Day 11 159 days to go. Distance: today 91km Mon RD Sun 76km total 857km. It’s 7pm Tuesday 17/7/2012 Duaringa. Im sitting on the verandah of the Duaringa Historical and Tourism Centre opposite the rest stop. I got permission to roll out my mat here from the workers Florence and Margaret who opened up the centre in 2002. Sweet sweet ladies around mid 80swith hearts of gold and lots of cheek. I met them this arv and got to talking about the centre and the white ribbon foundation over a cuppa. They donated $5 each and could not be more encouraging and perfectly clucky. Thank you ladies.
It was a cold wet ride today over a couple of small ranges but generally the road was good and wide. Thank goodness for my new jacket that I scored from Thea and Graham. Its this totally flash gortex riding jacket that Graham found on the roadside about 8 years ago and its been sitting in their cupboard ever since. Thea just texted before that I was meant to have it and it made all the difference today being quite chill bill and very wet. I had thrown the other jacket away in disgust in Gracemere as it was perishing before my eyes and useless. I went and bought a $10 kids raincoat from Best and Less which would have done the job today but lets say a bit substandard to the high techy breathable new addition to the traveling circus. And its purple….and it matches the grape….. and and and I’m a very lucky girl to be sure!!!!!
We snuck in one last chat session this morning over breakfast before I left the beautiful folk and property at Stanwell. Both Rube and I are crazy about Thea and Graham. What fun, interesting people and caring giving hosts with the mosts of everything good and right and straight from the heart. I stayed in the ‘lodge’ which is their 1975 caravan they took to WA in 2008, and now pride of place amongst the back garden with verandah and the best feel ever. Inside is wood vineer totally 70s and perfect condition super comfy and cosy. I loved Thea and graham’s company. Last night I went to bed at 8pm totally socially exhausted and smiling.
I arrived Sunday evening and we hit it off from the start chatting about all stuff family, movies, philosophies, homes, relationships, rural living, family history, war, travel, cooking, health, diet, working, not working, Australia, people, children, grandchildren, immigration, choices, parenting, motherhood, attitudes, wildlife, birdlife, finches, wrens, bird feeding, natives, vegetable growing, finances, making rosella jam, mechano, train sets, time, being kids, CTV cameras to check out backyard nightlife, gardening, farming, buying land, pets, goats, cows, chickens, menopause, how to humanely kill injured animals, renovations and even a bit of politics squeezed in there. And this is just scratching the surface. Wonderful, wonderful company. Im sure to be remembering bits of our conversations to include in posts along the way. They thought Ruby must have been a dog traveling with me when they read about her in the post the night before how funny is that. She’s been doing Monty impersonations all day to keep us amused in the rain. Love my girl!!! There were so many beautiful things said one of my favs from Thea who said, ‘…..as parents we grow and learn with our children.’ They are adoring being grandparents and visit their grandson Thomas every Sunday. Rhey love their cuppas and cake time and Thea gave me her fruit cake recipe that Im going to make this Christmas with lots of cherries that Graham usually picks out 🙂
Stanwell is an old Railway town that used to have 7 pubs. The railway line is still very busy but the town is very quiet nowadays with a working quarry and power station as its local industry. Coal trains pass regularly with 100 carriages as that’s all that can be attached at the filling centre circle before the carriages double back on themselves. Apparently in WA they can be allot longer. Stanwell is on the outskirts of the Rocky shire but you’re well and truly in the country and heading west. I got such a buzz when I turned onto the capricorn highway at Gracemere. And its all westwards now until Longreech very very cool.
Duaringa is the gateway to the Central Highlands and its definitely more closely contoured. There were some decent ascents today and the air has got colder. When I arrived inwas invited to have a coffee with a group who had set up at the rest stop. They’ve invited me back for a 8am breakfast of scrambled eggs yummmmmm!!!!
Tomorrow we get to Blackwater then Emerald and over the Drummond Range to Alpha, Balcadine and Longreech by Sunday or Monday. Very cool indeedy!!!!! Ontop of their generous hospitality, Thea and Graham also donated $20 and with Florence and Margaret’s $10 that’s $112.50 and 18 oaths in 11 days. I scored a whole buch of oaths from lads who stayed overnight at the Raglan Tavern with a function group. The tent was such a sorry sight to pack up Sunday morning but I was able to hang it out to air and dry at T&G’s along my wet gear from the day. I tried to upload the photos but the connection was too slow so I’ll have to wait for the next opportunity hopefully soon as they’re piling up.
It was supposed to be fine weather now through to Sunday but yesterday was the only sunny break. Apparently it’s forecast fine for the weekend but Mother Nature’s been having a bad hair day for weeks now so anything goes while she’s a bit fragile and being a chick!!
My sister Katie and my nephew Even are both using the ‘spell-a-thon’ idea to sponsor our Aussiechallenge. Basically a cent per km and watch the cents turn into dollars by the day. Anyone else want to get on the c’s per k’s fundraising action????
I’ll finish up with a copy of katie’s email I got the other day after the overnighter at Raglan, hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Kit. Talks soon x
‘Dearest Maree. Like your mate in Mongolia wisely remarked – alcohol can make good men do ugly (very stupid) things! Ain`t it the truth and it`s the same all over the world! But for every one of that type, there are 10 wonderfully generous individuals appearing from nowhere to help you on your way!!!!!!! Have been thinking about you a lot slogging it out in that rain – it`s pretty wet here at the moment and I certainly wouldn`t want to be out and about on my bike. A huge schmatz of serious big time respect for sticking with it and not having your humour washing off in the downpour XXOO Have decided to contribute my donation to your excellent cause like we used to do with the spellathons-doesn`t that take us back a bit. Will match you a cent a km….mmmmmmmm last of the big time spenders Kathryn, I hear you reflect quietly to yourself…but… there are A LOT of kms ahead and by the end your hard hard work will definitely pay off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will see who else I can get to sign up for the “feralaussiechallengeathon!!!!!!” – you can tell I loved your feral comment today 🙂 Am loving the blogs especially your description of all the colourful characters your getting to meet on the way. Not too sure about the freshies sunning themselves on the causeways though!!!!….’