My spell with Andy, Clare, Brian, Noreen (& how could I forget little Rosie) in Gympie was truly a lovely experience and has helped to dispel my homesickness on one level (but will make it all the keener on another).
I made it to Maryborough OK but, for some reason, yesterday was a very ‘flat’ day energy-wise. Terrain-wise it was anything but…. (Andy, I followed your directions and got onto the Old Maryborough Rd OK – the problem arose when I noticed a signpost pointing to Corella Rd and took it….which led me back to….Gympie!!!!!! 🙁 – I zigged when I should have zagged.)
After retracing my tyre-marks, I was finally heading in the right direction (but with an extra 8km under my belt!) and Andy’s other directions then made good sense. I got to the highway, turned off at Gunalda but already I noticed a lot of water lying about. I went over a number of bridges awash with water and finally, just before Gundiah, I had to turn back due to over 3 ft of water cutting off the road and was forced back onto the Bruce Hwy. 🙁
You are so right about this road, Andy. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I made it to Maryborough at about 4pm, found a campground and pitched my tent – with a 6pm talk, there was no way I could get to Susan River, where a kind couple, Kim & Connie, had offered me digs, get changed and get back to Maryborough still fresh. The kind fellow at the caravan park is working to ‘go sustainable’ and offered me the unpowered site for nothing. Again, generosity of spirit comes to the fore. My talk went well but to a rather small audience – I can’t understand why they vary so much. Maryborough even featured me in their daily so event advertising wasn’t the issue.
I arose early this morning, packed up my things and headed off towards Childers via Susan River – I stopped in to see Kim & Connie as I was passing anyway and then continued on my way. I made it to Childers in reasonable time and so I made the executive decision to go on to Bundaberg (only another 57km by the back way) – the talk I was supposed to do in Childers was unfortunately cancelled. I got in to Bundaberg, with only a tenacious magpie causing me grief during my ride, at about 5pm – 142km in 6:03 saddle time (I’m a MACHINE!) – this was my biggest day yet.
I hope to go out to the Great Barrier Reef tomorrow – I want to see it before it gets bleached away.