Back to Manly

We had a breakfast of Linda McCartney sausage rolls plus peanut butter on toast plus bananas plus a cup of tea. Later on we had coffees, snack bars and a cookie. Our evening meal was wood fired pizza and soft drinks from nearby Bundaberg. This concludes today’s exciting foodie blog.

While breaking our fast, we saw a couple of bush turkeys out in the field.

Bush Turkey 1: Oh no, there’s a human.
Bush Turkey 2: Suppose we’d better run away.
BT1: They’re OK, it’s Jack that worries me.
BT2: Yes, he gives a good chase, him and his one sticky-up ear and one lying-down ear.
BT1: That always makes me laugh.
BT2: I’m not sure his heart’s in it really, he very rarely even barks.
BT1: Well, as a last resort, we can always fly a bit, he can’t, he won’t catch me.
BT2: I’m not that worried. That dog couldn’t catch a cold on a wet Tuesday in Macclesfield.
BT1: Oooh, Macclesfield, aren’t you well-travelled!

We thanked Susie for her hospitality, for the peace and quiet, and set off for another long day in the car.

An almost empty road with a distant mountain

After all the rain, or maybe it was our imagination, everything looked a little bit brighter and greener. Well, not everything, not the sky, that varied between very dark grey and very bright blue with white fluffy clouds.

We stopped by a school playing field and successfully avoided being arrested.

This magpie approached: maybe he’s used to being fed by passers-by.

Magpie on the running track

As I walked around the running track, I was keeping an eye on the trio of kangaroos just lying there. I managed to approach closer than expected before they stood up. I cautiously stayed behind a tree. They were big, I think the tallest kangaroos we’ve seen so far.

Uh-oh, here comes trouble, I’ll stand up
Hello, Big Boy
Maybe a quick hop is called for

Our first planned stop was just south of Rockhampton. We’d had to give both Rocky and Yeppoon a miss this time, but today was a landmark occasion.

Tropic of Capricorn

We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn so for the first time in 71 days, we are no longer in the Tropics.

Capricorn Spire

This Spire marks the position and other cities on this line of latitude are commemorated too.

Where to next? Rio de Janeiro or Johannesburg?

We saw several goods trains, each with dozens of cars. I hate to think how many tonnes of coal were being taken south while empty cars were being taken back north. The coal industry is a big debating point during the current elections here.

Part of a coal train

We didn’t expect to see a giraffe in Queensland, except in a zoo maybe, but nevertheless, here is one.

Giraffe

Liesel commented that some of the conical hills look like Hershey’s Kisses.

We wondered whether Mount Jukes is a real mountain and what are the criteria for a hill being a mountain anyway?

The lush, green landscape gave way to what one of us called “brown and ugly”. I disagreed and said it had its own kind of beauty. The red/brown colour of the clay seems to be the default colour in a lot of places, though.

The sign warning us of “Slow trucks carrying explosives for the next 5 km” should have caused alarm, but it was another interesting or fascinating feature that eluded us.

Driving north along the A1, Bruce Highway, Highway 1, there were several convoys of army vehicles. We wondered whether they were heading for far north Queensland in case emergency help and rescue is needed once (now ex-) Tropical Cyclone Ann strikes land. Or maybe Cyclone Trevor has already caused damage? It’s very hard to keep up to date with an intermittent internet connection.

One rare sight today was the petrol price: 147.7 per litre. Point seven? Petrol prices are always something-expensive.9 in whatever currency.

We passed a sign pointing towards the Old Bruce Highway. Who was Old Bruce, I wondered. Probably Robert the Bruce, suggested Liesel. He would never come to Australia if he knew about the spiders here, I surmised!

At some point, Liesel said we should be recording some of the bizarre conversations we were having in the car. I thought that was a good idea so I have just done so.

Musical ents today were provided by Martha Tilston, Kirsty MacColl and Sam Brown.

Cécile met us at the b&b in Maryborough. She’s From France, lived in Fiji for five years and is now in Queensland. I didn’t ask her who she’s on the run from.

We went out for a pizza but the place we were aiming for appears to have closed down. Plan B was a Wood-fired pizza place.

Over the road, we watched children and others having a good time in Anzac Park, the skate park. We saw people on BMX bikes, skateboards and scooters, all doing crazy stunts and sometimes falling off.

Fun in the skate park

We’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time. At last, here is Liesel together with Mary Poppins: two practically perfect people together at last!

Mary Poppins delighted to meet Liesel

Mary’s creator, PL Travers, was born here in Maryborough, and Maryburgians are very proud. Crossing the road here is a delight, so I did so couple of times.

Pedestrian crossing lights

When we returned, Cécile showed us a lovely, shiny green frog that she’d found in her garden: they live in the area. It was croaking for help and I was glad to see it released again. Spooky that it doesn’t appear in any of my photos. I think it must be a vampire frog.

It was a long day in the car, but we enjoyed it so much, we opted for a second long day in the car. This time, all the way to Brisbane where we had an appointment with a Tiger. A Tiger Air flight to Sydney. We felt bad about not giving Maryborough much of our time, but that’s not unusual these days.

Goodbye Cécile. And…

…Goodbye, Mary

We also missed out on the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Noosa Heads. Next time!

Google Maps took us on a road parallel to the A1, probably because it felt the three minutes saved were important. It would have saved even more time if it had told us to turn right at a certain point rather than insisting we stay on the same, wrong road for 53 km.

We passed by a few kangaroos grazing at the far side of a field.

Fascinating cloud formations

On Highway 15 to Gympie, we saw signs warning us of the possible presence of all kinds of wildlife on the road: kangaroos, horses, koalas, school buses, echidnas. And all we saw were a few cows and a few goats, not even on the road.

We also saw a convoy of Morris Minors, all bright colours, beautifully polished, I’m guessing not off to the breakers on this occasion.

The A1 became the M1. For a long time, we’ve been seeing signs for PC World, and I thought it was a bit strange. Turns out PCW stands for Pacific Coast Way. This road must be the one of the most polynymous in the world: A1, M1, PCW, Bruce Hwy, Hwy 1, State Hwy 1. No wonder Google Maps gets confused.

But it wasn’t long before we dropped the car off, flew to Sydney, and found ourselves on board the Manly Ferry. A flock of seagulls (not the 1980s synth-pop band) joined us on our voyage across Sydney Harbour. The nearly full Moon was peeping out from behind the clouds and I spent far too much time and wasted far too much film trying to get a photo of a bird in front of the Moon. Well, not film, but the limited storage in my phone.

Artistic shot of the day

It was lovely to see Helen who met us with food from the Japanese restaurant, Mira: we wolfed it down back at her apartment. Sorry about the further outburst of foodie bloggage.

In real life, the results of the Australian General Election were coming in. Good to see so many women but other than that, what a widerange of old, middle class, white males on display, both politicians and TV presenters.

Author: mickandlieselsantics

We are a married couple, married to each other, one American, one Brit, one male, one female, neither of us as fit as we would like to be, over 109 years old altogether.

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