Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 51

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Saturday & Sunday November 1 & 2, 2008 (diary, travel)

Caión in Galicia

It is a long day today. I manage to leave Darwin at 5.30 AM and arrive 13 hours later safe and sound in Camoweal, a 1,400 km trip.
Nothing eventful happens during the day, except that the plastic tape with which I secured the plastic cover over my rear window, started to give away in the 40° C plus heat. So from time to time I simply add more tape, being well prepared with 75 meters of it with me. Fuel prices are as always my main concern and interest during the trip.

Here is an outline of the diesel fuel price variations over the first two days.

Darwin $1.63 Fill up tank plus 20 l jerrycan, and 4c discount ($1.59) per litre from Woolworth
Katherine $1.70 Top up. They are usually cheaper than Darwin !
Dunmarra $1.96  
Elliot $1.90 Top up
ThreeWays $1.94
Barkley Homestead $2.09 no way !!
Camoweal $1.90 Emptied jerrican into tank
Mount Isa $1.60 Fill up tank plus jerrycan, Woolworth closed due to power failure
Cloncurry $1.57 Surprised, they usually are more expensive than Mt.Isa
Kynuna $1.53 Top up. Lots of trucks doing the same here.
Longreach $1.50 Fill up tank. Usually not cheaper than Mt Isa

When I finally arrive (about 7pm Queensland time) at my planned destination, Camoweal, the Post Office Hotel is jumping at the seems. Saturday night they have a regular social here which is even more special today as some people are having a farewell party. I manage a couple of beers (scooner : $4.70) and for dinner their terrific Beef sausages, but after that I am done in and asleep in my comfortable bed in no time.
Around midnight a girl is banging on my door, but when I open it she says : "Oh, so sorry ! I made a mistake." Obviously expecting someone else in my room.

Kynuna Roadhouse, outback Queensland Sunday morning I am up early, refreshed and roaring to go again. I pick up an order online before I leave at about 6.30 AM. I never stop marvelling at modern technology, no matter how long this has been going on already. It is a beautiful day and I make good progress, very relaxed now after I did the long stretch yesterday.
I fill up my tank and jerrycan in Mount Isa and then onto Kynuna for my regular poached eggs on toast with a mug of white coffee. All up $9.50. The diesel is cheap too here, I see many trucks filling up here so I do the same. As it happens, Longreach is cheaper still, most unusual, but one does not know that beforehand of course.
Just before 5 PM I arrive in Barcaldine and book in at the Landsborough Lodge Motel. I have stayed here many times over the years. It is hugely comfortable and well priced and I am always made to feel at home here.

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Monday November 3 , 2008 (diary, travel)

Landsborough Lodge Motel, Barcaldine, Qld. Last night the Motel's dining room was closed (room service only) so I check out a few place for dinner. There is a steakhouse across the road and 5 pubs on the main street. After rejecting two as they have only solid meat like rump, rib, T-bone, chops, I find the Artesian Hotel which has both rissoles and sausages on the menu.
As I probably have related previously in this blog, I prefer meat to be minced, sausages, rissoles, savoury mince, 'spaghetti bol', anything like that. I decide to try the sausages again and boy I am not disappointed. They are as good as the ones in Camoweal, real beef sausages, not that soft fine textured pink stuff you get everywhere along the coasts.

There is a drunken Kiwi (NZ) sheep shearer in the bar, walking up for a chat with me. Been here all day (according to the barmaid) and is still standing. He loved and greatly admired his Irish grandmother who migrated to NZ, but his mother was an absolute waste of time he tells me. After this information he gradually staggers away again.
There is also a somewhat elderly lady (60-70 you can never tell with these wrinkly faced country people) floating around, wearing a bright red straw cowboy hat with silvery specks glued all over it. She loves dancing, "It is good for the Soul" she says, and I have no argument with that. After rubbing herself against every male sitting at the bar she asks me if she can have a sip of my beer to tie her over until her own drink (she just ordered) arrives. "Certainly not!" I reply, and that gets her of my back. Apart from anything else she stinks of tobacco.
Then my sausages arrive and I am lost to the outside world.

At 7 AM in the morning I start my car, drive around to the Motel office and let the engine idle while I pay my bill. When I return the engine has stalled and no way can I get it started again. I call the RACQ (Queensland Road service) which eventually arrives, tows me to the garage and by pumping compressed air into my fuel tank gets the car started again, well done. There are two fuel pumps in my car and one of them is obviously broken.
I don't want to stall again in some place with no help at all, so, finally leaving Barcaldine at 9 AM, I drive only non stop, except for a brief refuel at Roma, all the way the final 1,200 km stretch to my daughter's place at the Sunshine Coast where I arrive intact but of course very weary. After a few beers I am in bed and in no time sound asleep.

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Tuesday & Wednesday November 4 & 5 , 2008 (diary)

ThreePonds, Nov.'08 A period of rest and recuperation after the previous three days driving is in order. All Tuesday I sit with Doug on ThreePonds' new hexagonal deck which has been completed since I was here last, and we exchange experiences of the last 6 months. Doug has been back to India again on a marketing trip and I too have of course much to tell about my trip to Europe. I phone the garage and organise to get the car looked at on Friday.

Wednesday it rains most of the day and I can't send or receive calls on my mobile phone at ThreePonds. I borrow Doug's car to do some errants, shopping and have lunch at the Mooloolaba Surf Club. Many new staff there, but there are still a few left I remember from earlier this year. In the evening we watch Obama's historic victory. Will he be able to change the USA around on a new course ? Everybody seems to hope so, we will see.

Kiku, one of the two dogs on ThreePonds, has got a caught poisonous tick on her body and Doug takes her to the vet where she is kept and put on oxygen for the night. Hopefully she will be OK again tomorrow.

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