This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2002 Travels April 28

SUNDAY 28 APRIL   ASPLEY TO CHINCHILLA   340kms

Packing up and getting going took a while, because we had not done any of this yesterday.

We left Aspley about 10am.

From the Caravan park, I navigated north a short way and on to Telegraph Road. This took us east and onto the Gateway Motorway. Followed this south, over the Brisbane River, then took the Ipswich Motorway west. Whilst this looked the long way round on the map, it was so much easier than the way I’d brought us in on. In the much lighter Sunday traffic it was a really easy run.

We stopped at a BP servo in the Ipswich area, where John topped up the fuel with 30 litres – at 84cpl – enough to see us to Dalby, where he knew there was really cheap fuel.

Just before we started the climb up the Toowoomba Range, we pulled off the road and John engaged low range gears. He kept in the low range selection up the Range. I had been a bit worried about towing back up the Range – its 10% gradient seemed to steep when we’d come down it – but trusty Truck churned steadily up the gradients to the top. I was relieved to come to the edge of Toowoomba at the edge of the Range.

Then, we had to navigate our way through Toowoomba. There was no easy route because we had to cross right across the town. Again, we were glad it was Sunday.

At Dalby, refuelled – 78cpl.

We hadn’t really had a plan for where we would stay tonight – had decided to see how we felt. As we came to Chinchilla, decided to overnight there. Could have pushed on to Miles or even Roma, but it had been quite a demanding drive, for much of the way, so we both felt it was time to stop.

Booked into the Mobile Caravan Park – $16.50 for the night.

We only needed the minimal set up, as we were able to stay hitched up.

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Still hitched up at Chinchilla

John had a nap. I sat outside the van and read.

Tea was cold roast chook and salads.

Early night – we were both really tired! I am pleased to be heading “bush” again. Cities are stressful places!

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2002 Travels April 17

WEDNESDAY 17 APRIL   ST GEORGE TO LAIDLEY   460kms

There had been no call from J by 9.40am, so I phoned him. He seemed taken aback, but admitted that we had a problem! Generous of him. He said that he would phone around and get back to us. Clearly, he’d not bothered to try to think of anything, up to this point.

I felt that I was being fobbed off.

He hadn’t phoned back when we left a 10.30am, having waited around for his return call.

Later, when we came into a town, there was a message on the phone, telling us to go to the RACQ in St George, to get the panel current measured. That was not much help to us by then.

At Westmar, John put 40 litres of fuel in, to see us through to a larger centre – 93cpl.

As we went east, the country became more fertile and crop lands appeared. We were into good looking country.

I’d bought some rolls in St George while we were waiting around, and we stopped by the road side near Moonie and had those for lunch.

We’d noted St George as worth a return visit and a stay of a couple of days to explore, at some future time. Dalby also looked interesting. Very much a farming centre town. There was really cheap fuel there, and we filled up – 78cpl.

John wanted to tackle the steep drive down the Range from Toowoomba today, rather than spend the night brooding about it. From our 98/99 stay in Toowoomba, we knew the gradient!

There was much cloud build up as we neared Toowoomba and it looked like a thunderstorm was brewing.

We negotiated our way through the late afternoon traffic in Toowoomba alright. John did the first part of the road down the range in normal gears – I think he had forgotten that he used low range gears on steep gradients, before! After about a kilometre, he pulled into a little parking area – the Truck brakes were smoking! He let them cool down for about ten minutes. Neither of us felt good about this venture, at this stage. We watched all the big trucks crawl down using their engine brakes, and wished we had one of those. Then John decided to use low range and we got down the rest of the range with minimal use of brakes.

John had thought we’d make Brisbane today, but it was later than he realized. We saw a sign to a caravan park at Laidley, so impulsively took that turn off.

Laidley was a pleasant little village. The caravan park was alright. There were a lot of permanent dwellers. It wasn’t flash, but was only $12 for the night. The owners used to live in our suburb!

Tea was smoked fish, beans, potatoes.

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