Guess what I woke up to the following morning?That's right fog,fog and more fog.Holy crap I was getting sick of being soaked by the stuff and delayed every day.What can you do though but just accept and move on.I moved as far as the truck stop on the northern outskirts of Gin Gin and sat myself down with a coffee and waited my usual wait. Thankfully I didn't need to wait to long as I was soon climbing the little hill out of Gin Gin heading for what I knew whould be a cruisy day,if the wind did what it was supposed to.For the first hour or so it did just that and I raced along the highway on nice wide,smooth roads wearing a smile from ear to ear.For the first time on my trip I actually started to feel like the ride was working and I was getting fitter.
As I passed over a long bridge over a river that certainly didn't seem to warrant such a crossing I stopped and took some happy snaps.It turned out to be pretty scary though as the whole bridge bounced up and down as each semi-trailer roared over it.I can't deal with show rides at the best of times so this was not fun for me.I got on my bike and was outta there in a hurry which lasted about 800meters when I slowed down to see if what I was seeing on the side of the road was real or I wasjust going nuts.As I passed a T-intersection ther on the side of the road were two Asians jumping up and down and going nuts at me cheering and clapping.I'm thinking WTF!!Then I reaised that I knew them,They were the young Asian couple that I had met in Home Hill while I was being evicted by the city council guy.I turned my rig around and rode up to them to smiles and hugs and of course the obligatory photo session.They were so happy to see me for some reason that was lost on me and the fact that they actually saw me out there on the highway made it so special,like they were able to witness some great feat of humankind.I didn't get it but I was very happy to see that there were some people out there who were into my trip with enthusiasm.It was great.I said my goodbyes and rode of as they stood there and waved me on.Too funny!!
From there it was a quick hour into the town of Childers,the scene of the horrible " Childers Hostel Fire" a few years ago when the local hostel full of fruit picking backpackers burnt down in the middle of the night killing many of then as they tried to escape through locked and barricaded doors.Very sad indeed. I was pretty happy to see the place as I had made the 50k trip by 10am and was literally blown up the long climb that you have to ascend to reach the hilltop town.
I was pretty quick to spy a camping store and ducked in to see if they had the gas cannister that I was looking for and woo frickin hoo,they did.I snapped one up and make a hasty exit down the steep descent on the southern end of town ably assisted I will say by an ever increasing tailwind.That wind stayed with me all day and blew me ever closer to Maryborough which I figured would be a good place to stop for the night.I don't know what it was though but I felt stronger than I'd felt and thanked the lord for the wind and the Queensland Government for the new roads.
In the mid afternoon I hit the Maryborough turnoff and found myself on a new bypass which shave a few kilometers off my trip I knew then that I was in for an epic day and when I rolled into the huge Matilda Service Centre in south Maryborough I figured my day was done I dicked around drinking toxic water out of the tap and gorging mself on two gourmet pies from the restaurant.The chocolate milk was overkill and I really felt like having a nap.The only problen was the wind was still blowing and there were three hours of sunlight left.As I said,for the first time I felt a little athletey and actually felt guilty about sitting around while I could be rolling through another 10 k or so.
I bit the bullet and rolled out onto the highway again thinking I'd just go 10k down the road and that would be it but within the hour I was entering the town of Tiaro.My god,I had just made up for the shit half day the I had suffered the day before and could not believe it when the ladies in the town Info Centre told me that the rest area that I was looking for was directly outside the windows at the back of the building and that I had a hot shower waiting for me when I needed it.I could have hugged them both but I just didn't have the energy after 141k of windswept highway.
I rode down to the rest area and started seaching for some flat land on the sloping campground.As luck woulds camper.It was perfect really as I could rest my bike against the have it there was a guy talking to a lady next to his camper and he when he saw me checking out the area he told me that I was welcome to pitch my tent on the small patch of flat grass near hifence and just throw my big tarp over the bike and tentkeepingeverything under shelter. I had a short chat with the fellow and then told him that I really neede a shower and made a beeline for th facilities where I was treated to finve minutes or so of blissfully hot water.
After I was showered and my neighbour had done is little bike ride around town we introduced ourselves and I found, for the first time on this trip a real athlete and a world champion to boot.Quentin is a surf lifesaver and at the ripe old age of 61 could put a lot of guys half his age to shame.He had won a world title for his age group at the World Masters Surlifesaving Champs in Italy and was very active in his lifesaving community at Avoca Beach on the New South Wales central coast.He was a great guy to spend time with and he even ended up cooking me dinner which we ate in his trailer.I really could not believe this guy was 15 years older than me.He was so full of life and is eyes sparkled with youthfull joy for the life he lives.We swapped all kinds of stories in the two hours or so that I sat with him and he even told me about the sponsored relay paddle he did with some friend from Hong Kong to the Philippines.I mean,they paddled across the South China Sea...Jesus!!Like the Saxbys who live not far from Quentin and his family. I made a promise to myself to try and visit them on my way to Sydney if it was not too far out of my way.From what I've studied on my maps it certainly looks doable.You just never now.
Quentin had to make some phone calls and them wanted to watch the rugby and the cricket on the TV but I was tired and excused myself with many heartfelt thanks.I could not believe some of the nice people I had met on this trip and my faith in the Australian people was returning in bucketloads.
What a day,what a night,what a life!!!!