Jane Holden Love Everything Travel

After months of preparation, and many excuses for final drinks, the long goodbye was finally over!  We hit the road on Saturday on our way to Alice Springs, with a quick detour planned via Townsville for a party.

We made it all the way to … Doonan.  Just up the road from Brisbane, between Eumundi and Noosa. We were just staying at Maggie’s folks the night.

But of course a final stop and consult meant Maggie could do one last scan of her dad’s shed and gear, we could add an extra strap to the junk on the roof rack, and after knocking back a small neon kawaski keyboard from a sister, Maggie jumped at the offer of a thirty year old (plus) harmonica, still in it’s original box.

One bottle of Moet lighter and a small harmonica heavier, we finally hit the road (again)!

Now it felt we were really travellin’, as we glided through Gympie, and settled in for our drive to somewhere north of the day tripper, “Noosa line”.

An hour in Maggie realised the error of also rejecting the offer of a small step-ladder. At a quick roadside stop she reappeared from a trip to the ladies behind the service station, with a cheeky look and a rogue milk crate. (That was somehow slipped into the back of the already very full car.)

I guess even 3 months compiling the ultimate packing list wasn’t preparation enough. The Australian gear essential, a milk crate.

Our second mistake was in thinking that Sunday afternoon would be quiet in a little seaside location like Agnes Water and Seventeen-Seventy.  We drove past many No-Vacancy signs, only to pull up at our seaside park of choice and be turned away by Betty, as she simultaneously barked into the phone, served a customer buying a paddlepop, and waved us away.

We had forgotten that “long-tripper time”, runs to a different pace and season of weekend warrior travel. Cause it runs on the time of backpacker urgency and nanna naps, the seasonality of aching hips and visa restrictions, and the geography of German efficiency and Grey Nomad discounts. (Which is the same thing really  = When is the shoulder season / cheaper to travel + can I still get/see/eat the good stuff ?).

Lesson relearnt, we found the last campsite at the Captain Cook Holiday Park, and set up our camp way up the hill, under the trees, besides the long grass and its horde of lurky bush turkeys. Just in time for a meander down to the beach and a sunset beer.

Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 July, after leaving our home on the lands of the Turrbal (Turubul) and Jagera (Yaggera) peoples, and staying overnight on Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) country.  

By Jane Holden

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