It’s taken us about 10 days to settle in to our seats and smells, 10 days for the rain to settle down and the sun to shine. Things look different covered in mud. It was pretty hard at first, always in each others faces, our differences under microscopic view. Jake likes everything in its place and I feel that everything’s place is where ever it lay, a coffee cup without a holder can be cause for great concern.
Fear of traveling down the dead straight and narrow I decided to detour from course, break a few rules set by Sir Cleansalot and veer left off the coastal road towards Mt Morgan. This wasn’t ideal for old rule maker in the back, who was banished to the backseat to help Lord Bodes control his anger, but I decided we needed some cool country air to cleanse this here Hiace.
Mt Morgan was pretty, in a pretty creepy kind of way. Most of the shopfronts were boarded up and they seemed to be selling off the town. Scarecrows on front porches scared people away. The only people we saw was a lady with half a face serving stale bread and deli meats at IGA and a young guy on his lunch break doing donuts in the carpark of a dam. We had stopped at the dam for lunch, this beautiful view majestic in the misty rain with the sound of tyres burning up gravel, around and around and around. I guess there’s not much else to do in Mt Morgan so we too thanged it out of there and onto somewhere to bed down.
The journey through the country was beautiful we passed a festival full of caravans at the Bauldy Bush Ballad Bash, why didn’t we stop? I felt responsible for this mountain detour, why didn’t we stop? We puttered on past a luminescent blue river, radioactive azure. Warning signs guarded the entrance to the water. No drinking. No swimming. The water is extremely toxic and can cause severe irritation to the skin. A cross-eyed passer-by told us that the water was actually fine, at least that’s what the mining companies had told him. We decided better not to take dietary advice from someone with only two teeth.
It’s still raining, I love the country rain, log fires and hot soup, a good book and a white persian cat curled up in your lap. But not when I’m driving and not when I have a baby on board and not when we are still 50km away from the nearest rest stop. Dululu. Oh dear me Dululu. It had been recommended in the guide as a good place to camp, for mosquitoes and cane toads maybe. It was like the bog of eternal stench, a few flat spots between swamp farts for us to park on, after hours of bickering on the road this was not the happy ending I was hoping. The water was again undrinkable and recommended by the “caretakers” not even to shower in it, let it not touch your skin as the water lets off an intense odour unlike any humanely imaginable. The caretaker also seemed to be the local drug dealer, with people bashing down his caravan door wanting their smokes and weed. Needless to say we made trackmarks out of there first sign of breakfast and found an oasis in a little coastal town near Rockhampton called Emu Park.