It rained most of the night in Kingaroy which made it hard to get to sleep. When I woke up it was still overcast but the fact that it wasn’t raining made it easier to have my breakfast and go to the loo. I like sitting perched in the van eating breakfast because I can sit there and watch everyone else make their preparations to leave. While they have to pull down their antennas and awnings, hook up their tow bars and disconnect power, all I have to do is drive off after chucking my camping chairs in the van. Sweet simplistic goodness.
Since I was up early I decided to do a little exploring, so I went and took some photos of the house Pauline lived in when she was five. Or would have taken photos if it still existed. Instead it was a bunch of one story townhouses that took up two blocks. They looked kind of new, so if I’d turned up a few years earlier she would have had a photo. Next I went and took a photo of the cinema for Danielle, yep it now has a cinema! On the way out of town I headed down Kingaroy street to buy some more peanuts from the Peanut Van (which was sort of hidden in front of a car yard) . Then, to make Pauline feel better about her old house, I bought her some biscuits from the endevour foundation biscuit store. Although they weren’t the childhood biscuits of her memory, they were at least Kingaroy biscuits.
I didn’t have to leave as early as I did, but the town still hadn’t woken up and I didn’t really have much more to do. Blazed along the road, not even stopping in Nanango, but decided I needed a coffee at Yarraman. Stopped in a bakery cafe but stuffed up since it was a machine made coffee and not very nice caramel tart. Should have waited until either Esk or a “famous” bakery in Fernvale. Was back on the road and had to fend with some trucks that wanted to do 20kms down the mountains. Luckily he pulled over to let us pass just at the top so we didn’t have to follow him the whole way. I was surprised that I had to go down the mountains to get to Esk.
In Esk I stopped in the information centre cause that is what I do, then read for a while. Checked out a really huge antique store that took up all the rooms of a once great hotel. I think the guy said it used to be called the imperial Hotel. I decided that every town in Queensland has a hotel called the Grand Hotel and it looked like Esk’s was stiill standing. They also don’t have Crazy Clarks out there, instead they have Wayne’s World. Party time, excellent! I was also shocked to realise that Esk is not the Esk I always thought it was. In my mind I had a certain image of the town and a park that had a Yeti type statue there, which is where we stopped on a school excursion years ago. Now it turns out that it wasn’t Esk, so I’m thinking maybe it’s Kilcoy. I rang Pauline after visiting the antiques and arranged to meet up with her in Brisbane to take her with me to the Gold Coast.
The road from Esk to Brisbane was pretty busy and I knew then that my run of lonely roads all my own were over. In Yeronga I filled up the tank, washed the windscreen and then went to pick up Pauline. A quick dump of dirty clothes. uneeded gear and a pick up of a hitchhiker called Pauline and all her stuff, I was back on the road again. I let Pauline pick the final camp site and she had picked two just over the NSW border, so we decided on Fingal Heads and took the M1. Since neither of us had had lunch, we stopped at Yatala pies for some sustanence. Yatala pies is a pie institution that has been around for at least 25 years. It hasn’t always been in that location as it moved when the freeway changed off ramps and now it had drive through. Chris and Woody always used to bring pies to the Sunshine Coast when they came to visit from the Gold Coast. Back then it was a huge trek to go that distance and Chris would pack the house. These days she still packs about a garage, but she has improved somewhat. 🙂 I’m not the biggest fan of their pies, but it suited my hunger.
About 3.30pm we arrived, but now that we were in NSW we’d lost an hour it was 4.30pm. After picking our spot in the shade and checking in we headed off to the nearest spot to pick up some dinner. The store was obviously run by a couple of guys cause the beer fridge was well stocked but the groceries were pretty lame. I suggested we just have rice and tuna for dinner and since Pauline was only concerned about her beer she agreed.
Back at the park we went for a walk along the beach and appreciated both the lighthouse and island at Fingal Heads. We returned to read for a while, play with the pigeons, ducks, seagulls and minor birds that had come to harass us. After eating some chips and Pauline drank some beer, I decided to make dinner. We packed up all the gear and went over to the amenities block only to discover there is only a bbq. Since everything I had to cook involved boiling water, this was out of the question. I hadn’t had this problem in the other parks I’d stayed at since I’d checked for camp kitchens, but I hadn’t looked this time. Dinner for us ended up being chips, peanuts and marshmallows. Not healthy but since we’d had pies late for lunch it wasn’t so bad.
Bed time and it was weird to share the van with someone else for the first time. It didn’t feel claustrophobic, but it did hinder my abilities to go to the toilet if I needed to. Not an easy exit if you have to wake the other person up. I crashed pretty quickly as I was tired after having a bad night’s sleep. It had been good to see and talk to Pauline after a week away.
Map of destinations: