July 30th: Gympie to Matilda Rest Area – 28 km

Day 290

Taking advantage of our proximity to town we ran errands. We closed our Australian bank account we opened when we were having difficulty transferring funds from our HK to our US account, which issue was resolved. We also stopped to buy some groceries and later climbed out of town fully loaded up 15% grades. Cher’s already sore knee was in agony and we hadn’t gone more than 5 km.


Once again we retreated from the main road along a winding back road, called Old Noosa. There was no center line and after 10 km we passed a man cutting trees and he warned us that “rat bags” have a tendency to cut the corners into oncoming traffic. We thanked him and cautiously continued on. Our route took us continuously up and down hills and around bends and we were surprised to see that the speed limit was listed as 100 kph. Ten minutes later a man in his 70’s stopped waved us down.

With his wife standing by looking nervous, he began to tell us that she had passed us and had to yank the steering wheel when she came over the top of the hill. He recommended bigger brighter flags, and they should stand higher, and we needed flashing lights, and we really shouldn’t be on this road. His wife was only going 80 kph and the speed limit is 100. Although he meant well, we didn’t have time for a long lecture. So resisted to urge to tell him that speed limits aren’t a target, and that this narrow road, which sometimes wasn’t paved at all didn’t warrant even 50 kph never mind 100. I also didn’t point out that the both of them were well over 70 years old, and that so far it was this age group who always failed to see us. Instead I politely asked if he had a pickup truck, and if so would like to give us a lift. He said he didn’t so I told him that we had to get on our way. It was already after 3pm and we didn’t want to drive in the dark.

We stopped early at a free rest area just outside of Matilda behind a Greyhound gas station and were pleased to find a large pond filled with all types of water fowl. Camp was set underneath 3 low large palms and we found hot showers at the gas station. With the sounds of birds settling in for the night we both agreed that continuing on the highway past Brisbane would not be wise, but agreed that since we were only 100 km away we would finish our cycling to Glass House Mountains where we would climb for the first time in 5 months.