NSW & QLD Loop - Day 3 - Rockhampton

By Officer Hardass
Category: Riding Solo
Waking up day 3 there was nothing but blue sky and about 5 degrees.  I had 700ks to do today so time to get cracking!
Heading back out of Longreach I rode past the big 747 and was still amazed by just how big that plane is.  For the next few hundred kilometres it was all simply straight road.  It made me laugh again just how many campers and caravans are out here free camping.  If there was a place off the highway to park there was at least half a dozen or more campers.  These people must love this stuff!  The scenery as always was simply stunning.  Also thankfully, no animals in sight so good start.
Thanks to a tip from a person at Longreach, my first stop was Alpha, and the target was a bakery that allegedly did great pies.  After fuelling up I asked where this bakery was and made my way there.  As it turns out, the tip was good.  The pies were great and the choc chip muffin was incredible.  Definitely stopping here again.
Now heading to Emerald, the road started to tighten up and get a little mountainous, which was awesome.  I think this area must have been a mineral area where you can go fossicking for treasures.  I took a little side road down to Willows and stumbled upon a camping ground you would never have known existed.  Saw a really nice cactus here so I took a selfie with it.  Back on track again and heading to Emerald the road straightened out again and the change in scenery showed I was heading back into civilisation.
I fuelled up again in Emerald.  Not sure what was happening but I must have got some dirty fuel leaving Longreach as I was lucky to get 250ks per tank, which I would normally get around 350k.  Anyway, I didn't run out so all good.  Now with less than 300ks to go it was time to press on to Rockhampton.  The road was fairly straight with some farm scenery to see and a lot of heavy industry shops to keep it interesting.  I arrived at Rockhampton about 4pm which was pretty good.
Arriving at the pub there was some massive road works being carried out that I had no idea about but man the pub looked incredible.  I found my way in and went up to my room on the balcony.  This was simply a beautiful, old pub that was quite enormous.  Thanks to QLD smoking laws there was strictly no smoking on the balcony so no lazy cigars out there.  I decided a good tub was in order then went back down to the main bar for a few beers.  Now feeling more relaxed it was time for a walk around town to see what's what.  I didn't realise how big Rockhampton was—it was almost a major city.
Around dinner time I walked back to the pub and ordered another beer to which I was asked, "odds or evens?"  I replied, "what?"  The lovely bar girl explained I pick odds or evens, she rolls a die and if I guessed right the beer is free, if not, I pay.  I went with odds and like a lucky charm, I won!  This pissed the locals off as no one was guessing correctly!  I then managed to win a few times in a row so before things got too silly I moved into the dinner hall and ordered a big bowl of nachos.
With dinner done I had a little look through my travel humidor and grabbed an Oliva Serie O Maduro and headed down the river with a couple cans of rum.  Sitting here was awesome.  The stars were lighting up the river and I was enjoying a great cigar.  Life really couldn't be better.  Each day just got better and better as did my state of mind, which is what this trip was all about.
Now about 9pm it was time to turn in and watch a little TV before snoring.  Bundaberg up tomorrow—bring on the sugar cane!