Warmer Winter – 8

Really truly, the weather is warmer. Today is sunny again and 28. We are staying at Cardwell with Lyn’s sister for a few days but inside a garage – the price is great but the view of the tropical garden can only be captured if we bend over to look out the front window. Anyway, better start this post from where we left off at Airlie Beach.

We did fall in love with Airlie Beach last week and has become the pick of spots to make a booking for a couple of weeks next year. The touristy feel is evident but everything is clean and organized. True, it would normally be packed with backpackers with a non-Australian accent but Mr Covid has prevented that. We rode around the marina and noticed a super luxury yacht with a guy in a blue shirt and grey hair wandering the deck. Lyn googled the name of the yacht and came up finding it had a $10million price tag with the owner being Clive Palmer. We mentioned the fact to some young people nearby and they asked “Who’s Clive Palmer?” Oh dear, his campaigning has meant a “naught” for effectiveness.

We headed north some more and found a “pub on the side of the road” with free camping in the back and the main railway out the front. Gumlu is a quaint little town with hardly any houses but the school has an electronic announcement board out the front inviting us to attend the grandparents day “next Friday morning”. We declined the offer, but enjoyed an $8 dish for the main course at the pub. At least we heard when each train went through the village – such a quiet place after hours.

Beyond Gumlu was the turnoff to Rollingstone Beach Resort where we had tried to book for a 5 nights stay but could only manage to book 2 nights, but what a view; right on the waters edge looking out to the ocean and the many islands of the Coral Sea. The caravan park is now on the list to spend a month at, next year. Anyone want to join us?

When we were positioning the motor home, the neighbors came out to greet us, as often happens. (We must be attractive or something) Swapping town names was interesting. Lyn asked “and where are you from?” The response, “you wouldn’t have heard of our small town in Victoria, Yarra Junction,” she said in a quiet voice. “Oh! I had a shop there for 27 years, I know it well. I owned the travel agency there,” was Lyn’s reply. “Oh, are you Lyn? You did our travel to the UK 10 years ago.” You just never know who’s following you around this big country. The location, looking out to the islands, provided some great “this is my office for the day” views.

Towns along the Cassowary Coast, all have histories of cyclonic damage. Our next town of Cardwell was obliterated by Yasi in 2011 and then again by Marci in 2015 and Debbie in 2017. However, council, with the benefit of government and Australia-wide community gifts, have rebuilt the foreshore to an attractive and a great stopping resting spot for those using the Bruce Highway. Real Estate is cheap but comes with a high rate of insurance. Some properties are attracting amounts of $11,000 per year.

From here, we move to Mission Beach tomorrow.

Warmer Winter – 6

The further we venture north the more I wonder about the notion that “it is warm up north”. All the way from Melbourne to Sarina, the temperature has been between 2, on a bad day, and 22 on a good day. Yes, there hasn’t been a lot of rain but since Maryborough, a lot of rain has fallen.

Our planning included a few days at the beach in Mackay but others beat us to it. The plan changed, again, and Armstrong Beach on the coast near Sarina accepted us. It’s a small town with a very small campground. Initially, we thought not to include it in our next itinerary north. After a few days and evenings beside the communal campfire, we’ve changed our minds and will be back. The beach is quite acceptable to walk on and very good to practice moves with the new drone. That thing really rips along when in “sports” mode.

It was in Sarina, that I recognized where confusion originated. The Woolworths supermarket had all these green circles near the checkout requiring me to “Please Stand Here”. They never said “for how long” or “all at once” or “over how long-a period of time”. Someone suggested I take a chance and hope that, from heaven, a load of fresh food would descend. I chose to move on to the pharmacy and line up for the prescription drugs someone suggested I take for a “better quality of life”. No message to stop after death though.

Confusion Point

Moving on from a quiet little campground, our next site booking was at a busier, larger, campground near Airlie Beach. There’s something about larger touristy towns on the coast that we love-they have ice cream shops. New Zealand ones too. Airlie Beach is busy but at the same time clean, during the day. I’m told that at night, it is a much busier, noisier, town through to the mornings. With Covid, a shopkeeper told us, all the Bali Hens holidays have been happening in Airlie Beach, and the like. Yes, it’s a party town.

Luckily, we headed out early after a good night’s sleep. There is a great spot next to the yacht club for launching the drone, and the sky was blue with good sunshine at 8:00am. So we made our way to include some good vision of the area. What a day for photos! Rich blue skies with clear air and “comfortable” sunlight.

Whenever we book a day for a particular adventure, we include in the order, a day full of blue skies and photographic sunshine. Today, we were “half blessed”. The sunshine started 10 minutes before our boarding time of 11:00am, to return to Airlie Beach. So the drone shots are pretty dull and very average. The change in the atmosphere, made a good day a great day; just what we had come for.

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