(written by Nancy)
Surprisingly quiet night at the Sugar Bowl Caravan Park – I suspect because it was pretty cold! We were pretty chilly in our caravan so I imagine the folks in the wet tents were pretty cold as well. We had a TV in our caravan so stayed up until the very late time of 9:30, by which time both of us were just about asleep.
We woke up to sunny blue skies, a very welcome change from yesterday. We were on the road by 8 or so – easier to pack up with everything inside. We rode back through the town to Goodwood Road and headed out into the sugar cane fields. This road was so much better than yesterday’s and with sunny skies it was a really nice day. Lots of fields of all kinds of crops on either side – lots of sugar cane, tomatoes, some kind of fruit or nut trees. No big hills and no real traffic made it a lovely ride.
We saw a road sign indicating emus about and sure enough a bit down the road I spied an emu on the side of the road. He saw us as well, and ran and ran and ran along with us down the side of the road. Hard to take a picture, but Dave got one picture showing him out of many taken! The emu finally jumped through a fence and headed off into a field to get away from us.
We stopped at one point to watch some workers in a field with a massive piece of machinery. They were picking Roma tomatoes and we watched while the Romas were unloaded from the picker into a waiting truck. The picker had seats on it – people sat on the seats and picked the tomatoes from the lower part of the plants and then other folks walked behind them and picked from a bit higher. Looked like pretty hard work!
We got into Bundaberg just after 11:00 and found a grocery store to pick up some things for dinner. As we left the grocery store we heard someone yell and turned around to find a fellow waving us over. Turns out he was a WarmShowers host in a nearby town and invited us to stay with him and his wife. We hadn’t even thought of checking WarmShowers and it would have been nice to stay with him but we had a plan to go to a caravan park located near the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and do the tour and had already bought dinner stuff so we told him we would check out some things first and circle back if we needed a place to stay.
We picked up some shellite (white gas) in town to resupply and headed out to check out the caravan park. It is a nice park with good facilities (even our own bathroom – ensuite for the tent, they call it) so we decided to stay here. We booked our Bundaberg tour through the reception for the 2pm tour so hurriedly set up the tent and took our showers and walked over to the distillery for our tour.
The tour was actually pretty interesting, and we were the only people on the 2pm tour so we could ask all the questions we wanted. The tour takes you through all of the various stages of production – you get to see the molasses in the huge vats they store it in (wouldn’t want to fall in one of those), try a bit of the molasses (once it has been cleaned), see the liquid fermenting after the yeast has been added, view the huge wooden vats (American oak) in which they store the rum for a minimum of 2 years, and watch the final rum being bottled.
Then, at the end, of course you get two drinks with your tour price. The bartender did warn us that two drinks would likely put you over the legal limit, but we figured we’d be okay given that we just had to walk back to the campsite. I tried two different drinks – one a rum and ginger beer mix and the other a liqueur they make with rum, chocolate and coffee. Couldn’t really finish either one, unfortunately – too sweet and rich for me! Dave finished his drinks and was weaving a bit on the way back to camp…
We’ve just had dinner – butter chicken curry with zucchini over brown rice with some nan, all cooked to perfection by Dave – so all in all a pretty good day. Dave has resorted to playing Scrabble against my Kindle given my poor performance so far – I guess I will have to try to give it another shot. Not sure my performance will be any better tonight after that rum though!
We are heading toward Agnes Waters and the town of Seventeen Seventy – not sure if we will make it all the way there tomorrow (around 120k) or stop somewhere in between. If we have nice weather and some tailwinds we just might make it – we’ll just see how we go.