Are you all still there? It's a long while now, we've been away from the UK for nearly 6 months. Here we are in Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef - one of the key locations on our tour!
Where have we been since last time? We moved on from Maroochydore, waving a fond farewell to Ron and Denise and drove on around 300 kms to Hervey Bay which was a lovely beach resort (of course). We thought about going onto Fraser Island, which is a world heritage site and is an phenomenon in itself being made totally of sand. They say it contains more sand than the Sahara Desert. But we wanted to save some money so we just enjoyed Hervey Bay for what it was , just a really nice place with friendly people. It is quieter at this time of year now all the children have gone back to school so the resorts are very peaceful! We then moved on to Bargara and Bundanberg - the home of the famous Aussie Rum and had a great tour around the factory and sampled the products which went down a treat, which is probably why we look a little more dishevelled than usual in our pictures...Bundanberg is surrounded by miles and miles of sugar cane fields, which is the main ingredient of that lovely stuff.
We then drove more miles onto the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water, two resorts next to each other, 1770 is famous for being the first landing spot of Captain Cook. We then moved onto Agnes Water. Amazingly, we bumped into Ron and Denise right in the middle of 1770! It's a big country with thousands of places to go and thousands of travellers. We couldn't believe it! So we spent a couple more days together and enjoyed a great trip to Bustard Point (have to be careful how you say that one...) and its famous lighthouse on the "Larc" which is a big pink boat with wheels so it can go on land and in the water. This trip included a sandboarding session which Gary and Ron thought was such great fun and Gary tried to beat the land (sand) speed record and as you may guess, ended up head first in the water below. Denise and I thought better of having to remove sand from ourselves for the next month and sensibly looked on at the 'boys' having the time of their little lives. Bless.
Gary was getting a bit worn out with pitching the tent, so at 1770 we booked into a cabin for two days (hurrah) which was great ( and we at last watched the TV including Antiques Roadshow and Catherine Tate!) but neither of us could sleep really well and consequently we we did drop off we nearly overslept on the last morning as we couldn't hear the kookaburrahs giving it their all as they usually do when the sun comes up and when it's going down. The kookies make a fantastic sound, you can never fail to be stirred by them, it is the sound of Australia, along with the magpies which make a kind of magical warbling sound. We love the birds and animals and at Bargara we got to feed a little possum which was sitting in the roof of the camp kitchen long with about 50 lorikeets on the camp kitchen table, not terribly hygienic, but such a pretty sight.
After 1770 we moved onto Yeppoon and Emu Park (where Emus live), saw 2 emus and nearly got blown away. A storm has been brewing up all down the coast of Queensland, so as soon as there was a clear moment we threw everything into the car and hightailed it another 550 kms down the coast to Airlie Beach, where we are now. Now we are in the tropics and it is roasting and humid. It is also crocodile country, what with the sharks and the jelly fish, the snakes and the spiders, we are ever alert to danger! So we are sticking to the swimming pool and there's also some gorgeous man made lagoons on the beach - but you can't get into the sea itself without a stinger suit and the ability to swim at 50 mph should you spot something.....
But here is what dreams are made of and we have been so looking forward to cruising the Whitsundays, hopefully tomorrow or Thursday....
Anyway, will say goodbye now, hope you are all well, as we are.
Lots of love Dee and Gary XXXX