Journey to Hervey Bay

Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 23, 2008

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, November 4, 2006

I woke up at 5:30am. I must barely have had four hours sleep. Adding to that my body was feeling weak after getting back into the swimming yesterday, some long dormant muscles had been rudely awoken after 15 months!

For about two hours I lay listening to the incredibly noisy ceiling fan. It sounded very much like an apache helicopter hovering above a war zone. So much so in fact that whilst dropping off to sleep a few hours earlier I’d almost wandered over to the window to see what a search helicopter was doing in Noosa!

At about 8 the shower became free so I got up. The shuttle minibus down to the bus stop was due to leave at 9, so I had plenty of time. I was hungry to the point of feeling a bit sick, but there wasn’t really anywhere suitable nearby so I made do with a Boost bar from the chocolate machine!

The coach arrived on time and the driver jumped out. This time however he didn’t put people’s bags into the hold. We had to do that ourselves. He then went through a ten minute explanation of what was allowed on the coach and what wasn’t. Believe it or not he then asked each and every passenger if they intended to bring cooking oil onto the coach! It all seemed very over the top!

Not satisfied with that he then spent the first fifteen minutes of the journey explaining what substances the chemical toilet could cope with and what it couldn’t cope with! I doubt anyone felt like using it after that. I took a seat about halfway back on the driver’s side. Still feeling very tired I closed my eyes and listened to some music.

An hour into the trip we arrived at a service station, or ‘servo’, to the Australians. This was very similar to most services I’d seen back in the UK. Open 24 hours, with a petrol station, food court, toilets, and small CD/magazine store. What was different were the prices. They seemed to be very competitive indeed, if anything a little cheaper than a typical convenience store in the city. Back in the UK I find service stations very expensive, here however it all looked very cheap.

The coach moved on after waiting for a connecting service. That had been delayed elsewhere so it meant we were 15 minutes late leaving. We must have made the time up somehow however as we arrived at our next stop Rainbow Beach right on time.

As I write this I am travelling towards Hervey Bay. The roads are very bumpy and I’ve now got a sore behind! In fact they are so bumpy I’d say I’m almost feeling sick. I now realise what the sick bags in front of us are for! A short while ago I managed to connect to the internet whilst on the coach. That’s very impressive as I’m pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

The coach arrived in Hervey Bay at 2:25pm. From the bus station it was another short shuttle journey to the hostel. Again I was staying in a Koala resort. That was the chain of hostel I stayed at in Noosa. Hervey Bay is similar to Noosa, but nowhere near as nice, it’s more like a seaside town than a seaside resort. I overheard somebody saying it was like a retirement place, with very little going on.

The Koala hostel was very much a resort type place. They had a swimming pool, pub, many rooms, plus an internet café. I found the room I’d been given and chucked down my stuff, annoyingly the room door was open, obviously the people already there weren’t that security conscious!

Feeling pleased with myself after yesterdays swim I spent quite a while in the pool. Again I did several lengths in the blistering heat. The shower attached to my room didn’t look so great so I used the communal shower block near the swimming pool.

This meant however that I needed to walk back to my room wearing just a towel. This proved no problem until I arrived at the room. As I went through the door I was greeted by five Swedish girls I hadn’t yet met! Feeling somewhat awkward wearing just my towel I introduced myself and answered the usual questions of how long was I travelling for, where had I been, where was I going, etc. This was all done whilst trying to dry myself with the same towel that was covering me up! I felt like a stripper arriving at a hen night! Thankfully I managed to dry myself off and cover up without any embarrassment!

In the evening I went to the internet café at the reception. There I booked a mammoth 13 hour coach journey up the coast. I felt that doing an overnight Greyhound trip whilst in Australia was traditional so I couldn’t miss it! The trip would leave at about 5:15pm tomorrow, and arrive at 6:15am on Monday. I also got talking to the girl who was sat on the computer next to me. It turned out that she was from Cambridge, which is no more than 40 minutes away from where I live back home. It’s always nice to meet people who happen to have come from practically the same place as you.

Tomorrow is day 50 of this trip. Its felt more like 7 months than 7 weeks! I guess the amount of stuff I’ve managed to cram in is responsible for that. Patiently queuing to check in at Heathrow back in September is now a distant memory.
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