Big 4 Barney Beach/ Swain's Fish & Chips

Looking towards a trip south at the start of 2010, a change in transport indicated a possible change in itinerary. 

Recent trips to the Unit in Southport had involved flying to Brisbane or Coolangatta, with subsequent restrictions on mobility in the south-east corner. This time, with a general plan to be away for the wettest month of the year, it seemed like a good idea to drive… That decision, in turn, produced a minor quandary. 

Our earliest trips south had involved an overnight stop at Bororen, roughly half way between Mackay and Brisbane. Handy, shorter drive next day, motel located comfortably away from the highway and the presence of Basil and Sibyl (their labels, not ours) were all factors that encouraged a return visit on our next southern excursion.

Each visit involved a night's accommodation, two dinners @ restaurant prices, the requisite bottle of wine @ restaurant mark-up and, consequently, not much change out of $200.

Basil and Sibyl are now long gone, but old habits die hard, and until the Ex-Neighbours moved to Bundaberg that remained the preferred option.

Advice from the Ex-Neighbours revealed the existence of a reasonable short cut if you turned off the highway at Miriam Vale. A back road, a significantly longer drive, but the prospect of good company featuring WoWo Boy, Little Tacker and Beau and Bessie at the end of it.

But with the Ex-Neighbours deciding on a lengthy stay in Japan, once we'd decided on the road trip the next issue involved where we’d be breaking the journey.

Madam, having departed the work force, had become rather money-conscious, so the old arrangement was deemed 'too expensive', and, in any case, wishing to avoid leaving wine inside a closed house through a North Queensland summer, even if only for a month, we were carrying liquid supplies with us, which indicated a takeaway dinner accompanied by a bottle from our cellar.

So what were the alternatives?

Rockhampton? 

Short drive day one. Longer drive day two. Better as a stopover on the return journey.

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 © Ian Hughes 2014