Christmas Count Down - Days 10, 11, 12 and 13

Taking a Road Trip as part of your Christmas vacation can be an exhausting activity, as I have just found out.  In the past 9 days I have traveled in excess of 3600 kilometers.  The roads were very busy, packed with other holiday makers and trucks transporting goods up and down the coastline.  There were also numerous road works requiring extensive stops and detours.  Isabel asked "Why do they schedule all the road works for the busiest time of the year?" A question I expect my fellow travelers were also pondering at the time.

Our journey to and from Mackay took us along the infamous "Murder Highway".  This is a 300 kilometer stretch of highway between Rockhampton and Malborough and Sarina.  Locals dubbed it this after a spate of murders (five in total), rapes, robberies and assaults back in the 1960's and 1970's.    I remember when I was living in Townsville over a decade later people still having qualms about travelling the road alone.  Now it is referred to as the "Horror Stretch", not because of any murderous psychos stalking the highway but because it is a long boring stretch of highway where fatigue sets and you are more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. In a 10 year period up to December 2008, there were 17 fatal accidents out of 192 crashes on this road. Further north towards Sarina there were 42 fatal accidents recorded in the same time-frame. Sixty percent of all accidents in that time were single- vehicle accidents and amounted to of the deaths recorded. As you can imagine the side of the road is littered with wrecked cars and caravans.

We avoided a near miss with a caravan as we left Bundaberg yesterday.  No the caravan was not attached to a vehicle at the time of the incident.  As we drove down a local suburban street a large 20 ft caravan rolled out of a drive way across the road and jumped the gutter, thus blocking the road.  No one in the house where it came from seemed to be aware of the run-away.  I parked the car and knocked on the front door.  I was greeted by several small children who promptly called to their grandmother.  I asked her if she wanted the good news first or the bad and then proceeded to tell her the van was undamaged but blocking the road.  Glad I was not driving faster or it could have been - Crunch time.

So I am glad to be home safe and sound without a cracked windscreen or any damage to the car.  How are you holidays going?  Are you travelling along a road with a history or to a destination that has a dark past?

Journal Prompts for Christmas Vacation

I love watching National Lampoon Chirstmas Vacation.  It never gets old for me.  I just hope to never have that sort of holiday, although my recent 9 day trip to Mackay and back was had some similarities to this Chevy Chase film.  

  • Research and write about the history of your destination for interesting facts about the location.
  • List the diversion tactics you use to distract the kids from asking "Are we there yet?"
  • On route, what was the most interesting thing you saw, did, heard etc? 
  • Write about what you see directly in front of you in detail. Don't edit yourself or look for something your brain says it write worthy - just jot down exactly what is in front of your eyes.
  • Write a brief description of your trip from the point of view of your vehicle.
  • What does the rubbish you have accumulated on your drive holiday say about your diet?
  • Best and Worst holiday memory
  • How does this holiday compare with the "idea" of this holiday?  I know I was not expecting to experience half the drama I have encountered.  It was not relaxing in the least.

Diary Entry
Washing done.  Housework done. Shopping done.  Now some downtime.  

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