Friday 13th September, (Bundaberg).

Only one night was spent at Calliope as we decided that we might need the extra time to have a look at several places on our way to Brisbane.

We are now at Bundaberg, having arrived yesterday. We only intend having a look around this area to see what is available to bring us back again at a later stage.

Bundaberg is situated close to the coast, about 10k inland, and is surrounded by flat land that is used for growing sugar. There are several smaller places along the coast, named ‘beaches’ but most of the coast is rocky with an occasional small beach, and we went for a drive today to have a look. We reckon that we could return here and either just spend a couple of days at several caravan parks, or try a different one each time we are back in the area. Bundaberg really does not have a lot going for it though, but then we haven’t been here long.

The caravan park we checked into, a big4, is rather nice and the management are extremely friendly, but the one thing we overlooked is that the park is very close to the airport and the planes fly almost directly overhead.

The weather is a bit of a contrast to what we experienced over the last week, now being much cooler and extra blankets have been placed on the bed.


Wednesday 11th September, (Calliope).

Today being the day of remembrance of the tragic events in New York last year, we recall that we were in the same area as we are now when the news broke. We were actually in the same caravan park as we stayed at in Rocky. Anyway I would rather not dwell on those memories.

We have moved on to Calliope, a rest area we had heard several reports about, and it does live up to them all. This is one more rest area that I will make the appropriate notes for future reference, as we will definitely be using it again.


Tuesday 10th September, (Rockhampton).

We both seem to be on the road to recovery at the moment, I am just left with a little congestion to get rid of, and Linda is eating as normal now so that is a good indication she has recovered.

We had a drive around Yeppoon area yesterday to have a look at the caravan parks in the area so we will have a better indication of what to expect next time we are in this area. Yeppoon would be the place to stay next time, as it appears to be quite a nice place. There are quite a few parks down that way and we selected a couple that we would prefer and made the appropriate notes in my caravan park report for future reference.

We have stayed an additional day at Rocky so we can catch up with Hoss and Val. They have limited time to reach Melbourne and don’t travel short distances or stay in freebies, and as we intend doing just that from here to Brisbane we decided that it would be better to stay here as they intend stopping here anyway. They not long ago arrived, so after giving them time to settle in and have a shower and such we probably intend sitting down for a while, have a few coldies HAHA! And catch up with old times.

Our plans from here in the morning could be changed and end up staying another day as the weather does not look too promising. I have decided to leave the annexe up for the evening so we will have somewhere to sit if it rains, so if it is raining in the morning, which looks possible, it may well be too wet to pack up. Only the morning will tell though, otherwise we do intend moving south about 100k to a rest area at Calliope, a little west of Gladstone and then take it from there.


Sunday 8th September, (Rockhampton).

The weather in the area, or something, is starting to take its toll, Linda is not feeling too well and seems to think that it is heat exhaustion, we are now in Rockhampton and it has gotten quite hot. I didn’t think it was a great deal hotter than it has been, but the evenings are remaining quite a deal hotter than those of recent times. I probably wouldn’t really notice though as I myself have not been well, I seemed to have picked up some kind of Wog in Mackay and I have been rather heady and congested in the chest. Probably having a temperature didn’t help either; I am not so bad today as I stayed in bed for as long as possible to sweat it out of me. I arose about 1:30pm, had a shower and after breakfast was feeling much better. Linda is the ill one today, saying the heat is too much for her, making her feel sick, and I believe at one stage she was. After a lie down with the fan blowing on her, and now that the day is cooling a little, she has recovered somewhat and is at the moment preparing a roast tea. An additional days stay is the order so we can recover somewhat before we continue our travels, we have done a couple of long legs that wouldn’t help any.

Hoss left Port Douglas yesterday and is also heading south. They are travelling faster than we are so it is intended to meet up with them and spend a night in the same park so we can have a decent chat and catch up with old times. They are now at Airley Beach so we may even have to stay an additional day to meet them here.


Thursday 5th September, (Mackay).

Only the one evening was spent at Bowen and we are now at Mackay.

We are at present rather disappointed with the book we bought to show us camping sites around the country called Camps Australia wide. It seems that just about every free camp area we visit lately has signs erected saying ‘NO CAMPING’, or the site either does not exist, as far as we could find anyway, or is too close to the highway and would be too noisy to sleep at with all the trucks passing during the night. As a consequence we have decided that we will in future plan to travel to a town and select a caravan park to stay at, then on the way if we see a camp site that would be suitable for staying at we will camp there instead. We will now just have to take things as they come. I am actually that disappointed with not finding freebies that I think I have convinced Linda that I would prefer at this stage to just make several long trips south to give us more time to spend in a few places that we would like to visit, and intended to, on the way down to Brisbane. So after a couple of nights here, Mackay, we intend to ‘plan?’ on moving on to Rockhampton and if we find a suitable camp spot, a couple we have heard do actually exist in this spell, we will stop at them for an evening. It would be a pity to have this equipment installed in the caravan to make it possible to camp out and not use it.

Speaking of camping equipment: I have made another rearrangement, as an experiment with the battery system, and have found that it works quite suitably. In the past I have been running a large battery system in the caravan and have found that it loses a fair bit of charge during travel, obviously not receiving much charge from the car. My thoughts on this have been Thus. I have inserted a diode arrangement in the wiring between the car and van to segregate device usage depending on the current flow direction. They in fact prevent charging from the car until a sufficient voltage difference occurs to turn the diodes on. The voltage drop in the lead the length of the car, from car battery, and the large battery system installed in the van prevented the required voltage difference occurring for some time, until van battery discharged greatly. My theory of a solution was to re-place one of the batteries from the van into the rear of the car, as the wiring and associated work has already been done to cater for this. Then the voltage applied to the van from the car would be higher, and the smaller capacity of the battery in the van, would allow the voltage difference to occur a lot earlier. The travel over the past couple of days has proven my theory to be correct. I still run the fridge in the van and the one in the car during travel and when we have arrived at our destination both batteries have only taken about 30 minutes to fully charge from the solar panels where previously, when both were in the van, they could take up to several hours to charge. Anyway rather than relate to battery charging while travelling, the correct term should probably be; allow the car to adequately provide the power. We will see how thing perform in the future.