Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
On the grass behind the Marborough Hotel

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Despite my late night reading (that is reading not feeding) frenzy i was still shaking Erica at 05:30 with the instructions to straighten the hair before we get going. I packed up the van, refiled the water and did all the other jobs, thankfully the van started fine (to say it is touch and go in the mornings is an understatement). I pulled up outside the womens opened the boot and sat having my cornflakes whilst Erica was chatting away with every other early riser in the womens. I could hear the whole conversation and when she came out she said she was brushing her teeth (how she does this whilst non stop chatting and laughing I have no idea) but we laughed for the first few hours about her conversations and her claims she was busy. We did still get off very early as we were trying to do a lot of km today.

We first of all headed down to Eungella National Park, (as recommended by Sonja and Col - So Sonja in response to yesterdays comment did you get to Eungella the answer is yes!). Eungella is absolutely stunning you climb some rather steep twisting tracks but reach the peaks of the mountains with stunning panorama of the Pioneer Valley. The later start meant we were arriving at the Platypus viewing spots on the broken river towards the end of the morning viewing time. We walked down not expecting too much at 8am. As soon as we arrived I saw one... I saw a bloody duck billed platypus, an animal somehow I bizarrly become obsessed with when still a young boy. It was much smaller than I had expected but it was amazing. As we walked down the river Erica too managed to see them and in the end we probably spent about 2 hours stalking about 6 of them. When two old people approached our spot we were also militant that they had to shut up well before they approached. There were also loads of turtles and parrots in the area and we were just blown away by it all.

We were simply thrilled at our morning and celebrated by cracking out the cooking gear and having a suasage butty with fired onions. We set off again and did a walk around i think it was called sky view up in the hills and it too was amazing looking out again over pioneer valley. Again there were parrots just everywhere making a racket.

We jumped back in the van and made our way back down the tracks using a special steep slope gear we found in the manual. Back into Sugar Can country we then headed over to Finch Hatten Gorge, it was like a mini daintree so we were putting the van through creek crossings and did a bit of a walk up the gorge. Again lots of birds here.

Back to the van again and headed over to cape Hillsborough again it seemed to be a good amount of km travelling east so we are added lots of km to our drive but it is definitely worth it. After travelling through more sparsely populated areas (where we discussed the merits of living.. well right out in the middle of nowhere) we reached the cape. We initially speed walked the Mangrove Walkway which was quite interesting then headed down to Cape Hillsborough beach. We were hoping to see Kanagaroos and Wallabies on the beach but apparantly it is either a dusk or dawn thing again. We contemplated just setting up camp here. We have been contemplating for days following Cols advice and heading in land at this point as there is not too much to see for a few hundred km South of here, however inland would have been adding even more km, the petrol situation and my driving boredom meant we took the easy short cut down the coast.

We saw so much wild life on the drive, we saw a bird of prey collect a live snake at the side of the road then apparently get attacked by another two birds and drop the snake. We saw Kangaroos and Wallabies (although we have seen them lots we still havent got a good picture as we are driving at speed), we saw a pig that had been victim to roadkill. We even saw what we think was a dead koala also a victim to roadkill, we saw lots of really big cows and cattle, and we are now in the Beef Cattle Capital of Australia. Some of the farms are huge but no doubt smaller than elsewhere in Aus, where cattle farms can easily be the size of Wales and the method of gathering the cattle is helicopter.

Anyway the sun had already set in a stunning magical way and we found the vans behind the Marlborough hotel in Marlborough. Although we had to pay $5 to use showers and toilets its still a bargain. The bar again was full of hard cattle ranchers who had just finished their day but we didn't buy a drink just paid the fee.

Back to cheapskateville we had couple of bottles of Bowlers run and had pasta with tomato sauce, onions and sausage and enough garlic to kill a small dog (I use this phrase as I bet you didnt know a male platypus has enough venom to kill a dog!! I know I'm boring), we got chatting to an Aussie couple from the Winnabago next to us and were joined by the Marlborough's Italian sheep Dog, who looked, well like a sheep. An early night but a great great day.

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dad and mum on

no wonder Leo loves Erica and coming to your house. He has a new game now and runs to your french windows in the hopeof getting out to chase the cats.

Emer & Rorie( the lazy Irish) on

Hey guys

How the hell are ye. We are settling back to reality - its nuts its like we were never away- everything is still the same. Miss ye. Enjoy the rest of the travels- make the most of it as im sure no doubt ye will. Cant wait to have ye over to the emerald isle when ye get back. I might even root out some rice wine for old times sake.

Lots of love and stay safe

E & Rorie xxx

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