11 September 2002
The next morning we packed up and headed out along the main road out of Hervey Bay until we realised (not for the first time) that we had no idea where we were going. After some deliberation, we decided to aim for Wongi State Forest, so we returned to Hervey Bay for petrol, ice, provisions, and detailed directions of how to get there. Then we headed out of town a second time, secure in the knowledge of a destination.
Ten kilometres south of Childers, it became apparent that the information from the tourist office was incorrect, so we pulled into a rest area where there happened to be a nice old fellow with a ute and a more detailed map than we had. After getting some accurate information from him, we headed back south towards Maryborough and turned off the highway onto a rough but firm gravel road which took us into the state forest for a distance of 10 km.
We eventually arrived at a camping area where there was only one other vehicle. It was a wide, flat, sandy area dotted with tall spindly trees, adjoining a deep lagoon in a river. The wind was blowing the sand around so we put up “the full monty” —that is, the tent with both of the end-flaps, the floor, and the flyscreen across the front, which provides a good wind break. There was a small iron fireplace and firewood provided. After we settled in, I set about cooking dinner – chicken curry with dhal and rice. Cooking over the fire with the Dutch oven was magic: the heavy iron pot is great for curries. I used a can of Madras curry, which is cheating but it wasn’t half bad.
We set up the card table by the fireplace and enjoyed dinner under the stars. Susie finished her tapestry, and we calculated that the number of stitches in it is about 21,000, somewhat short of the number of kilometres we will have travelled by the time we get home. I imagine we’ll notch up about 25,000 km over the course of the 25 weeks we have been on the road.