6.00pm - Friday The 13th

Trip Start Feb 09, 2009
Trip End Mar 25, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday 13 March, 6.00pm, the dorm
I'd forgotten if 13 Feb is a Friday, so is March. I didn't update on 13 Feb, did I?
After a complete lack of snoring from the boys last night, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and just stay in the same room. We had two empty beds last night which have now been filled, one by a taciturn Aussie whose name I have not yet ascertained, and one by a Portuguese girl called Tanya who is probably about thirty, but disturbingly sexy in that Latina way all the same. She and I just had a brief conversation on the subject of a mutual disapproval of snoring, so all that's left is Mr Quiet - hope he's a good boy.
Other than a fairly decent night's sleep, however, today was just one of those days. I woke up at about 7.20, and couldn't get back to sleep because those four tiny skylights are like glaring spotlights first thing in the morning, and I couldn't be bothered to go to the bottom of the bed and root around for my sleeping mask. Finished my book, and started to feel a bit sleepy again, so I dozed for all of four minutes before my alarm went off to tell me it was 9am and I should go downstairs and tell the woman at the desk I was happy to stay put.
Got dressed and investigated the internet café next door (I don't think internet cafés should be allowed to call themselves cafés if they don't sell coffee, by the way, which this one didn't), before heading off to Eungella National Park, which LP assured me was a fabulous way to spend a day. As usual, LP know their shit, because the drive up there through Pioneer Valley, overlooking acres of rainforest, was breathtaking. The only problem is that a lot of the walks are one way tracks, rather than circuits, and they suggest you get dropped off the various starting points and then picked up in the car park at Broken River, where the platypus viewing platform over the river is, and which is about central to all the potential walks. Unfortunately, I was under my own steam, and alone, so I decided to skip the afternoon of walking round the park that I had planned, because I didn't especially want to spend the evening walking back (there could well be something less cute than platypi around here, and even they're poisonous, for Christ's sake) and just instead do a short 3km circuit that went up by the river. It started off well, I saw a lot of cool fungi on the trees, so took lot of pictures, and then I found a spot where there were a ton of massive rocks in the river, and they made all kinds of cool mini waterfalls as the water rushed around them. There was a bit of a break in the trees there, and a clearly well trodden path down some rocks to the water's edge, so I decided to be a naughty girl and veer off the main path for a moment.
Back in Rainbow Beach, the tide came in unexpectedly when I was coming back from the coloured sands and I had to clamber over a bunch of rocks to try and stay dry. I didn't slip once, although I did end up with water swirling around my knees at one point when I ran out of step-upon-able rocks. (The important thing is my bag stayed dry. Leggings can be washed; passports, cameras, iPods and phones, less so.) Now, when the worst that could happen was not a splash into relatively shallow and calm sea just a foot below me, but instead a perilous high dive into a rapidly moving river filled with rocks, the climbing prowess I demonstrated then completely abandoned me. I took two steps, cautiously working out where to balance my weight as I took each one, but on step three I slipped and sat down very hard on a large wet rock, liberally covered in leaves, mud, moss, and oh yes, spiders and ants.
I gingerly picked myself up (easier said than done when you're still in a fairly vertical environment) and brushed down my clothes and bag, evicting several opportunistic insects which were attempting to scout out new homes in my pockets, and took a few pictures of the river (which, though pretty, probably wasn't worth falling over and skinning my hand in the process). Since these things are usually easier to get up than down, I managed to get back to the path without incident, and obediently did not leave it again, since the vengeance of the National Park system is apparently swift and terrible.
Not five minutes later, though, whilst taking a picture of a lizard that ran out in front of me (I managed to stop dead and get my camera open without freaking it out), I realised that the quiet, disembodied and slightly eerie voice I'd been hearing for some time was not in fact the ghosts of the forest, but instead the warning on my camera telling me my battery was low. Because I was using the other, non-waterproof one for most of this trip, until I dropped and broke it in Australia Zoo whilst in the grip of a manic echidna-induced fever, I hadn't charged my waterproof once since I left the UK. Arse. Five minutes after that, I tried to take another picture, and it informed me that there was not enough battery power. I was barely halfway round the track, so I was not so happy.
You want to hear the really ironic thing? The picture I couldn't take was a fantastic shot of the river. Obviously it was a designated lookout point. So I fell over for nothing.
It turned out that whilst replying to a text from Louise this morning, I'd accidentally left my phone on my bed, so I couldn't even use that to take pictures with. Instead, I trudged dejectedly back to the platypi, who were (of course) absent, and decided to just abandon today and come back and have another go tomorrow. When I was driving back, I saw signs for Hatton Finch Gorge, though, and I thought huh, even though I can't take any pictures, it would be a nice way to finish the day. I followed the path over the bridge to the gorge, which I was expecting to be very close, considering there were no kilometre numbers on the sign. In fact, it was actually a good distance (naturally), probably something like 10-15km. I say probably, because I didn't actually reach the gorge. After I'd been making my way down a variety of tiny country roads, I came suddenly to a section of road that led, inexplicably, into a river. Since I don't have a 4WD, and it's not my car, I decided getting all outdoorsy and trying to start fording rivers now would not be a good move. Instead, I gave a deep sigh, turned around, and began the 70km journey back to Mackay, feeling thoroughly brought down by the whole day. My iPod (unsurprisingly) ran out of battery after one song, and I couldn't find anything but country music on the radio.
Oh, and when I got back? There were no free machines for me to do my laundry in.
So while it's not been a dreadful day, it's been full of small annoyances. Good old Friday 13th, eh? I'm now waiting for a washer to become available so that I can have some clean pants to put on. Clean pants will be the first step on the way to a brighter tomorrow!
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suzloua on

Re: pondering...
That is just you, yes.

rokrchik on

I want to comment on the small annoyances but I don't know what to say. So I will just say that.

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