At 1.30pm we stopped for a lunch break. Since leaving home we had only travelled 90k. It has been decided that an overnight stop 17k out of Gayndah would be a realistic target on our first day. Fred has been getting into the towing groove and doing quite well. We reached Gayndah at 4pm, what a busy little town, it's fruit picking time, and the trees are full of mandarins. Gayndah is the oldest town in Queensland - I didn't know that. I would just like to mention the 2 way radio that Baz installed, at the time I thought it was perhaps a little over the top - it's great! On the way into Gayndah I had a lovely chat with a cattle farmer called Dane, he'd seen our UHF 24 sign on the back of the van and decided to call us up. How good is that. It's also very convienent to let each other know when you need to stop etc etc. Love it.
Baz told us over the 2 way that he was going to look for a welding shop in Gayndah, he was still not happy with his hitch, the solution he had come up with would require another piece of metal welding to the A frame. We were given directions to a unit on the industrial estate, the industrial estate so to speak was 2 units and a storage facility. We pulled up outside the welding shop and Baz went in search of a would be welder. He came back with Greg the owner and his side kick Tony The Excavator. Both these old boys could have been boxers in a former life because as Fred put it they both had noses like a blind cobblers thumb
. I also suspect that they may have had a little tipple at lunch time, because Excavator Tony had a very red face and Greg the Welder's speech was a tad bit slow. Tony was quite intrigued as to why you would need such a fancy bit of equipment to pull a van, he told us that he had a 22ft rig just on a towbar, never gave him any problems. Greg said they were pretty busy, but then after a bit of humming and arhhing told Baz to pull his van down to the side door of his welding shop. He got one of his welders to do the job and even give it a coat of galvanised paint all for the princely sum of $20. Me Fred & Mrs Sellers went down to inspect the finished job and what do we find - we find Excavator Tony with his head down, bum up, hanging off the end of a spanner. He couldn't resist, as soon as he saw Baz get out his spanner to tighten up the bolts and make the adjustments Tony went and fetched a spanner just to join in. From then on he appointed himself in charge, making sure everything was sitting right, that's when we found out that he had an excavation business next door to Greg, but work had been a bit slow this week so he was at a bit of a loose end. It was a very funny half hour, these people are the salt of the earth. Forgot to mention that Greg gave us an armful of mandarins, " the prize of Gayndah" he said.
We overshot the free camp we were looking for just outside of Gayndah but to the rescue came a driver behind us who called us up on the 2 way, it went something like this, "Hey mate if you're looking for the Binjour rest spot it's back up the road about 1k, there's a place to turn around just a bit further down the road." Country folk, can't beat them
By the time we pulled in and parked up it was dark. Our neighbours had a camp fire going and appeared to have been enjoying Happy Hour for quite some time, half their luck. No time for pleasantries tonight, me & Fred were done in by the time we'd cooked our Thai pork patties. An early night and a bit of tele in bed sounded good, not to be, the tele blew a fuse and the light in the bathroom went out in sympathy. We have a bit of a shopping list for the next town that has a hardware store.
Best names: Fat Hen Creek, I like that, you would expect to see all these big fat chickens sat on the river bank. A rest area called Lawless Park, now what would possess you to want to stop there?
It's 11am we've been at it since 7am, the vans are packed, the cars have been hitched it's time to get this show on the road. We head off up our drive, Fred gets a little bit distracted by the position of his left side extended towing mirror and doesn't realise how close he is to a very large tree on the driver's side. He pulls up sharp and I have to get out and assess the situation. The van has a 1 inch clearance, Fred's nerve is being tested, should he go backwards or forwards? He choses to move very slowly forward while I keep an eye on things. I can't believe it, we have barley gone 80 meters and almost wiped out our new caravan. This is not a good start. We make it out of our drive and just up ahead we notice Baz has stopped and is again not happy with the level of his hitch. At 11.45am we make our second attempt to get on the road, we have travelled approximately 250meters since leaving our house, at this rate going around Australia would certainly be out of the question in our lifetime.