Day 24 Sunday June 29th 2014 Bowen to Rollingstone
It’s a warm morning and we have to wait for the other vans to pull out so that we can get enough swing room to leave (and we paid $3 extra for this site!). Our fridge is playing up so we never quite know whether it will run via the Anderson plug when we’re on the move. It does stay cold which is the main thing, even if we have to pack it with paper towels to stop the drips.
On the outskirts of Bowen we see the crops that the area is famous for, tomatoes, capsicums and of course Bowen mangoes. The countryside becomes dry and scrubby and the creeks are dry. Every day we see dozens of eagles hovering over roadkill.
Coming into Home Hill there are vegetable farms and then the cane starts again. I wonder if Google has a Cane Map. It has a Crocodile Map. We’ve just finished reading Judy Nunn’s book “Alienne” about the sugar industry in Bundaberg so we feel somewhat immersed in sugar. There is a large modern bridge across the Burdekin between Home Hill and Ayr. The bridge carries both cars and trains.
Further north the road works on Townsville’s outskirts leave Gabbi Garmin, Google maps and us in a spin. Old roads have disappeared and new ones have been recently built. Just when we manage to find our way to the city centre the road is closed because of an ‘event’ and there is no detour. We head towards The Strand (the waterfront drive) and discover that this is where the ‘event’ is taking place and we and the van are in the middle of a surf carnival and speed boat races. Every man and his dog are wandering across The Strand licking ice creams as we hold our breath and try to trundle through. It is a magnificent day and the sea is sparkling. There are lawns and palms and people on folding chairs.
We find a park near the CBD and have a walk through the Sunday market, buy some fruit (from Bowen) and check out the marina before repeating the process to get ourselves back out of town.
The first two beach free camps are full but we finally get a spot at Bushy Parker Park at Rollingstone but it is very full and we’re parked beside the road. It is a pretty spot though with a swimming hole, totally clear water and a rope tied to a tree.
Travelling Kms: 255Kms
2020 Note: Two years later we found the beach front at Rollingstone and spent three weeks languishing in the resort style caravan park, which still tops our lists of favourite parks.