July 4 – Brisbane
We got up really, really early (2am) to drive to the airport for our 6am flight to Brisbane. We flew Qantas, after the Tiger Air fiasco. The flight was on time and uneventful. We were even served breakfast. Wow, service, what a novel concept!
Once we landed in Brisbane, we picked up our camper and drove 12 kms to our site for the night. We had time to relax, do a $200 grocery order and have a friend over for an early bbq. After dinner we drove to the airport to pick up Ariane and Nick. All went according to planned. The weather in Brissy was so sunny and warm, my feet actually started to thaw for the first time in weeks. How luscious!
After a nice chat and catching up with the kids on their outback adventure in Mt. Isa, we all had a much needed sleep. Actually, 3 of us had a nice afternoon nap to recover from the early flight, but we still were tired last night. I woke at 8am but could have slept till noon. I guess the school term took its toll on me.
July 5 – Hervey Bay
We are in a comfy campground for the night. We arrived after dark (one of the drawbacks of travelling in the winter months when daylight is short), so we haven’t seen the area yet. It’s supposed to be right beside Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. We might get a quick look tomorrow. On the way here, we stopped in Mooloomba for a look at the suncoast beaches and then again at Noosa Heads. We had a nice long walk on beach, watched the surfers and generally enjoyed the sun and the squeaky sand (at Noosa). We stopped to make a sandwich in the camper before we travelled on to Hervey Bay. What was supposed to be a 300KM trip, took a whole day thanks to our meandering to find beaches. It got windey as we drove out of Noosa and Ariane started to feel sick. She managed ok with a Gravol, but she wasn’t having much fun.
We’ve decided to try to make it all the way up to Whitsundays so we can see the Great Barrier Reef properly. So that means we will have to drive long and hard for a couple of days. The kids say they are ok with that. Let’s hope there won’t be any more nausea.
We have a TV in the camper, so we’ve been able to watch our favourite family show – Master Chef. Tonight, we actually watched it in the camp kitchen on the large screen TV, while eating dinner. It’s 8:45pm, the kids are on the way to sleep. Earl sleeps on what is the kitchen table/sitting area for extra travellers. His bed equipped with the seat belts they are to use when we are travelling. Last night, Earl was afraid he might get hit in the head by a buckle. As he went to sleep, he said: “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the buckle bugs bite.”
Good night John Boy, good night Elizabeth. Good night..
July 6 – Uneventful day, spent mostly driving North to get to Airlie Beach. We realize it will take us about 10 hrs. We had hoped to drive most of it today, but by 5pm, we are only in Marlborough, 100 km north of Rockhampton. So we stopped for gas and drive into the tiny town (pop. 300) to buy some water, a box of cookies for dessert and a bottle of wine for Leon and I to share. Then we camped for the night on the highway front campground that’s seen better days. They didn’t have a bbq pit, so we all decided to have dinner at the restaurant and Nick graciously offered to buy us dinner. It wasn’t gourmet good, let’s just say it was hearty, more like trucker portions. Back at the camper, we opened the $8 package of cookies (outrageous!! I could have bought them in a large grocery store for $3) and went to bed very early so we could get up this morning and hit the road. After a quick breakfast and clean up, we were just about to leave when a flock of pea hens or guinea fowl came up to the camper looking for a meal. Earl and I fed them bread slides from the door as we joked with Ariane that she should steal one to roast for dinner. It’s now 8:15am and we are back on the road. It’s foggy and cool but we are hoping for another bright, warm day. And this time, we hope to be spending some of the day in the Whitsundays on the beach!!