Walking Man – week 6 and 7 in Australia

Posted on July 11, 2008 by

Submitted by www.tonymangan.com

Yaamba to Gladstone via Rockhampton, 6-23-2008 to 6-29, 122 miles,
18,060 Total World Walk Miles.

Solstice has passed and days are supposed to get longer, but
because I am headed south 20 miles {32 kilometers} per day, days are still
11.5 hours {6.20am till 5.40pm} of light. The sun also moves south about
20 miles a day. That’s good for me though, as I only walk 6 or 7 hours
and take lots of breaks. Plus I need a good 8 hours sleep and it takes
me 2 hours to cook, eat, and set or break camp. Days are still hot and
sunny enough for bed sheet robe, but mornings are getting colder. I have
started getting firewood in the evening and preparing a campfire to
light in the morning about 3 feet in front of my tent. Up at 4am, I
usually cook my oats, 2 eggs, and half teaspoon of instant coffee in a
single steel sugar pot. I bring my black plastic foot locker inside my tent
as a table, and place all my bottles of water, sugar, denatured alcohol
fuel, tuna can stove and other stuff on top. My dome tent {North Face
Rock 22} is 7′ by 4′, so the foot locker takes up half and my foam
pad and sleeping bag take up the other half. I made a tuna can stove
{google tuna can stove to see plans} by drilling two rows of holes
beneath the rim, and placing a piece of s shaped wire on top to support my
pot. You fill it with one ounce of denatured alcohol which gives you a
burn time of 6 minutes, just right for oats. Then I swivel around, open
tent door and light campfire outside my tent. I have been using my
Kelly Kettle {www.kellykettle.com} that I was given by Patrick Kelly in Ballina Ireland last year to boil hot water over the fire for a cup of coffee while I give my
oats 3 or 4 minutes to set. Nice to sit by the fire and watch the morning
sky slowly light up in a variety of beautiful colors as the stars wink
out and the birds and insects start waking up.
I stopped in Rockhampton at the Post Office to pick up my
replacement Pocketmail Computer. Not here yet, but they called Mackay where I
had left a forward order to find out it had been sent. So I stayed an
extra day and wandered around. Showed up the next day and I called the
company in Sydney to get it activated. Nice to be able to check my email
almost everyday now from a payphone. So try and use walking_man_50{at
sign}pocketmail{dot}com , instead of clicking on reply to email me.
Walked over to the Rockhampton Zoo and Botanical Gardens to see a
lot of neat Aussie animals. Koalas, dingos, kangaroos, crocs, snakes,
lizards, birds, insects, spiders, and butterflies. Also walked around the
gardens a little to see some interesting local and foreign plants.
Talked to some local homeless people in a park by the public toilets.
They invited me to join them for dinner over at the Coast Guard station
on the river. Every night at 6pm a local charity drives a food van
over and unloads tables, folding stools, and thermos coolers of food for
dinner. I had chili over rice, bread, milk, and rice pudding for desert.
Nice dinner, and they also had Swags {canvas cover, foam pad, sheet,
and blanket} for anyone that needed a warm place to sleep in the bush. I
walked down along the river to camp in the trees just outside of town.
About midnight I was woken by two drunken homeless people having a
screaming fight about something. I was hidden pretty good in the woods
so I just went back to sleep. In the morning I noticed just across
the way some big concrete pipes and a fire pit where some of the homeless
had a camp.
Hailed in the morning as I was going past ABC Radio building
{abc.net.au/capricornia}. The morning show guy invited me in for coffee and
a interview. Lots of beeps, waves, and people stopping to chat for the
next couple days that heard me on the radio.
Stopped at the supermarket as I was leaving town to stock up on
food. Talked to one man smoking a cigarette that said he just got his
weekly check {maybe pension, welfare, unemployment, or disability} and
spent it all in one day on cigs, beer, and taxi rides to the store.    I
think he must have bought some stupid pills also. He said he was not
sure how he was going to eat now. I told him about free dinner at the
Coast Guard Station and I think St Vincent de Paul also had free meals.
Saw very beautiful Rainbow Lorikeets and Sulphur Crested Cocketils
at the Yaamba rest area. Local lady comes every morning to clean
bathrooms and brings old bread for a bird feeding station. The lorikeets were
mostly green with blue, yellow, orange and red on their head and neck.
One lady stopped to chat and gave me 6 lemons. So I cut one up and
put in my sun tea, very good. As I sat at a pullout cutting my lemons,
I thought somebody was going to pull over and ask me if I was selling
lemonade. I have been thinking of ways to make money on the road
walking as I think I will retire next year from working 6 months a year in
resorts and National parks. I could put up a sign “Financial Advice $5”
like “Calvin and Hobbes” { my favorite comic strip} and tell people not
to give money to strangers for advice. I have a Harmonica and an info
book on how to play, and another man gave me another Harmonica when I
said I was trying to learn. Still can only toot on it and not play any
tunes, will keep trying though, even if it takes me the rest of my life.
You can accomplish anything if you try hard enough and long enough. I
did have the lyrics to a bunch of road songs, but when my computer died I
lost them. So email me some. I was thinking I could sing in front of grocery stores and village squares for change. Without music, I think they call it diddly wap or barbershop style, or something like that. I could print up a sign with “throw change at me if you think I am a
terrible singer and want me to stop so I can buy food and continue
walking around the world”. Also was thinking of printing up the last 6 weeks
of this walk and staple them together as a small book and try selling
them for a $2 to $5 suggested donation to people that stop to talk to
me. Maybe draw some simple comic strip illustrations of my journey on
the front and back cover. I ran into a guy on his bike in Florida that
did that and also just saw Dan Prices website
{www.moonlightchronicles.com} and a You Tube video of him at {www.terratrike.com/pots.php}. He also
writes articles about his travels and self published them as a small
book and got Simple Shoes to use his writings in their catalog. Still
thinking of other ideas, like getting my book published, “How to Retire Early, Live on $5 a Day, and Walk Around The World”.
Hopefully I will get motivated this winter while working in Key Largo
and get a book together to place on a POD {print on demand} website at
www.booklocker.com .
Headed south for Bundaberg on route A1, the Bruce Highway. Email
me with questions and comments at walking_man_50{atsign}pocketmail
{dot}com , or click on reply and my brother will forward emails when he has
Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing. Singing Zippity Do Dah all Day Long.

Gary “Walkingman” Hause.

PS. I lost lyrics to my road songs, when my computer died, so if
anybody wants to look up a song and email one to me I will practice my
singing. I like “Walkingman” by James Taylor, “On The Road Again” by Willie
Nelson, “Here Comes The Sun”, “Walk 500 Miles” by The Proclaimers”
“Pissin in The Wind”, “Take This Paycheck and Shove It” for when I retire
next year , “Ramblin Man”, and any other good road songs you can think of.
Thanks. I also found some better sheep camp photos on these websites
of people that still build them for sale.

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Gladstone to Bundaberg, 6-30-2008 to 7-6, 120 miles, 18,180 Total World Walk Miles.

Nicest old man stopped to chat just south of Gladstone. Jim Cole wanted to give me a cup of hot chips (fries) he had just bought at a servo (service station) down the road. Talked a bit about the local area and wanted to give me a lift to his house for a home cooked meal and a shower. His car was a little small though and he told me he might go home, hook up his trailer and come back to pick me up. He told me of a good place to camp where the school buses turn around just down the road at his turnoff.
Early next morning just after the sun rose he pulled over again and laid out a tea towel on the trunk of his car. Thermos of hot water , instant  coffee, sugar, milk, Ned Kelly pie (egg, bacon, cheese, and pie crust) and a nice box of Earl Grey tea, packets of cappuccino, granola bars, crisps (chips) and a few other things for me. He also gave me a nice photo of his view from his home on the ridge looking out at the ocean and a photo of him and a friend. Wanted to give me his thermos too,  but I told him I did not really need it. Hope I am as nice as him to travelers when I settle down on a piece of land and grow some vegetable’s and fruit trees. I will put up a sign saying “free camping for walkers, bicyclists, and tent campers. I will provide free showers, water, and fresh veg and fruit to all travelers.
Lots of strange mailboxes in the rural areas. Microwave ovens, toaster ovens, hollow logs, tuba, old refrigerators with no door, 50 gallon drums, old toilet, simple plastic grocery bag, and always a metal pole with reflective address numbers. Not like the USA where they have to be stamped “approved by the postmaster general”.
Almost every house has a rainwater collector tank (1000 to 2000 gallons I think) hooked up to their roof and gutter system. They use rainwater for drinking and sometimes have a separate bore (well) water system also for washing, toilet, garden, etc.
They are starting to harvest sugar cane now. Big harvesting machine that looks a little like corn harvesters that cut the cane into about foot long pieces to be taken to the mill either in narrow gauge trains or big trucks. They have a local Bundaberg Rum Distillery that turns the sugar cane into famous Bundaberg Rum with a big white polar bear on the label.
One trucker went by hauling cane waving wildly at me with his arms at me to get off the road I think. I was on the outside of the white line walking on the 2 foot wide shoulder, so I am not sure what his problem was. Some truckers feel they own the road and that walkers and bikers should not be allowed. Of course jumping up and down and wildly waving his arms just might be the way he waves to everybody, maybe to much coffee.
I made up a cardboard sign with “WATER PLEASE” to hang on my back for some of the long stretches of rural road I have been walking. Have not needed to use it yet, have capacity to carry 14 liters (3 and a half gallons) right now. Might just try it to see how it works. Next I think I will make a sign saying “PIZZA PLEASE”. ” Ask and you shall receive” I think it is in the Bible. Maybe some big motor home will be going by and just pulling a hot pizza out of the oven as they go by me.
Man walking his dog stopped to chat with me and ended up walking for about an hour with me, in flip flops no less. They have that toe piece and make that annoying flip flop noise, very uncomfy if you ask me. I like my Teva Road Wraptor Sandals with Velcro and the strap running through the sole for a tight fit. Mark Thatcher the founder of Teva added a velcro strap to flip flops and started selling them out of the back of his pickup to river runners at Lees Ferry, Arizona where they put in from Colorado River raft trips through the Grand Canyon back in the 1970’s. His dog was half dingo (wild Aussie dogs) and half cattle dog. I think he said they were a registered breed now called Bluies maybe. I once knew a friend in Page, Arizona that had a Dingo. Not sure how she got it in the USA though. Anybody that lives in Page and knows Kelly Foster tell her I said hello and that I am seeing a few wild dingoes over here in Australia. Dingo (as he was named) always barked at me when I had my hat on, but not after I took it off. Tell Kelly to email me, I lost touch with her and her kids, her email address no longer works.
One night as I set up my tent in the woods between the road and a fence the dogs started barking wildly at me from a small farmhouse. A man, 2 kids, goat, and two dogs came over to check me out. No worries mate, just wondering what the dogs were barking at. I gave him my website card and told him a little about my walk. They barked a little more in the morning while I was breaking camp and starting my campfire. Camping in some mango trees by a pond one morning I was spotlighted by a man living about 100 yards away. I was just taking down my tent and starting my campfire so I walked over to talk to him and let him know what I was up to. He had this million power spotlight, and I had my little 6 LED CAPLIGHT.  No worries mate, just saw your light and wondered what you were up to. Nobody has kicked me out or got mad at me for camping on the roadside or in a farm field. Usually try to stay hidden behind some bushes or trees, but sometimes with dogs barking or if people see my flashlight or fire I get discovered. The travelers rule is that you can camp where ever you want on the roadside as long as you clean up after wards and leave no trace. I even dowse my fire with water, cover with dirt, cover with hay or grass and completely disguise that I was there.
Two men were pulled over in a dirt layabout waiting for me by their pickup truck. Doug and Gordon had a teapot and a extra mug for me to join them with some of their own locally grown tea. Nice chat about life and the local area. People always seem to want to give me stuff they grow themselves, tea, honey, lemons, oranges, bananas, or stuff they baked like biscuits (cookies), pies, cakes, or whatever. People all over the world are real nice if you stop to talk and wave and smile.
Headed south for Hervey Bay on A1 the Bruce Highway. Email me with questions or comments about my walk at walking_man_50(at sign)pocketmail(dot)com . Or click on reply and when my brother has time he will forward them to my pocketmail address. Or from my website at www.walkingman.org .
Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah all day long. (that’s my motto anyway)

Gary “Walkingman” Hause.