172. Heading Downhill – Rockhampton/Yeppoon & Gladstone

We chose a camp at Yeppoon rather than Rockhampton, to be closer to family. First – a burst hot water pipe had to be fixed. After visiting various caravan supply stores and plumbing supplies Dave finally found what he needed; then it was a fairly simple matter to make repairs although it did involve dismantling part of the shower.

We didn’t stay very long, just a couple of visits and some lovely meals with two separate families This roo and baby were at the Yeppoon Adventist Retirement village, which I blogged about at some length last year ….

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… and my other family, when  some of them visited the caravan….

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…… a quick drive along the waterfront where a flotilla of little boats were getting ready for a regatta ….

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…… and a cemetery search to locate a couple of Darchys. For once the search was fast, aided by an excellent locator provided by the Rockhampton Council. My mother and aunt knew Blanche. We also looked for the house where they once lived, but it has been rebuilt. These are the houses on either side .. lovely old Queenslanders.

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Then it was over one of the two bridges and down the coast to Gladstone.

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I wanted to visit Gladstone port, where we had tied up Cornelius all those years ago in early 1977 and where I first realised I was pregnant when the “seasickness’ which had mysteriously appeared on the sail from Sydney to  Lord Howe Island onwards refused to disappear. There is now a large children’s playground/park in the area, complete with a wonderful water feature which almost had me wishing I was five years old again!

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HMAS Gladstone II was also on display, somewhat incongruously hoisted a little way above the water.

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I loved the signal flags, they reminded me that I once sewed a whole set for Cornelius. They were kept in a multiple-pigeonhole cabinet above the gimballed saloon table, and a couple of times we “dressed ship’ for special occasions such as when we towed the engineless Ahodori II down Sydney harbour and out to sea, at the start of the second (or third?) leg of Yoh Aoki’s single-handed voyage around the world.

Feeling famished we stopped at the Black Duck cafe near the waterfront and both had an eyewateringly spicy calamari and prawn salad – wonderful.

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Then back to the caravan. About 50 km south when we stopped for diesel I realised I had left my handbag at the Black Duck. Readers may remember that Dave left his keys behind when we were at Eungella and we had to retrace our steps up and down the range and  then north for 80 km. So when I went up to Dave at the bowser and said “My Turn” he knew immediately what I meant …!!

A phone call ascertained that the bag was indeed there, and off we went. About two thirds of the way to Gladstone we stopped at a roadside caravan park and left Westy there, so the rest of the journey was accomplished quickly. Collected the bag, back to Westy, and another conversation with Johnny Walker while admiring the sunset.

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That caravan park was more semi-permanent caravan-cabins than travelling caravans/motorhomes. Here’s one that looks like getting an upper floor.

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We left next morning heading south for Bundaberg.

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