KMS Today: 615.5 Kms
KMS Total: 4945.6 Kms
Awake before our alarms this morning after a terrible night sleep. Packed up and on the road by 6:30am. While Mike brushed his teeth and I packed away a few things, I watched a duck-type bird waddle through our site with six ducklings in tow. Lapping up water from the overnight rain, she quacked her orders at them, keeping them in line.
As we drove into the area the night before, we noticed many houses undergoing repairs from the floods that devastated the coast for the second year in a row. It is sobering to see people living their lives under tarpaulin ceilings stretched like glad wrap over gaping holes in their roofs.
Some may have lost their homes completely; we same many rebuilds as well.
Driving out of Tannum Sands Holiday Park, I chuckled to myself at the spare tyre covers a caravan sported. The first:
“Adventure Before Dementia.”
“Yes. I’m retired! Now, give me a discount.”
Aussie humour at its best.
We passed through Gladstone quite early and enjoyed breakfast there. Driving out through completely spoiled scenery. Lush cane-fields are framed by a coal plant and a sugar-refinery.
We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn at 9:30am, and in case you didn’t realize you had, they have named everything in the region “Capricorn” to help you out.
With the sky overcast and the wind cool, it was a very pleasant drive, the kind that warrants very loud music and your head stuck out the window. With a plan to finally find somewhere we could stay for a couple of days rather than the quick overnighter, we mainlined for Airlie Beach.
The drive from Rockhampton to Mackay is really beautiful. The landscape opens up and, sparsely covered, skeletal gum trees dot the horizon. Tall mountains with pointed peaks spring up like pyramids. Thick with foliage they appear blue in the shadow of the clouds. Hawks circle above looking for fresh roadkill.
This stretch is quite long; not in terms of Australia, which is essentially just a network of excessively long roads, but as far as this trip goes. There are hardly any places to stop off but this only improves the view.
Many people told us to check out Mackay. I guess it would be a nice place to live with the sunny weather but I honestly couldn’t wait to see the back of the place. Effectively one long retail strip undergoing consistent roadworks, it looked like a construction site.
We chose to end the day in The Whitsundays. In terms of holiday destinations it is really hard to beat. Airlie Beach itself is largely under construction but has a lot of charm and topless backpackers. We stay a little further back in Cannonvale. With the grocery store within walking distance we are able to finally dump the car and leave it for an hour or two and we are spoilt for things to do in the park as it is more of a resort. A welcome difference from Tannum Sands.
Deciding it is too hot to write any more tonight, we are dripping sweat, I will abandon the post here for a swim and maybe even get a load of our putrid washing done.