Miz Lizzie Adventures: nice as pie

We’re off!

After a remarkably stress-free launch at 9.30am, we cruised peacefully up the Bruce Highway to our first planned stop: lunch at Bowen.

The reason for the choice of destination isn’t hard to find: firstly, it was on our way, and secondly, Jochheim’s Pies. The place is legendary, and judging by the queue out the door when we arrived bang on midday, its reputation is well deserved. They make and bake all their pies on the spot, and there are 18 flavours to choose from every day.

In addition to this array of hot and tasty glory, there’s another display case full of cream cakes, pastries, buns and biscuits, again, all made on the premises fresh every day. The clientele were dressed in everything from business suits to high vis workwear to shorts and flipflops and were every age from 9 to 90.

This was my lunch. You’re lucky to see even this much; it lasted about a minute, and the Husband’s was gone before I could get a photo. He also had a ‘peach cake’, a small round vanilla cake rolled in a peach flavoured jelly and coated with desiccated coconut, split and filled with cream. I can’t do cream, so I contented myself with a fruit bun, and very nice it was too.

Then back onto the highway, and on to Townsville. We’re staying tonight in our regular caravan park, and shortly I will be disappearing off to the camp kitchen to make chicken noodle stir fry for supper.

But I really rather wish I had another of those pies….

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Miz Lizzie Adventures: Here at last…

It has been a long few days…

Mackay to Cania Gorge, Cania Gorge to Toowoomba, Toowoomba to Mt Warning, Mt Warning to Nambucca Heads. About 1500kms in 4 days. We also seem to have had an unerring instinct for choosing spots with little or zero phone and internet signal. Lovely and peaceful, but not conducive to posting!  We finally arrived last night trailing a tyre on Miz Lizzie which has a big gouge out of it, one of the steel bands in the tyre has been cut by something (probably one of the many savage potholes on Mt Warning), and the tyre is bulging dangerously. One of today’s first jobs is to replace that with the spare and buy a couple of new ones.

We’ve had lovely sunny weather the last 4 days. Of course, last night it started to rain… Not torrential, just steady. This morning is damp but the rain is clearing. I hope for some photos! Here are some from last night, to give you an idea of just how crowded and built up our holiday beach is… The sand is almost white and very fine silica sand, it squeaks underfoot, not like the coral sand up north. The images are small so I could get them all in side by side, but the files are larger so you can click on them if you want a closer look.

 

 

 

We met up for breakfast yesterday with Nanette, a fellow blogger whose town and home have been devastated by the floods that followed Cyclone Debbie. It was great to catch up with her, and we’re lost in admiration at the resilience and spirit of everyone affected so greatly by the flooding.

With luck, I’ll have slightly more interesting things to show you over the next few days, now that we’ve stopped hurtling down highways for a while.

Miz Lizzie Adventures: Townsville to the Tablelands

We didn’t rush things this morning. To put it mildly; in fact, we slid sheepishly out of the campgrounds a mere 30 minutes before we would have been ejected!

Still, we were in good trim, and ready for the next leg of the trip. Despite the regulation enormous holiday breakfast, we were getting peckish by the time we approached Cardwell, a beautiful little town on the Hinchinbrook Channel, directly opposite the looming bulk of Hinchinbrook Island, the largest island on the Great Barrier Reef.  You can see the island to your right for ages as you head north before you arrive in Cardwell and it becomes obvious that it’s an island – it looks just like distant hills. Cardwell was flattened by Tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2011, the wind and waves drove the entire sandy beach up and over the town, huge old trees were uprooted, houses lost or de-roofed. Today, there’s no sign of that. It’s lavishly beautiful and neatly groomed, a wonderful place to stop for a breather, a meal, a walk along the promenade, or a nap in the shade of the surviving trees.

hinchinbrook-from-cardwell

tablelands-waterfallAfter Cardwell we pressed on, and in the early afternoon were making the long, and at times slow, ascent to the Tablelands over 900m/2,950 ft above sea level. There’s a pernicious myth that cars towing caravans/ camping trailers are slow and get in the way. We had no trouble keeping up with the flow of traffic even on the climb, but found ourselves held up by other road users a fair bit!  Large trucks and timid drivers who can’t steer confidently around corners were particularly annoying… At one point we pulled over when the truck in front slowed to a 20kmph/12mph creep. Happily, there was a small but beautiful waterfall for me to admire while we waited for the truck to clear the range.

The campsite is as good as we remembered, and even better than our last visit there as it’s virtually empty!  It’s school term-time so there are no families with noisy and active children to distract us from the peace. Second time round, setting Miz Lizzie up for our stay was a lot smoother and easier. I’ll need to find a new home for a few items which persist in flinging themselves out of cupboards and off shelves as we travel, but for the most part, our belongings were well behaved. One useful lesson; don’t take too many fresh vegetables. While you’re towing the van and the aircon is off, anything that’s not in the rather small fridge gets warm and starts to deteriorate a bit. It’s not a disaster, but good to know. We had produce in a styrene cool box, but it wasn’t enough… Another time, I’ll buy more while I’m away.

beer-time-at-lastFinally, it was beer/ cider o’clock and we could kick back, enjoy the view, the quiet and the sound of the birds in the treetops.

I’ll leave you with a selection of the foliage to be found in this beautiful spot. The campsite/holiday park has been carved out of rainforest and includes a seasonal watercourse and a small disused quarry. The grassy sites are level and closely mowed, the facilities are lovely, but for me, the charm of the place lies in the rainforest that surrounds us, with towering trunks, lush undergrowth and vines reaching for the sky.

campground-rainforestI have a large list of fun things to do around here. We shall wait and see what tomorrow brings and how many of them I get done. Or maybe we’ll just relax, take it easy and revisit some old favourites.

What the heck… I’m on holiday 🙂