Day 19 Yarraman Royal Hotel

“A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back”

– The White Stripes


Date 2nd September

Today I walked into the Toowoomba Region – yay!

The road between Yarraman and Nanango was the worst road I’ve come across so far. There was pretty much no shoulder for most of it and there was a massive drop-off not far away from the edge of the road. The road was also really busy with lots of big trucks.

Some guys on the side of the road yelled out, “Hey, don’t worry, It’s all downhill from here!” I thought they were serious, but they weren’t; it was uphill the whole way until a big downward slope right before Yarraman. Walking down that was worse than walking uphill!

At Oakey Creek I was worried about crossing the bridge because it’s very narrow. I knew I’d be in trouble if traffic came from both directions while I was trying to cross, especially if they were caravans and trucks. It was impossible to see if anything was coming and I knew that if something did come while I was on the bridge, there’d be no way they could slow down for me because of the bends and hills closeby. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get out of the way given the way that some of the caravaners drive.

I danced around, hopping from one foot to another, swearing and carrying on because I couldn’t decide what to do. I couldn’t go through the creek, I couldn’t fly above it; there was no other way to get across other than to do it on my own two feet.

“Right. I’m just going to run like I decided earlier. It’ll be fine, everything’s always fine. None of the other bridges have killed me, neither will this one,” I said, although I wasn’t sure.

I’d thought about this scenario a few times before leaving on the hike, but hadn’t yet had to face it. I’d already decided that I would run across any bridges that I felt to be unsafe and if traffic came, the only option I  would have would  be to stand still, turn and press my bum up on the guard rail, hang the pack out over the side, and face the traffic.

“No trucks will come,” I told myself. I was wrong.

I took off at a run and half way across, traffic came belting around the bend behind me and from the opposite direction.  Just before they got to me I did what I’d planned to do and hung my pack out over the edge of the bridge, leant back with my face only inches from trucks and a caravan. I didn’t love it and I said some words staring with the letters f and c when I saw them coming, but everything turned out ok. In the finish I actually felt sorry for the truck drivers who probably got a bit of a fright when they saw me there on the bridge and knew they couldn’t slow down.

At the pub, Leeanne, the manager, was really excited to see me. She introduced me to everyone at the bar and several of them sprung up from their chairs to help me with my pack. One of the fellas wanted to lift my pack and when he did, he said, “you carry this? It’s pretty bloody heavy! This would weigh 25kg!” The publican, Dave, showed me up to my room, which they were giving me for free.

After I put my stuff away, I went over to the IGA and bought, wait for it, milk and Doritos. I got some postcards too and wrote them while I was waiting for my washing to go through the machine. I gave up checking it after 2 hours. It finished its cycle after around 3 hours. WTF?! Who needs to wash clothes for 3 hours!

I went and sat in the bar to talk to people, but this drunk idiot came up and started sprouting all this crap about being god and the messiah and how he had to look after all this stuff being god and all. “It sounds like you’ve got a lot of responsibility,” I said.

“Yeah, it’s hard you know, I just want to relax and have a beer, but how can I do that with all this on my mind? I’m actually from outerspace and have the keys to the mother ship. I’m from the stars above, sent down to earth to give you love.” Then in the same breath, while spitting all over me, “I’ve killed so many cops and bikies. I had to take a break and get away. I just hate them and they’re all idiots. Who do they think they are? I’ve got special names for all of them. I’d love it if they all came in here looking for me. I’d show them.  I’m going to buy a farm and get a wolf. I’ve got one coming. Getting it from Alaska. I’m from Bribie see, looking for a good woman. Like to get a farm and have a place for me and my wolf. I saw Jesus burn on the cross. He wasn’t crucified because I’m actually the messiah, but I’m from the stars above.” On and on and on it went!

He kept coming and going the whole time I was sitting there. I got pretty fed up with him in the end and just went back up to the room until dinner time. Dave told me I could have a free meal, which was really awesome 🙂 I really liked him. He was easy to talk to and was right into guitars and playing music.

Leeanne had put jars out on the bar several weeks prior to my arrival. Patrons had been putting money in them and at the end of the night she’d counted it up and it was over $340! I wasn’t comfortable taking it with me, so I said I’d come back after the hike and collect it, which I did on my way home. By that time the total was in excess of $430.

welcome to Toowoomba.JPG

I was pretty excited to see this sign!

I watched this movie once where this guy went around licking landmarks, so I decided that’s what I’d do. I waited until there were no cars to see me and I licked this sign! Other landmarks I’ve licked include the Sydney Opera House. I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s really dirty upclose. It looks so shiny when you see it on TV and stuff, but it actually needs a good scrub.







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