The first day of our road trip I was exhausted. I had been up for over 24 hours working on my Public Relations Campaign paper and I still wasn’t finished at 7am that morning. We were planning on leaving by 9 am, so I gave up on my paper (deciding I would have to finish it on the road because my housemate Karolina offered to submit it for me while I was away) and walked home. I woke up Marieke who had also been working hard on her Bachelor thesis Wednesday night and only got 5 hours of sleep that night and we got ready to leave.
We left later expected because I still had to pack all my clothes for the trip and because we also needed to buy a cooler, some food and pick up Marieke’s laptop which she sent to the manufacturer to get fixed. I didn’t realize how expensive coolers are! We thought we could get a nice, big one for $20 bucks, but for the size we needed it was $45! So we ended up buying a big Styrofoam cooler which an Ozzie guy with a big beer gut and wearing a stained singlet recommended. I didn’t really want to buy it because Styrofoam is terrible for the environment, but it really was the only option we had if we wanted to buy a cooler.
Then to get Marieke’s laptop, we had to drive out past the airport to the industrial part of town—practically the middle of nowhere. The DHL shipping building was on the cross section of Dundee and Crocodile street and this really made me want to watch the movie “Crocodile Dundee.”
Then finally armed with her laptop at 11am we were able to hit the road, blasting some jams that I had made on break from writing my papers. Marieke was driving and surprisingly I was all jazzed up from being up for so long. I knew I would crash soon though, so I forced myself to sleep. Of course, once I was asleep, I was OUT. I felt bad though because Marieke ended up driving around 7 hours the first day because I was so tired. I ended up driving three hours in between, so Marieke drove 4 hours, I drove 3 hours and then she drove the remaining 3.
We spent the night in the Heritage Hotel in Rockhampton which was the halfway point from Townsville to Brisbane. It was a combination of a hotel and bar, so as it was a Thursday night, there were a lot of people drinking and having a good time. We were afraid it was going to be really loud, but it was so quiet upstairs.
Actually, Marieke and I lucked out because for a two person double room it only cost $38 dollars total, or $19 per person. It was a small room, but so nice! We had a TV, fridge, coffee mugs and water glasses, coffee, tea and sugar packets, an already filled water jug that was in the fridge, and a hot water heater. It felt like a luxury after the first hostel we stayed in Australia (Magnums in Airlie Beach) which cost $28 per person for the night in a 10 person dorm with only 1 shower and toilet and in which we had to pay $2 more for a pillow and sheet. We took quick showers in the shared female bathroom on our floor, watched a bit of a TV show then fell asleep.