This morning I was awoken by Daniel at around 08:00 knocking on the side of my van as he was heading home and wanted to give me his mobile number and said that if I make it down to Melbourne then I should call him and come and stay for a couple of nights. I said that I should be down there around the 20th September and that I would give him a call when I get a bit nearer to see what he is up to.
As I was now awake, I decided to go and get a shower and head off early to the next town.
Oh NO!!! I came back from the shower to find that I had locked my keys in the van, luckily I had taken some clothes with me to the shower. I know what had happened; I normally reach to the driver's door to open all the van doors before getting out, but because Daniel had knocked on the side door, I had opened it to talk to him and then got out and shut it behind me on the way to the shower, leaving all the doors locked behind me. I knew exactly where my keys were, they were on my bed attached to my wallet under the sleeping bag. Luckily I had left the top windows open and could reach in through the torn fly netting if I had the right implement.
I had a look around the site to see if there was anything that I could use to pick up the keys but there wasn’t so I went over to reception to ask if they had anything that I could use. They said that I should wait for janitor as he might have something that I could use but he wouldn’t be at work until 10:00 (about 1 hours time). He turned up a little early and leant me a tent pole with a hook on the end and a pair of step ladders so that I could reach in, he must have done this before as he had this set up already. I managed to pick the keys up off the bed with the first attempt and I was back in the van. Thank you Magnums Janitor!
Leander and Debbie (Swiss couple) were still asleep in their van next to me so I never got a chance to say goodbye and I didn’t leave my details as they were pretty loved up and I didn’t think they would want to meet up again.
It was a long drive today (approx. 500km) as there were not many towns between here and Rockhampton where I wanted to go next. I was really looking forward to a nice big steak as Rockhampton was the 'beef capital’ of Australia with over 2.5 million cattle within a 250km radius of the town, and I was sure to get the biggest and best steaks here.
Out came the Lonely Planet to see where I could stop to park up for the night, and I spotted that there were five Byfield National Park campsites around town and although 2 needed 4WD to access them, and 2 others needed pre-booking there was 1 which you could just turn up and self register upon arrival. This one was called Red Rock and was my destination for the night.
The Red Rock National Park campsite was hidden in the woods and involved another off-road drive down a dirt track for about 5 miles. Just by the entrance to the site was a small shelter with a registration form and an envelope to leave the $5 fee and post in a small letter box there.
The campsite was pretty deserted and there was only 1 caravan there and 1 other guy in a tent that looked like he had been there for months. I parked up opposite him and asked if he know where the nearest town was as I needed to get some food for dinner. He said that there was one in Byfield about 10km down the road but as it was already after 5pm on Sunday afternoon he said that it would probably be closed now. Oh well better make whatever I can from what’s left in the van.
I had the emergency packet of noodles that I had in the van and a cheese omelette and settled down for the night.