Saturday 31st August - KoumalaWelcome to the last day of Winter of 2019. Today we are heading for Koumala, which is just south of Sarina. We were originally going to stay for one night but have changed this to two. Leaving Marlborough we continue north on the Bruce Highway for an hour. Here we take a side track to St. Lawrence to have a walk around and empty poodle. The camp area here is at the Showgrounds with plenty of room. It's only $12.50 per night and there is a maximum stay of 14 days. It has a good amenities block with a coin operated hot shower if you want. Turning off the Bruce into the Koumala Van Park we see these concrete slabs in this lovely grassy area. There is room for about 16 vans here with big rigs next door. It's actually a beautiful peaceful park as there are only two vans here plus the manager's one. Talking to the manager he told us that the other night it was full, so you can't pick it. I turned on the TV to tune it in and there is a black line going down the screen but it's watchable. This does not look good. We turned it back on again to watch the news and now there is about a third of the screen not working. Looks like we will need a new one now. Clive had spent some time in the afternoon checking to see what 12v TV's were available in Mackay, but no luck here. He even ended up ringing the Good Guys in Townsville to see what they had and no joy. They will see if they can get one in by the time we get to Townsville on the 17th September. Roast pork and vegetables for dinner - from the pub. Cost $13.50 with us sharing the meal. It was very nice and seemed to good to pass up. Clive had to have a couple of beers while he was waiting for dinner. Behind the bar they have plaques with the actual size of mud crabs and other fish that have been caught around here. Very interesting. This Freehold Pub is currently for sale if anyone reading this is interested. We watched TV with about half a screen. Amazing how one can adapt to anything. We will need a new TV, no doubt about it. I can't watch my shows like this.
Friday 30th August - Marlborough12 degrees over night with a lovely warm day around 28. A very late start today with us just spending the morning reading and relaxing. We decided to leave after lunch so left around 2pm and arrived in Marlborough around 3pm. This is another free camp located behind the Puma Service Station. A huge area where you can park where you want to. It's actually like a big paddock. I am beginning to notice the humidity. No TV here so it's DVD watching. We started on the ones that Clive used to get with the Caravan and Motorhome Magazines that he got every month. We watched some on Far North Queensland where we will be going so interesting to see some of the high lights to look out for. Fish and chips from the Roadhouse. Delicious.
Thursday 29th August - YaambaNow I forgot to mention yesterday that while I sitting in the kiosk area waiting for Clive to finish his tour, two bus loads of children came in. It seems they are on a 3 day camp here at the caves. Talk about excited children. Every time a staff member went past, they asked me if I would like some ear plugs. They will be having their three daily meals in this area and it looks like the boys are sleeping in the tent and glamping area while the girls sleep in the conference centre. It was about 9.30 last night that the chatter stopped so that must be when lights out is. Clive heard them this morning at 6.00am and then at 7.15 they all went off to breakfast to return about an hour later. Yesterday they were all divided into groups - 6 groups in total of about 14 students in each group. Over the three days they all do different activities including the cave tour that Clive did as well as Adventure Caving which involves crawling through narrow caves. They showed Clive where they send the children when then do this. They also still dig out bat poo from the cave floor and the children go through this as part of their tour looking for fossils amongst other things. I don't remember our school camps to have done anything like this. 14.2 degrees last night with a top of 29.3 today. We left the Capricorn Caves and headed to our next stop - Yaamba Rest area. This just happens to be 10km from the Caves, so another big drive by Clive today. Lots of trucks stopping and going and also some vanners doing the same. Stopping for a break and then off they go again. It is a Driver Reviver area so it is really good to see people using it. It's just off the Bruce Highway so pretty noisy . It's been a hot day and a warmer night than usual, but not uncomfortable. Good TV reception, so Yay!!! Steak and Kidney pie for dinner. Now I must tell you, we brought one of these away with us when we left the Gold Coast. Clive tried to open it with the can opener that we had and because of the way it is done it doesn't cut the lid off like it does with other cans. On the Coast we had an electric can opener for these pies as it was the only way we found of opening them. So rather than cart it around Oz uneaten we left it with Yvonne and Ted to enjoy. Anyway, my darling husband bought another one and a new can opener that should do the job. Well it did half the job and then broke. So much for that idea. Not be out done this time, Clive got out the pen knife that he keeps in the car and used the can opener on that to finally get the lid off. It was delicious though.