Saturday, March 22, 2014

Week 12 of BZ adventure

March 14 - 21

Saturday, March 15
Awoke in beautiful Cairns at the wonderful campsite. We slept better as it was a tad cooler with the breeze but still 25+. We drove north to the Mossman Gorge it was a wonderful cool stream and we stayed in for an hour. It costs $7 for a short bus ride from the parking lot to the lookout boardwalk and river. Totally worth it.

We also stopped in Palm Cove to check out the beach. So beautiful. Lennie has the driving perfect but the roundabouts here are nuts. We met a Canadian at the gorge who is from Montreal. We returned to our camp to rest up for tomorrow's big snorkelling day.

Sunday, March 16
We booked a wonderful all day Great Barrier Reef excursion today with At 7:30 we meet 34 other people plus a crew at the wharf for breakfast, got wet suits, and our snorkel equipment. At 8:00 we left for Michaelmas Cay.

We spent a couple of hours on the remote reef island and saw unbelievable fish and wildlife while snorkeling.

Back on the boat for lunch of a hot and cold buffet; chicken scalloped potatoes, meats, cheeses, salads - so good then off to another reef island. This time we went to Hastings Outer Reef.

It was like swimming in an aquarium or being in the movie Finding Nemo. Back at the wharf at 4:00 after an amazing day where we went out for dinner and had burgers and the most delicious gelato ever!

Monday, March 17
We left Cairns and headed south to Mission Beach. It took a couple of hours but it was beautiful. We booked a night at the same trailer park chain as the one in Cairns. We ate left over pizza and crackers/cheese for lunch then went on a tour of the area. Wow, again amazing sea side views plus we are in the middle of the rain forest. Len was driving and yelled "kangaroo" but it wasn't - it was just a small wallaby. We went to the grocery store and bought salad and a roasted chicken and enjoyed some ciders and beers at the site.
We met a great local named Ray who Len is going to golf with on Wednesday.
Finally bought a fan so it is much cooler sleeping. Still hot but at least a small breeze exists.

Tuesday, March 18
Woke up, showered, breakfast and left at 9:00 for South Mission beach for the day/night. Right on the beach is the site and the water is gorgeous. Must swim in a netted area so the sting rays don't get you but it's still neat.
Swam in the ocean, did laundry, and floated in the pool. Have I told you how hot it is here? We needed shade and the fan stat.

Got picked up by Mission Beach resort for their pizza/pasta buffet. They also had slots but I lost $50. We returned to see an amazing moon rising above the islands.

Wednesday, March 19
Woke up early to drop Lennie off at golf. Yep he is golfing in Australia. I got to drive the van - I wasn't too bad. The problem was not it being a standard, or small sitting area, or the blinker on the right, but that the seat does not go back causing your foot to cramp :(. I picked Lennie up at El Arish golf course at noon, said good bye to our friend Ray, and we made our way slowly south.

We stopped for sandwiches at 1:00, in Cardwell for a look at their seaside, and on to Townsville.

We are making our way to Airlie Bech to spend some time visiting Whitsunday islands - our bud Shawn told us we have to go there so we are. We made it to Aye and found a nice windy campsite. Len did more groceries and we had salad and eggs for dinner. So much cooler of a sleep. Excited for tomorrow's adventures.

Thursday, March 20
Woke up early, packed, and headed south through Bowen to Airlie Beach. Wow what a place. Beautiful spots, views, hotels, and shops.
Unfortunately a huge storm from the pacific - some sort of tropical storm thingie slammed us.

Rained all day, everything soaked, we got a pizza and movies and hid in the van. In the middle of the night our awning flipped over the van and bent. Len had lots of curse words in the rain trying to reattach it. I slept zero.

Friday, March 21
Woke up at 6:00 and tried to go back to sleep. Re woke up at 8:00, Len made some toast and yogurt and we hit the road. It was still raining. Rained until 2:00 as we approached RockHampton. We stopped to see the Tropic of Capricorn line - very cool.

Realized today that I really hate the van. So small, old, no airbags, seats won't move, and it has no shocks. So uncomfortable and we have 4000km to go. No sure what I hate more, the sleeping in it or the driving in it.
Arrived in Rockhampton and got a nice spot for the night. Much cooler and we had a great sleep. Tomorrow on to Hervey Bay for more adventures.