8:00am found me waiting at the door of Nigel’s workshop in downtown Monto. Nigel is the helpful RACQ mechanic who has organised to ship the Nissan part from the Gold Coast.
The freight had not yet arrived so we were unsure if the part had in fact been shipped.
This afforded me an opportunity to talk with Nigel who’s selling up and moving to the Sunshine Coast where he hopes to begin a new business venture importing a snazzy new type of motor bike from Canada.
He, along with everyone else in Monto, is convinced the town is on the verge of a boom with 2 new mines about to open.
Unfortunately the gut feeling we got is quite different.
I hope we’re wrong and the little town really does get it’s hoped for revival.
The package did indeed arrive as hoped for and Nigel promptly removed the old part. On comparing it to the new one it was obvious that it had been almost completely destroyed.
It took only 10 minutes to complete the job and we were mobile again.
Kerrie had already packed and stowed the van in anticipation of the part arriving and within about 30 minutes we’d hitched up, refuelled and were on the road again.
Kilometre after kilometre was clocked up with no sign of the warning light problem reoccurring and after about 180 kilometres we both started to relax and enjoy the passing country.
We made the Capricorn highway for the second time except this time we turned left, toward Emerald instead of right towards Rockhampton.
On and on we drove with the Nissan humming with effortless power just as we’ve grown used to.
We eventually came upon the sign pointing to Edungalba.
I just HAD to go down that road, even though it was a corrugated dirt road.
You see, Edungalba was one of the constructions camps I managed over 25 years ago when working in this area.
We were involved in the electrification of the coal train line from the rich mines around Blackwater to the port of Gladstone.
There was a tunnel at Edungalba that was unable to accommodate the large electric pylons necessary for the electrification of the track.
Our job was to completely remove the entire hill and the tunnel.
It was a highly successful job and a great camp to manage.
There was absolutely nothing at Edungalba then, save an old derelict town hall. There’s even less there now.
We spotted the place where I think the camp was located and the hill that was removed.
All around were huge, beautiful Brahman bulls and it was quite an experience with both the Nissan and the Aussie Wide coping with the rough road perfectly.
Unfortunately we could find no trace of the old town hall.
Getting back onto the Capricorn Highway again we headed for Duaringa where we knew of a 48 hour free camping area.
As we pulled into Duaringa we found 25 caravans and motor homes parked up there.
It is a great spot with showers, toilets and water all surrounding a beautiful tropical style water garden.
We’ve decided to stay 2 days here as we have internet, phone and even all TV channels.
We’ll get some work done before moving on to check out Blackwater, where I also worked managing construction camps for the building of the Curraugh mine.
It was delightful sitting watching the sunset in this really nice spot and watching the array of vans. There are 2 more Aussie Wides here as well.
Most comforting of all is knowing that we’ve driven nearly 300km today with no sign of any problems with the car.
There are really nice, friendly people everywhere. One bloke who we were talking to has been to every corner of Australia and his comment was, “What a wonderful way to live, I wouldn’t swap this lifestyle with anyone.”
We’re definitely leaning that way ourselves.