July 24th: Granite Creek Rest Area to Gin Gin – 63.3 km

Day 284

We should have known the smell, but we were too tired when we set up to pay heed. We awoke to a tent covered in bat droppings. Those “amazing animals” came to chew on the leaves on the trees in great numbers as they shrieked and flapped all night long. Cher and I both agreed that the woman who called these same “maligned” animals “amazing” would change here tune were she forced to live under then for a week. I spent an hour washing the tent before packing it up. This hasn’t helped the smell of our tent which has been wet for far too many days.

It’s been a bit of a battle, with warm days and cool nights. As soon as the sun goes down anything that cools quickly condenses water from the air. Our thin tent has been wet inside in out pretty much every day for the last 3 weeks. We can’t always wait for it to dry and have to pack it away wet and dry it during lunch. Despite only a few hours in the bag we are beginning to see some mildew. We love our gear and do our best to take care of it and so it saddens us to see it abused. We do take solace in the fact that within one year our tent has seen the equivalent of 3 years of regular wear and has more than paid for itself multiple times over.

At the moment our tent is the least of our worries. It seems that the closer we get to Brisbane the more aggressive the drivers are becoming. Today a caravan on an empty road came within a foot of us before returning to the center of the lane as it passed. Passing a free caravan park I though I recognized the caravan and stopped to ask them if they passed us so close intentionally. He replied, yes, you don’t belong on the roads, and you’re endangering me. I was outraged. How was I endangering you while you’re intimidating me in a two ton vehicle on an empty road? He stuck to his claim that he was within his rights because he was on this side of the white line. I lost my temper which he attributed to the fact that I was an American. But what he didn’t realize is that as a long time resident of NYC it took all my self-control not to punch him in the face. We took a photo of him and his van but realize that we have little proof that he was intimidating us. Angry drivers, even one or two a day is a major blow to our morale. With the traffic increasing and the roads narrowing we are reassured we made the right call to fly out of Brisbane.


Killer on the road