It's Thursday afternoon. I'm in a place called Childers. We are still in Queensland and are on the road heading south, still. We're in no rush at all to get back to Adelaide. If anything, we're dreading it. But needs must, I suppose. I'm sitting in a tiny little bakery, on the oldest computer in the world, and probably the slowest too, while my clothes are in the washing machine, in the laundromat. It was a mission to find internet, so I'm delighted to even be able to type anything right here, right now. It's been the first day that we both haven't wanted to get anywhere.. We want time to stop, and the road to stop. But it can't and it simply won't.
Since leaving Mission Beach last Friday, a lot seems to have happened and some plans have been changed. We were initially planning on driving down the coast towards Townsville, which was only 300 km's south of Cairns and then heading inland and driving cross-country back to Adelaide. But we knew that the trip would come to an end too quickly, had we done that, as there's not a whole lot to see and we'd have been constantly driving. So we decided to go a few extra km's, and drive down the whole east coast, to Brisbane and call in to see Trish and Ed instead. It would add a couple of days onto the journey, which is great and I wanted to see them anyhow. So that's where we're heading for now. It's taken us nearly a week to get this far, but we've been hanging around everywhere a little bit longer than necessary.. trying to prolong the journey back, as much as possible.
We stopped last Friday night in Townsville, where we got busted by the cops for camping in a place we weren't allowed, so we got out there pretty quick and were relieved that we didn't get a 500 dollar fine instead of the warning. We slept in a residential area that night, which wasn't the right thing to do and were waiting for the knock on the window from the cops, telling us to move. But it never happened, thank god. We made it out of Townsville on Saturday evening, and camped at a service station instead. I was delighted, and not at all paranoid. We then made a stop in Bowen, where we camped once again in a spot we weren't allowed to, near the beach and we actually did get a knock on the window that night from the cops, who were wondering what the hell we thought we were playing at! (to be honest he was real nice and didn't give out too much!) We told him we'd been drinking, so we couldn't drive. Which turned out to be the best thing.. we got off with another warning.. My god, I was waiting for our luck to start running out and for the fines to start rolling in. But so far so good..
We had 2 nights in a forest, which was the best. We were so remote, and it was pure luck we found such a nice place to stay for a couple of days without worrying about the cops. The cows were out and about, but they were good company. The weather was starting to get colder though, and still is by the way, so we haven't been to any beaches since our stop in Bowen. We aren't on the look-out for our little pieces of paradise anymore either. We've made peace with the fact that those days belong with the warm tropics up north. And down south we can light fires in the bush and have camp-fire toast instead, just like we did on the beginning of the trip. A different kind of paradise, just as nice, but a little chillier.
Yesterday we had our first long day of driving again.. And today we've been dossing about, not wanting to go too far.. we simply don't want this to end. But it will.. I reckon we'll be back in Adelaide by next week. We're still trying to get used to the fact that it will end, so it can be a little deflating.. I'm just trying to make the most out of every day, now that I'm certain our days on the road together are numbered. Not to worry though.. we're not quite there yet. We've still got quite some km's of driving to do. So smiles and laughter all the way, as we wind down from this amazing trip.