On the positive side of the ledger, Eileen and I have become quite proficient at breaking and setting up camp. Our damage control is fine as we have now found a place for everything to live while we are driving and thankfully the storage in the Tug takes care of a lot of the gear that doesn't normally have a home.
The Rig is a pleasure to drive for me and handles the road conditions with relative ease. Of course we were both apprehensive about how the Tug would handle the steep hills and windy roads as we go through the mountains and I have to say that I am pleased with the ease that it meets the task, on the other hand I am still waiting for Eileen to open her eyes and give me her report on some of the wonderful views that I have seen along the way. Like a fool, I listened to all of the arm chair experts on Facebook and decided at I shouldn't drive in 6th gear as it is an overdrive gear.... big mistake.... fuel consumption went from 13.7 lts per 100k to 17.3 lts per 100k. Met another Iveco owner along the way and he said that it was BS and as long as you used the gears by the taco you wouldn't have any issues. So it's back to 6th gear for me.
I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to reversing 14 meters of Rig into tight spaces but I guess that will come with experience.... well, it better anyway.
As we both need to know where we are heading and where we are setting up camp, this trip has shown both of us, just how difficult it is if you don't have a travel itinerary, well it is for us. I am sure that there are many people who can just drive and end up where they are and not worry about it. But not me, I dislike sailing past poorly signposted turn offs and looking for sufficient space to turn a 14 meter Rig with safety. We had a bad experience at a little town called Ulmarra in northern NSW, Eileen called for a comfort stop so we looked for the next 'lay-off' so that we could turn in and park and we dully followed the rest stop signs into a little dead end road. As soon as I turned the corner, I new that I had made a mistake, I pulled over in front of a toilet block in a very narrow street and almost as soon as I did about 3 more cars and two caravans followed us in - I was hemmed in and had to wait for them to leave before attempting to extract us from the predicament with a 10 point turn. I hope that I never repeat that, although I'm almost sure that I will somewhere, sometime.
An interesting aside resulting from this error was that while Eileen was 'getting comfortable' I was reading the local historic notice board and noticed a little story about one Mr E Chowne. An extract can be read here. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/61878575
While driving along and not having booked any stops we had decided to drive straight through to Caboolture Show Grounds for our next stop over as our next scheduled stop was in another five days back at Scarborough. This was our first unscheduled stop and was in reality a part of the test although we had heard that Caboolture Show Ground was not a bad place to stop. Must have been our lucky day as we pulled up on a Friday with the National Barrel Racing Championships, A Circus, The Caboolture Markets and The National Bull Riding Championships all happening at the same time.
That night I went over to watch the Barrel Racing which was lots of fun with beautiful horses and cowgirls and cowboys of all ages competing.
Saturday, I took Eileen for a drive along Toorbul Road (Now Pumicestone Road) in an attempt to show her where I had grown up as a 5 year old only to find that the acreage that we once lived on is now a massive housing estate. I really couldn't remember anything at all - what a difference 60 years makes. We drove on to Toorbul and I took this photo of Toorbul looking across to the Bribie Island Bridge
Today (Sunday) is market day so we got up early so that Eileen could go and do some veggie shopping and have a look around while I took Pepper for her morning walk. I don't think that she likes the other BIG dogs and she stays mostly at heal as we walk around. The markets here are huge, as big as Chandler and as I had a casual walk around, I couldn't help admiring the dedication of the stall holders who pack their vehicles and drive to the Markets at ungodly hours in the morning (3 am) and set up their stalls, for the hordes of people who come in search of a bargain, only to pack it all up and take it home ready to repeat the exercise the following week end.