20 August, 2012

Final full day

(Friday 27th July)

Roadwork in the misty morning.
Today we drove from Mackay through Rockhampton and into Bundaberg. The landscapes we’ve seen today have been more like we’re used to seeing in Australia. I’m guessing it is pretty typical “within 200km of the coast” open forest that we’ve been seeing yesterday and today. When I think of Australian terrain, that is what most readily comes to mind. It’s been good, though, these last two weeks, to see a different part of Australia altogether.

We had a whole overhead cupboard
full of books for the boys. They learned
to appreciate that by the end of the trip!
We encountered lots of roadwork throughout the day, which was frustrating.
We even waited quite a long time at one petrol station to fill-up the tank, apparently it was an unusually busy day and they only had one bowser with diesel (that had two hoses, but one car with an extra large caravan completely blocked everyone else from getting to it). Plus it took ages to get out of Mackay, partly because we left at peak hour, and our place of stay for the night was a fair way from the highway, but also because we encountered a police road block (for an unknown reason) that we had to negotiate our way around, without a road map. So once again we landed at our destination just at dusk. Not ideal, but not because we hadn’t tried hard and kept the breaks short.

We stopped for a short lunch at David's mother's new house in Rockhampton. It was too short, but thankfully we've already see her this trip and we'll see her again in Tokyo as she's coming to visit when we return.

Beautiful coastal bushland north of Bundaberg.
But our destination was worth striving to get to. We’re with a family who were OMF missionaries in Japan for a few years in our early years in Japan. They’re back in Australia for now, but we love to get together with them because we have so many shared experiences and memories. Plus our kids are very similar ages, even if they don’t really remember each other well. Oh yes, and they’re teachers. So that is something David has in common with them.

Loved these clouds.
My throat is gradually getting better, but it is sore again tonight because we’ve been talking and talking with our friends. My throat is sore from talking, but my heart is full. We started the day with good friends and finished it with other good friends. How much better can it get than that?

Things I’ve really appreciated about this trip 
-       seeing more of Australia than I’ve ever seen in one go before
-       laying eyes on places that I have known about for most of my life, but never been to
-       completing a challenge that most forthright people have declared as “crazy”
-       free camping
-       seeing lots of horizon, and watching multiple sunrises and sunsets
-       doing something that gave our extended family ways to connect with us, when sometime they have trouble finding any common connections with us
-       boasting material
-       the memories it has generated
-       total mental break from Japan and what we normally do in Japan. Just concentrating on getting from point A to point B before the sun set has kept us from thinking about work and refreshed our minds (hopefully).
-       the interesting things David and I never get to discuss in our every day lives

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