• Josh Garman

Maryborough And A Broken Van

In my last blog I talked about my time in Cairns where I came across some wonderful new friends and found a new home full of bats, sunshine, BBQs and the occasional bit of jelly wrestling! In this blog I have to admit some mistake I've made in my Cairns blogs before moving swiftly on to the next part of my trip.

Maryborough And A Broken Van
Maryborough And A Broken Van

On my way to Cairns I wrote that I headed up the coast with my camper to reach it but in fact that's not true at all. I forgot a big hiccup in my journey. On my way to Cairns not far out of Brisbane my van broke down in a tiny town called Childers in the middle of nowhere. I had only owned the van for a couple of weeks before it blew up and I was stranded on the side of the road. After a few hours waiting to be picked up the nearest town to tow to was Childers.

I moved into a motel that cost a whopping 150 dollars a night and watched my savings starting to dwindle. I waited in hopes of the van getting fixed, then waited for parts. Longer and longer I waited wandering round the historic town, pretending to buy things and reading in the library. Each night I would go out walking stretching further and further loops to see what I could find. In the end I spent a couple of weeks here before I couldn't take it anymore! I packed a bag with my essential belongings and my dive gear, left everything else with the motel owner including all my camera gear and got a bus to Cairns.

Australia has a few different types of buses. Most people opt for the glossy Greyhound bus but me wanting to stay true to my traveling experience opted for Premiere. The bus took 19 hours, a truly horrendous journey of no air conditioning, sleeping across a couple of seats while a seat buckle digs into your side and a 3am stop to eat where everyone is ordered out of the bus for half an hour. This isn't hotels and ubers however so I wasn't complaining loving every minute of it! I felt like this was the real deal. The kind of stuff that would end up in a blog someday.

I arrived groggy in Cairns at my hostel, the next day starting my dive training which you can read about here:

Cairns Dive Trip (expeditionjosh.com)

Now that's sorted out I can talk about after Cairns! I got on a bus back down to Childers, the journey much more pleasant as it was mostly in the day. Once in Childers I picked up my van paying silly money for it to get fixed and began working my way back down to Brisbane. My friend Taleen who I had met in Shanghai was coming to oz for a visit! I had a week to get back before her flight landed so decided to take my time.

As I drove down the coast I found different places to stop. I parked up in Hervey Bay for the first night, walking along the seafront and exploring. By nightfall I found a small side road to park my van, wound down the windows and went to sleep. On the next morning feeling a lot fresher I continued down to a place called Maryborough. I ended up staying here for almost the whole week wanting to explore it fully.

On my day arriving I found a large open car park surrounded by trees and wandered into town without expectations. Walking past the town hall I read a little bit of the town's history and found it had a long history including the birthplace of the author who wrote Mary Poppins! I noticed a statue of Mary Poppins; umbrella in hand down a side street and as I crossed I realised that the walking men had been replaced by her too. Umbrella up or umbrella down, that's how they cross in Maryborough.

I came into the centre of town and by pure fluke had arrived on market weekend. The entire place was alive, stalls down every street. I spent a few hours checking out the various wares, chatting to the owners as I went. In the end I bought two fresh donuts, one dropped in cinnamon and the other in lime and sugar. All of the ingredients were made from local fruits in Bundaberg. The name meant nothing to me then but stuck in my mind as I had passed through on my way down here.

Little did I know I would end up there to do my farm work in an attempt to get my second year visa. But that's for another blog. I loved Maryborough, it became a good home for me. That car park I mentioned earlier, that's where I slept each night in my van using a water fountain to wash and brush my teeth. I photographed the place a lot, visited as many sites as I could including the war memorials and captured stunning sunsets over the town hall. Soon enough the week had already been spent and I wanted at least one more day before Taleen arrived. I had just the place in mind...

In my next blog I head to Kilcoy in search of the Yowie, otherwise known as the ozzie bigfoot!

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