just passed the school, in a small field to give the dogs a run. There was a bunch of signs in an overgrown field eg school crossing, directional arrows, giveway - took a photo!
Cool breeze today even though the sun's out and barely a cloud.
Saw a blue cattle dog who'd been hit by a car - sad. Hope it was a feral dog and not someone's pet.
Next we saw a feral pig as roadkill at the next T intersection and turn to Biggenden.
It's changed from hilly pasture land that is quite brown to lots more Eucalyptus. Lining the road and shading it on a long stretch just before Biggenden. Bypass the town and onto Ban Ban Springs.
On the way we saw a homemade sign in a paddock for bush camping 5kms onto private unsealed road - was going to check it out but missed the turnoff. Didn't go back for a look. Possibly someone's property opened to the public. Not on any of the maps. If you were heading east to Biggenden it would be on your eight after Rocky creek and Mt Harden Station (property).
The road is slowly inclining until you feel it's getting cooler and suddenly your in the overcast clouds and the ranges, quickly into the plains again with another range in the foreground. Much cooler now.
Just after a little town there were a few fields of what in the distance looked like newly harrowed soil but as we got closer it was a small plant with a dark brown seed top. Jim says it's Milo! Who knows. Lots of fields just planted and as a result many flocks of crows (murders) and only a few galahs.
Then the T intersection at Ban Ban Springs. What a lovely spot and the springs bubble out of the ground warm! There's a plaque and mural about the springs aboriginal history. We'd definitely stop here again. Quite obviously volcanic especially looking at the rocks surrounding the springs, and if you look around you we're in the basin ie crater, surrounded by ranges all the way around. Which makes the cooler temperature a bit more understandable!
We took the lane to the right and parked down the end. There was a covered table and chairs and even a fire pit. The springs feed a waterhole choked with water reeds and young willow trees. You could hear all sorts of birdlife in the reeds. Just a toilet block but I'd take a dip in the water even in this weather.
A couple of army flatbed semis turned of the Isis Hwy and onto the Burnet Hwy heading south. Not much traffic since we left the coast road (Bruce Hwy) mostly trucks and cars, a few caravans and motorhome (luxury full size buses).
Jimmi filled up the collapsable 5lit sink and I got to thaw out fingers whilst I washed up from BLAMT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, mayonnaise, tomato) sandwiches and coffee.
Now heading south to Silverleaf at 1pm.
Turn right heading west now on the Murgon-Gayndah Rd. Pumpkins seem to grow well here. Roadside Honesty stall had Qld Blue pumpkins and Butternuts. Looked good but don't need any right now.
Passed a deer farm and goats, a couple of places had donkeys too.
Truck parking area on the right that looked alright just before the town of Windera. Before the school we Turned onto Wilson Rd, dry weather road only, single lane - this could interesting!
Passed a stockfeeds production and what looked like canola fields then grassland, cows and a winding water course. We came to a T intersection but the gps said the road went straight so we picked to the right and the gps said that was correct.
Stopped on the side of the road to let the boys run. Then just over the crest a flock of Happy jacks on the road and another.
Now the road forks and we took the left one which means we're on Silverleaf Road. Passed a field of cotton.
I was so busy taking a photo of a windmill that I didn't see the property number and we missed Robby's drive. We ended up way up the road looking for a place to turn around as the turning circle on the Defender with van is bigger than the Jeep (smaller vehicle!).
Back down the road we came to the drive. Out of the truck to disconnect the electric fence and reconnect so we could drive up to the house. I took a video of the drive up. Stunning property with a flat paddock then down through a spot in the road that would flood since the river runs next to it snaking into the property, then back onto level ground and big paddocks. The house is tucked behind a large machinery shed so she has privacy, view of the river and open pasture, way off the road so quiet piece of Australia.
We spent an hour talking and then Bobby and Jim left to pick up her Granddaughter from school whilst I took the boys for a walk to the front gate.
Ninme & I walked the boys back to house and she chatted like only little kids can.
We stopped for a cup of tea and a slice of freshly made sponge with jam and cream before we went outside and set up the van with a little helper.
Back inside and the boys in the van, we sat down to chat and more tea, until dinner. More catching up and photos until I went to feed the boys and take them for a walk.
We retired about 8.30pm to the van and read for a bit. Heater on tonight. Cold but not bitterly.