Woke up to the sound of rain and bird droppings on the roof in the middle of the night and by the time I got out of bed the clouds still hadn’t left. Since the only thing I’d planned to do in Burrum Heads that day was swim, I left after breakfast because it wasn’t exactly inviting. Before I escaped though the lady cooker helper from the night before engaged with a conversation about swap and go which turned in to a “get the poor husband to look at a lost cause” – not me, the camp cooker, although I’m pretty sure I give off an air of incompetence. Once we ascertained that the camp cooker was a rusted leaky pile of shit I was free to roam once more. Dropped off my toilet key at reception, picked up the $10 bond on it, bought an ice break (since I couldn’t make myself a coffee) and a paper then hit the road. The idea was to head for Mon Repos National Park for the night but I had to get through Childers and Bundaberg first.
Childers was the town now famous for the backpacker fire which instigated a whole bunch of new legislation around fire procedures in backpackers. It’s a nice town too, one main street with everything you need on it – kind of like Woodford but grander. Obviously caters to tourists as an overnight stop on the way to other places. Has an exellent peanut van where I picked up some sweet and salty flavoured ones (in the one packet). I rang Pauline from there to have our first chat since I left, then I refuelled (the van doesn’t seem very fuel efficient and kept going.
Bundaberg was next and just as I arrived it started to pelt down. It had cleared by the time I reached the CBD but after a quick drive through I headed for Bargara Beach which is about 15Kms out of Bundaberg. The last time I was there was 18 years ago and all I did was laugh at how shit a beach it was. Coming from the Sunshine Coast I thought I knew a bit about beaches but really I was just being a bitch. One of my best friends had moved away to Bundaberg and I was visiting her and just being bitter about the whole thing. Bundaberg was too flat, her new friends were stupid and Bargara was a puddle not a beach. Knowing what I know now of course, after being on English beaches, I know that it isn’t that bad and Neilsen’s beach is quite gnarly dude. What helped in Bargara’s favour also was the cafes and pubs that were newish because of the $700 000 apartments being put up all over the place. This will be Mooloolaba in no short time.
Was tempted by a coffee but since Mon Repos wasn’t far away I decided to investigate the caravan park there. Arriving at the spot I found the conservation park first so headed over to find out more about the turtles. It was empty since they only come out at night, but I rang to book to find out if I could see them. After sitting through a tonne of messages I finally got to speak to a person who said it doesn’t start until the 7th November. Damn, a few days early. Although the beach was nice and the caravan park didn’t look too bad I decided that I’d ditch that idea and go to 1770.
On the way back to Bundaberg I stopped in at the Ginger Beer place for a look and picked up 8 bottles for only $11.50. She earnestly told me that this wasn’t the rum factory which obviously meant that they’d had quite a few people complain about it. It wasn’t really worth paying $6 to see how they made ginger beer and how good their company was. I don’t think I should pay to see propoganda. Since I was reminded about the rum factory I stopped in there too but didn’t do the tour cause I thought Pauline would want to do it with me. Plus at the end they give you tastings and I couldn’t be drunk on the drive ahead. I had a lame BLT in town with a really hot coffee that was actually really nice when it cooled down and then left Bundaberg without the hatred I’d had for it all those years ago.
The roads have been really good to me on the trip thus far, it always seems like I’m the only person going my way and anyone that does appear from nowhere leaves pretty quickly. There was nowhere to stop on the way to 1770 until you get to Agnes Waters (which is virtually the same place anyway). The beach at Agnes is fantastic and even has lifeguards. It’s more of an established town than 1770 where the rich folk have set up their holiday apartments. 1770 is more the hippy equivelant but the rich are making their way in. The caravan park I picked was right on the river and I could just see it through the caravans in front of me. I couldn’t really settle when I arrived so after checking out the facilities I wandered back along the walkway to the local pub where live music was playing and the coronas were $7! It seemed like all the locals where there to talk to each other so I just finished up my beer and left. I suppose I could have chatted to someone but I couldn’t see any openings. Social networking FAIL.
Watched the Spirit of 1770 unload all it’s passengers after their day out at Lady Musgrave Island then came back to make dinner. Finally ate the mango I’d bought on the Sunshine Coast which was my last piece of fruit. Will have to refill later. Dinner was cup a noodles and boliing the water at the camp kitchen was a much quicker and successful affair now I know to put a lid on it. I ate the noodles on the river beach watching the sun go down and talking to a precocious pre schooler who liked to ask questions. Good to know I still appeal to old men and very young boys, however neither of these are my focus group for friendships.
After that it was shower, book reading and cursing myself for not engaging the 4 germans in the britz van next door who could have easily helped me fulfill task 1 that Cheryl and Michael gave me. I might do it tomorrow, although frankly I’m not getting the approachable vibes from them.
More Day 3 Photos