Sunday, May 07, 2006

Vol 9 - The Rocky road to Townsville

Well I’ve discovered it’s quite far from Edenhope to Cairns. 3,715 kms to be exact. Thus several days driving is required.

The first day I drove 12 hours to get to Canberra. This is so I could get to the dentist in the morning and replace some fillings, and also have a post break up chat with Nikki. Turns out that wasn’t required, she didn’t seemed to fussed about the whole thing.

Then I left Canberra after lunch for Dubbo. But I felt OK at Dubbo so I pushed on to Coonabarrabran, where I stayed the night. Not an amusing story but foreigners might enjoy the placenames.

I must recommend the Newell and Leichhardt Highways to anyone travelling North. They are straight through the middle of Queensland so are not as scenic as the coastal highways, though if you are lucky you’ll spot the odd dead tree and cactus. But the real benefit is that it’s straight and almost empty.

So I sped most of the way. But I didn’t go as fast as in Eastern Europe because

  1. I’m now driving a Mazda 626
  2. Queensland cops are not only as corrupt as those in Bulgaria but they can speak English.

But I only saw one cop the whole trip. He flashes his lights at me as if to say;
"Excuse me don’t you think 130kms is a bit fast for that bend? I do wish you’d slow down for I fear you’ll have an accident".

I gave a nod of reply as if to say "suck shit copper you didn’t get me this time".

Tasmanians are famous for having two heads. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Queenslanders have 3.

Australia is famous for it’s fresh healthy food. But not country Queensland. At lunch one day the healthiest option I could find was a hot roast beef roll with gravy in a white hotdog bun. I should have gone to Maccas.

At dinner time I was at Banana. They had all you can eat dinner for $13. By the look of the dried crusty food on offer all I could eat would be one crunchy chicken wing before mud butt was likely to set in. So I decided to press on to Dululu. Again the names have been included for foreigners amusement.

Saturday night I found myself in Rockhampton. Rockhampton (or Rocky as it is referred to by the locals) is the beef production capital of Australia. I was lucky enough to be there during the Beef Australia 2006 expo. The streets were full of guys doing laps and burnouts in the V8 holden utes. I hooked up with a bunch of foreigners from the hostel and we went out on the town. One lass with us was a freckle faced Kiwi chick. At one point she was telling me a joke that involved a red mini, a person of Maori ethnicity and a popular Australasian candy found in cinemas around Australia. As a reformed racist I felt it was my duty to tell her that it sounded a bit racialist. She said "No, it’s OK, I’m one quarter Maori myself". She then went on to make a similar joke about Pakeha (white Europeans). I’m not sure balancing the ledger like that really is the answer.

Today I travelled from Rocky to Townsville. There’s a lot of Sugar Cane up here. It looks kinda cool. Now that I’m out of the air conditioned car I’ve found it’s hot, muggy and there’s mozzies. Everyone told me it would be like this I guess I just never quite believed them. I might try and find something to do shortly.


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