Driving from my home in sunny Queensland, WARM sunny Queensland, I had a few issues. I've made a resolution regarding the pissy towns on the New England Highway which slow traffic down to 50kph just to pass through and especially those which decide you must travel at 50kpm from several kilometres outside town until you've pass through and out the other side several kilometres.
While driving I used my cruise control to keep to about 3ks over the limit, as there was an average of 1 police highway patrol car/radar unit every 100km, and probably more because those 1:100 were the ones I could see!
I was tailgated by a nong in an Audi. Drove me nuts as I was doing the speed limit, but still not fast enough for him. He couldn’t pass me as there were double lines, so he let me suck him along in my slipstream. He didn’t drop back at all, just kept tailgating me even though he could see he couldn’t pass.
Eventually he passed. He took off at about 120kph or faster up the road. A little further on I noticed a sneaky radar van parked at the side of the road. Oh goodie, he’d be gone. Thank you, God!
A little later I caught up with Mr Audi, stuck behind a B-Double truck, approaching a town and the truck was going very slowly. A little before the town there was a place where we could pass the truck, the truck was very slow
As soon as he could he passed the truck and then a little later so did I. While in the town he was speeding, it was 50kph in the town, but he still pulled away from me.
I forgot about Mr Audi until, approaching some blue and red flashing lights on the side of the road while travelling down a slight incline on a long straight I realised that someone had been pulled over by the police (there were police about every 100ks on the trip, and they were the ones in marked vehicles, and this one with flashing lights, but unmarked!).
It was Audi boy.
Reckon he got done twice in the one day, and that’s only the ones I knew about! (He didn’t pass me again, funnily enough!
About those towns which make you slow down to a crawl to get through them, it's ridiculous, particularly the ones which make you slow down miles before you reach the main street and miles after you've left town. It is my strong suggestion that the sooner these towns are bypassed the better for the motoring public!
I vow that I will never stop to spend any money in these towns which make me crawl through them. The time I lose passing through these towns is the time I would spend perhaps stopping in one to take a better look at something which has caught my eye. Travelling at 50kph through the town means I need to concentrate on my speedo and I tend to miss seeing anything other than the traffic, pedestrians and the things I need to concentrate on while driving, so I doubt much will be catching my eye and encouraging further investigation.
I left home the second time* (don't laugh) at about midday. I stopped a few times for fuel and food along the way. The last place I stopped was Muswellbrook and I was surprised that the fast food place was closing before time.
Travelling south toward Murrurundi I marvelled again (I always do), at how much the New England Highway has been improved from when my family used to travel from Sydney to Barraba usually in the summer holidays so that Dad could visit his best mate who looked after the local swimming pool (in summer he was the pool keepter and in winter he was a mechanic for the ambulance service. If you loved swimming and being at the pool in summer this place and Dad's mate were the perfect combination for the summer holidays. Free swimming all day and every day and special treats from the kiosk (lollies or an ice cream).
I remember when the trip was very slow, it used to take seven hours to get from Sydney to Barraba, a very long haul, so it was a trip made during school holidays or only for long weekends. We'd leave home in the wee hours of the morning so that the driving was mostly in the dark. That section, north of Murrurundi was one of the worst sections, a long, winding progress and if you were stuck behind a truck you'd have to drive slowly as there was nowhere to pass at all until you reached the top of the range. Those were the days!
When I reached the expressway north of Sydney, at the Cooranbong exit, I heard the radio and they were discussing the morning - I was surprised. Then I realised that I had somehow been caught in some kind of time warp. I'd lost an hour!
But it got worse! After I'd been here for a night and half a day I fired up my computer and checked my mobile phone. The phone had Queensland time, the computer had Queensland time minus one hour. So I don't know what's going on.
No wonder I'm feeling jet-lagged!
Tomorrow we're off to Norfolk Island. We'll be there for a week so I'll post then. And I'll tell you about my trip to the dentist on Friday 13th February.
* I set off from home more than an hour earlier and stopped to buy some fruit and vegies to take down to my family in Sydney, watermelons $2, small pumpkins $2, large ones (5kg weight) $3, rockmelons $1.50. Packed them into the car and sailed off... on the other side of the next town from my place I realised that I'd left some fruit out of the fridge and some needed to be eaten ASAP. So back home I went (wasn't looking forward to finding the pineapple on the stove top after being away ten days or more...). The family is finishing off the remainder of the fruit salad tonight.