Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday 05 August 2012
Day 8 riding

The birthday party ended earlier than expected.  That or I was so tired I didn’t hear them after I went to bed.  Either way, I got a good night’s sleep despite this lousy cold.  Here’s a view of our dorm room at Emu’s Beach Resort and Backpackers- second level, on the right

We refueled the scooters and ourselves (yummy breakfast wrap with eggs and sausage) and headed back to Rockhampton and on to Mackay.   There was lots of road kill today.  I mean LOTS.  Eeeew!  It’s not just unpleasant and sad to see, it’s also a reminder that there’s lots of critters on the road.  We need to stay watchful.

We stopped at a McDonald’s in Mackay to get Ian’s coffee fix and use their WiFi.  We looked for a campground , caravan park, hostel or backpackers accommodations.  All were full or too expensive.  I was confident we’d find a friendly camper willing to share a parch of grass for our small tents. I convinced Ian to ride the short distance to the caravan park in Bukasia.

We rode once around then decided to park and find a camp site.  A woman followed us in her van.  She was quite stern but finally agreed to let us stay.  She directed us to set up camp next to the no camping sign.  But ONLY if we gave her $30 CASH.  (She said that twice.)  The posted camping fee was $28 but we weren’t about to quibble.  It was getting late, the warning of road kill was still in my mind, and it was a stunning location adjacent to the beach with a view of the islands in the distance.

We set up our tents and rode over to the small café we’d passed on the way in.  All I wanted was quick, simple meal and to get to bed early.  It didn’t quite go that way.

We decided to sit outside.  Ian noticed the mosquitoes first.  He also noticed the basket of bug repellants provided by the café.  Being the friendly, helpful guy that he is, Ian shared it with a couple at another table.  From there, a conversation started that lasted about three hours.  Al and Nat were a hoot!   We relocated to a table for four and talked and laughed about everything under the sun: bikes, biker bars, road trips, what to see / avoid in Australia, the exploration of Mars, quilting, and on and on.  Al decided to change the name of our adventure from “A Lap Around Australia” to “The Death and Mayhem Tour.”  (We’re still hoping for very little mayhem and absolutely no death, Al.)  They invited us to continue the conversation at their nearby home but we really needed to get some rest.  Ian has a photo of all of us that I’ll steal and post later.

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