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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Monday 23 February 2004 (Day View) – I depart hence, towards university
23.02.2004 – Monday 23 February – Depart Home, Cairns, arriving Mackay
- • Mum wakes me up. I pack, take the computer inside, set it up, and go online. Ella says Jade’s car has a leak so she’s delayed.
- • Jade arrives. I pack my stuff into her car, say bye to Dad and Mum, and off we drive, up to Shan’s place. Only Kylie is there, Shan having just left for work. We catch up to Shan, along with Craig and Gary, just down the road out the front of Gary’s, where we say bye and head off towards Cairns.
- • We arrive in Cairns. The drive wasn’t too bad, although the road is – but I had some sort of stupid hay fever style affliction where my nose just ran and ran, which wasn’t much fun. We drove to Jade’s grandparents, talked to them for a while, and then went shopping. It is very hot.
We left around 2 PM, with Jade driving. After a few hours, we swapped and I drove. The first thing I did nearly got us all killed. We were stuck behind a slow car, with a truck in front, going around a lazy bend. I could see the road for a good kilometre or so in front. There was no oncoming traffic. I pulled out to overtake. Once I was abreast of the car – not something that’s easy to do in Jade’s sluggish 1.5 litre thing, an oncoming car appeared out of nowhere. I am not sure how, it must either have been somehow hidden by the truck or in a dip that I couldn’t see. Happily for all concerned, the road was just wide enough for three cars, and I just managed to slip past. I shall definitely be dropping back a gear before any future overtaking exploits, as I wasn’t game to change down when seconds from collision in case something went wrong and we’d all die painfully – or even worse, live happily ever after but have to spend much time fixing the car.
The next exciting thing I did was take a wrong turn – or in this case not take a right turn, in some silly little town where the highway turns hard left for no known reason and without enough huge signs. I kept going straight ahead, of course. We both kept commenting on how the road really didn’t seem quite up to the standards required by a highway, as it kept getting smaller and smaller. We began to really wonder when it turned into a one-lane road for a little while, and ended with a “no through road” sign shortly after. After some clever analysis of mailboxes, I figured out we’d driven thirty kilometres the wrong way, and I was right, of course. I even managed to speed past a police car with its speed radar out on the way back to the highway – fortunately I’d just slowed down from 120 to 110, and hopefully they didn’t get us.
Because of my exciting misadventures, we nearly ran out of fuel – but just when we were about to run out, we came across a funny little service station tucked away in the middle of nowhere somewhere before Townsville. Despite appearing to be open, complete with man at the counter, it was actually shut, or more probably, a mirage or stuck in some type of time warp. Townsville is strange, as is everything surrounding it.
- • We arrived in Mackay quite late, and tried several “24 Hour Check In” motels, most of which ignored out pleading bell pushes. We finally found a $65 room, the last in that motel, incidentally. It seems they’re all pretty booked out – a lot had no vacancy signs, and I’ve a feeling the ones that ignored us were either full or close enough to that they couldn’t be bothered getting anyone else. I enjoyed the shower and sleep, but had quite a sore throat.