Still hunting for the sun
Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
42Trip End Apr 24, 2013
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Karma has obviously retaliated and now it is our turn to be on the receiving end! Bundaberg may have suffered two months ago from the effects of cyclone Oswald but it held enough rain in store to dump on us last night forcing dinner to be taken inside the camper van.
Heading off south again our first stop was the Woolworths petrol station to redeem our gas voucher which paid for one of our steaks last night. The cashier was keen to hear our tour news and inform us that her husband came from Colchester and to let the people know a trivia fact that they are considering the construction of a high speed railway between Brisbane and Melbourne.... It will take 40 years to build such is the distance. Wally just thought it was because the Aussies would be on strike half the time and asleep on the job the other half.
Breakfast was served at a roadside rest stop where we also enjoyed the sunshine. It's just as well we did as we didn't see the sun for much of the rest of the day.
The ongoing repairs to Highway I seemed to be even more concentrated south of Bundaberg and you do have to concentrate to avoid speeding or running into the road works. We wondered if a lack of concentration had led one driver to end up off the road. Not sure how he was going to explain to his boss the damage to the car he was towing which was now upside down in the ditch as well.
Even worse was a road train which had left the road and the mud left behind when it was hauled out needed to be seen to be believed.Our destination for the evening was the Sunshine Coast town of Caloundra and the Big 4 campsite.
Set in the middle of the town this site is brand new and is worthy of a 5* rating. Although its pretty frustrating to enjoy first class facilities which are then let down by a poor choice of shower head. Wally provided the staff with their afternoon entertainment moving the camper-van from one side of the pitch to the other trying to get close enough to the power pick up for our lead to reach. All this in a huge storm which has left the ground completely sodden.
The last time Wally visited the Sunshine Coast there was no sign of the sun and by the state of things at present this trip may have a similar conclusion. Wally led a delegation to the campsite office to lodge an official complaint that the name of the area was completely erroneous. His complaint was dismissed as apparently here they offer liquid sunshine!
Despite it getting dark here by 1800 we risked a break in the rain to have a quick peep at the place and this is another town we have fallen for. Mostly classy apartment blocks here and once again the landscape gardeners have excelled with their beach boardwalk. Even the Coles supermarket is the best one we have visited to date. Woolworths it should be noted released record sales figures which probably coincides with the cash we have spent with them one way or another so far.
For the second night in succession dinner was served inside which is a disappointment but as always there is an upside, we wouldn't be on the bug menu.Despite the motor home being rocked from side to side during the night we slept well but it was the first night on the tour we had succumbed and used the duvet. With no sign of the sun appearing we decided to take on the elements and stay for a further night in Caloundra.
Perhaps we feel at home here with the wind howling and sky threatening to unleash a further downpour. It's more like Eastbourne than Australia.It certainly seemed like the UK as we took a hike to the Queensland Air Museum. Supposedly the largest air museum in Australia, it wasn't a disappointment, but not a patch on museums to be found in Europe.Yet another project full of enthusiasm and a record of the UK achievements before we went down the pan.
In between showers on the hike back to base we popped into the Aprilia and BMW dealership to say hi to local boy and ex Moto GP star Chris Vermulen and to have a look at the new GS. The later was on display the former was out. Wally liked the new GS but with current financial arrangements may well have to think about a few days work. Second thoughts maybe not! The existing one will do fine.
The afternoon stroll took us back round the boardwalk to Kings Beach which is certainly geared up for the Aussie tourist market. We were super impressed with the number of kite surfers jumping and twisting through 180 degrees gracefully landing and then flying off in the opposite direction. Jan didn't think a kite with sufficient lifting capacity is available for Wally to have a go! The weather didn't show any signs of improving but the locals are convincing us that the weather isn't usually like this and the pictures we see of the beautiful beaches are genuine and not a photo shop job.