(written by Nancy)
Last night in the camp kitchen there were probably over 30 older folks all sitting around the TV watching the Royal Wedding. There were red white and blue streamers, Australian flags, and scones and cream aplenty! Most of the old gals sang all the songs (hymns, I guess really) along with the church choir on TV, while the men sat in the background chatting away until they were told to be quiet by their wives. It was quite fun to watch and actually it worked out quite well for us as several of the old guys came over to give us info and opinions about the roads ahead and where we should go. We even got to borrow a couple of camping books to see where caravan parks were.
We had a bit of a sleep in this morning as we knew we did not have far to go. The sun was up and hitting the tent by about 7:30 so we got up, hung the tarp up to dry and headed over to the Saturday markets across the main road in Esk to see what was available. Not much food at the markets, so we headed over to the Enigma Café and had muffins and coffee before heading back to camp to pack everything up.
From Esk we had to go about 4k on the Brisbane Valley Hwy before making the turn off to the Esk-Kilcoy Road that goes around the top part of Lake Wivenhoe and around Lake Somerset, which is formed by Somerset Dam.
It was a very pretty ride today – we had sunshine really until we got to Kilcoy and the area we rode through was very lush and green. Lake Wivenhoe was the watershed that was overfilling as a result of all the rains in January and required the release of all the water over its dam that had such a devastating effect on Brisbane.
The road skirts all the inlets of the two lakes and as a consequence there are lots of ups and downs and ins and outs. It was all very pretty though and traffic was very light.
We stopped for a quick snack at Lake Somerset Park and Dave got some nice pictures of the many cockatoos, galahs and lorikeets that filled the trees around where we were sitting.
We continued on and finally made it to Kilcoy about 1:30 or so – unfortunately we missed their community markets by about an hour or so. But we did manage to snag a good coffee from one of the guys in a coffee van who hadn’t yet shut up shop at the market area.
We stopped in at the information center to try to get some information about camping. They told us there were a couple of places, the showgrounds we had already passed and another place just down the road at a park (it is a small town). We found the park – it’s not great but there are bathrooms, including showers. Feel a bit like what I expect an animal in a zoo must feel – all the folks in the cars driving by look at us… Oh well, at least there is another caravan parked here too so we are not alone. Hopefully this will be a quiet little town tonight and we will sleep undisturbed.
Tomorrow we head over some more hills to where the Australian Zoo (of Steve Irwin fame) is located. It is a three day weekend here in Queensland so we are going to try to get an early start to take advantage of what will hopefully be quiet early Sunday traffic. Not sure how far we will get or what camping options there are – we’ll play it by ear.