On this blog I concentrate on destinations. Unfortunately this misses out on the main aspect of travelling – getting from one place to another. There are so many experiences along the way.
Would you expect being pulled up for a alcohol test at 10:30 in the morning? Are the police trying to catch people that had too much to drink the previous night and still haven’t sobered up? Or are they trying to catch the people that started drinking early? Who knows, I certainly didn’t fit either category.
Or all the ‘Wide Load’ trucks we experienced that had tyres lying flat on the truck bed, and the tyres were wider than a normal road. The machinery these tyres fit on must be huge.
Or the houses that are being transported on the road and are so wide, everybody needs to give way.
Or the one lane highways were there are unwritten rules: the bigger vehicle has right of way, the smaller ones give way and go onto the unpaved track beside the paved lane. It works amazingly well – cars, 4×4, and even vehicles with small trailers give way to us towing a caravan. We give way to the trucks and the road trains. Road trains being tow vehicles towing up to 3 trailers, just like a train. I also watch the back – what is coming from behind that is faster than us? If I spot a normal car behind us, I pull off the paved lane and let the car pass on the bitumen. Saves their time and saves our windscreen as they pass on the smooth bitumen, not throwing stones towards us from the unpaved part of the road.
Or how about the sign ‘Stock on Road’. Coming from abroad you probably wouldn’t know that you can experience bulls, cows, sheep or goats on the road because there aren’t any fences.
Or the emus – they seem to be the worst for crossing the road at inopportune moments. No road sense whatsoever. Once the adult emu crosses the road, expect another 5 to 10 emu chicks to follow.
Or looking out for ‘Dump Points’. Most caravans and Motor Homes have an inbuilt toilet. Guess what… these toilets need to be emptied. Most systems work with a cassette that needs to be emptied every 4 or 5 days, depending how productive you are. There is an amazing system that allows dumping the contents of these cassettes into special ‘Dump Points’. Looking out for these spots becomes a continuous chore. We may well empty the container after two days, just to make sure we will not overflow in the next few days.
Or looking out for water. We have four 80 litre tanks of water. 3 x 80 litres for shower, washing up and general cleaning jobs. 1 x 80 litre tank for drinking water. We can get by for six or more days on this supply. But we always are on the lookout for top up facilities. We use the same water for all the tanks. We just use different filtering when filling up the tanks. The shower water tanks are filled passing through a sediment filter as well as through a chemical filter. The drinking water goes through a special filter that makes the water safe for drinking. Now it is not only necessary to find the equivalent water supply. It also requires the right kind of fitting. For us a hose without any fittings does not really suffice. We need to be able to fit our hose to the tap so that the water can pass through our various filters.
Or what about phone and internet connection. The Telstra ad claiming 96% of the population is covered. That means all those areas that are almost uninhabited are without reception. In so many areas we do not have any coverage. As a blogger you expect connect-ability. Although I blog via email. This means I can write any time and post when we have connection. Perhaps we have to consider satellite connections – not just for the internet. What would we do in an emergency without communication? We need to check out the cost involved.
Or the changing scenery, the changing vegetation that follows us along the road. What are those grey leaves along the side of the road? Check out the next one we come across – it looks to me as though there are flowers in those leaves. They are blue – or are they purple? A few kilometres down the road, we don’t see these plants any more.
Or what about the immense flat country in Australia? I couldn’t believe the many ranges we have to cross. The dividing range – I certainly didn’t expect that as far north. For me the dividing range is just a little bit west of Brisbane. The preconception of a flat country is soon dispelled once you drive the distances.
Or the friendly truckies towing those big rigs? We listen to the UHF radio traffic, although up to date we haven’t really broadcast anything. But we listen. Seeing a truck behind I look for a spot where I can pull out to let it pass. I put on the indicator to let the truck know what I am doing. What a surprise to hear something along the lines ‘keep going mate – I’m turning off a few ks down the road’. This is not literal – I have to guess most of it. Don’t know whether it is our UHF or the truckies lingo that makes it so hard to understand what they are saying. All in all I found the truck drivers very courteous and always trying to do their best to keep everyone safe.
Or getting fuel in Quilpie and actually getting driveway service. Not to have to handle the greasy diesel hose is certainly a bonus. The bowser lady does not mind sharing her opinion either – heading to Charleville is certainly a better idea than going towards Birdsville. Hot enough here why would you want to go to Birdsville?