Oh so this is why they call it the wet season!!!
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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Where I stayed
Seawinds Caravan Park – Blacks Beach Mackay
Big 4 Cove Resort Caravan Park - Airlie Beach
Sunday 14th October 2010
Sunday is a weird day of the week, the roads are quiet normally but on Sunday's there are hardly any vehiclse around. We left Clermont and stopped for petrol, before doing another super long journey back to the coast. It was actual a sunny day, the first for a while and the journey took us past the Peak Mountains, which again where volcanic plugs and looked awesome up close. The scenery changed from green scrub lands back to sugarcane fields and farming and the sugar cane trains where back criss-crossing the road in their little engines.
We drove into Mackay but stayed on the coastal town called Black Beach, our camp site was right on the beach and once we set up we took a walk down on to the sand. The weather was hot and yet the beach was deserted, if you live on the coast in Australia you could boast you had a private beach because very few people actually use them.
Weather Sunny - 30 degrees
Monday 15th November 2010
Woke up to grey skies and dark clouds, really getting fed up with this weather, for one thing it ruins all my photo’s. There is nothing better than a beautiful blue sky to make a photo look great. First stop this morning is Cole’s the supermarket for a major stock up of all the essential, like milk, cheese, meat and chocolate. Gary has also talked me in to buying a fan to cool the van down at night. So I talked him in to buying a popcorn maker, so we can snack on some healthy food rather than the crisps we have been gorging on.
Weather Heavy Rain 25 degrees
We are staying at a Big4 Holiday Park in Airlie Beach which is home of the Whitsunday Islands. These are one of our favourite groups of caravan parks and will probably stay here for a few days as we have been constantly on the road this week. The rain has followed us all day and although it was dry when we arrived in town, it poured down, just as we pulled up into the campground. Gary’s drip is back, which has depressed him, so we spent the first hour outside in the rain, dragging tarpaulin over the van trying to keep the rain out. We set up the awnings and after a rest and change out of our wet clothes set about making fajitas for dinner. It continued to rain all evening.
Tuesday 16th November 2010
Airlie Beach is a lovely town, very holiday beach front, but tastefully done. It must be backpackers HQ as all you hear are English and European voices. I was going to say every other vehicle is a campervan but in actual fact nearly every vehicle that goes past is a campervan, 98% of them are hired ones. The Greyhound Bus and the Oz Experience all drop off here too, so it is not surprising it’s full of tourists. It is the gateway to the 74 Whitsunday Islands, these are massive sand islands that cater for your adventurous side. You can take a ferry over and drive sand buggies or go four wheel driving, there are number of boat trips and snorkelling packages as well as diving on the reef. We went on a boat trip last time we were here so are not going over to the islands this time.
The weather looked dry and sunny, so we got the bikes off and rode into town. The campsite is only 3km out so it was an easy ride in. Once there we parked up and hit McDonalds for some McWifi. Queensland I have to say is very tight with their wifi, I don’t think we have any on the campsites since we got here and when it is available they want to charge $10 for an hour’s use. We can buy a drink and a burger in McDonalds for less than that and we don’t have a time limit.
After checking mail and uploading last week’s blog we took a stroll around the town. We came across a second hand book shop down pathway, after having a look round we walked out and along a bit further a discovered a lagoon. This large manmade swimming pool was abuzz with bronzed beautiful bodies basking in the sunlight. It was two deep pools and a shallow one for kiddies, grass banks all round except for one end that had sand. It all looked very inviting and plans were made then and there to pack up a picnic tomorrow and find a spot to sit in. We walked back to the bikes via a few shops and then road back to the van. Hot a sweaty when we arrived back we, showered and chilled in the sun.
Wednesday 17th November 2010
The weather was overcast but still hot, we packed up the pasta I made the night before, some drinks and the picnic blanket. Grabbed a couple of sarongs and our swimmers and headed out on the bikes towards town. We found a nice spot on the bank of the Lagoon and set up our blanket. Gary was straight in the water to cool down, the air was really humid and the sun was trying its best the pierce through the clouds. We sunned ourselves for a few hours, had some lunch and were just thinking about heading back over to McD’s to check emails when it start to rain and made our decision for us. We stayed in McD’s long enough for it to stop raining, we walked back to the bikes and rode back to the campsite. More chilling out the front of the van, finished my book.
Thursday 18th November 2010
It rained really hard at 2am, it woke me up as it always does, so I got up to go to the loo. On my way back I saw the girls from the next campervan in their pyjamas frantically bringing their washing in off the line. The weather was dry by the morning but still very cloudy, we had planned to ride along to the harbour if the road wasn’t too steep with a backup plan of a waterfront bike track to the marina. With a picnic packed and Bernie tied to the top of my bag, we set out to ride through the national park to the harbour. Within five minutes of leaving the campground we realised it was going to be an uphill ride and most of it far too steep for us, so we turned round and headed towards to the waterfront bike track. We had just got into town and the skies opened and the rain came down, we found some shelter but it was obvious after 10 mins that the rain was set in for the day. It was a long soggy ride back, the cars sprayed us as the zoomed past, the mud and water spun off the back tires and splattered our back. The rain got heavier and pounded down on us, we couldn’t see out our glasses and then we took a wrong turn. A set of temporary traffic lights were the first indicator that we had deviated from our path and the fact they we were riding up a steep hill which we both didn’t remember doing the last two times. It seemed hard to believe we had taken a wrong turning on a straight road but unless they had dug our road up in the last half hour we were certainly on the wrong road. The rain was torrential as we turned back and found where we had gone wrong. I had crossed over and ridden on the path to escape the cars and lorries but didn’t realise the path swung right slightly, with my head down and vision impaired I came off the path and crossed over the road, not realising it had swung into another street. Still no harm done we were already as wet as we could get.
Back at the campground we changed out of our wet clothes which we then washed and tumble dried, everything else got hung up to dry...even Bernie. The rain was relentless for most of the afternoon, a river of water washed down the road and the campsite was deserted. What to do on a wet afternoon, well Gary worried himself in a stupor about his leak and I made Rice Crispy cakes to calm him down.