According to Brett we are officially living out every big boy’s dream of living in a fort. However, ours has 4 wheels, a refrigerator, a sink, all our belongings and an unpredictable next destination. I guess this really is a dream! We are continuing to have so much fun and every day we see something new and utterly amazing. Seriously, Australia is beautiful. The highways are long, the beaches are sandy and the water is postcard turquoise.
We spent Tuesday night in an awesome outskirt of Mackay (pronounced Mick-EYE, for those of you following us on the map) called Slade Point. It was again a perfect parking lot with a BBQ and a bathroom. I don’t think it could get any better having both of those within footsteps. I am convinced now that I wouldn’t even want one of the beautiful houses across the street from the beach because I would be stuck in one place. Instead we get in our car the next morning and head somewhere fun and new. Brett took a mid-night swim (around 8pm to us dawn and dusk followers) to cool off and he said it was just what he needed! Just before we headed down to the beach we checked the signs, just to be safe, and read that it was a local place for turtles to lay eggs. We kept our eyes peeled and our head lamp on in the chance that we could catch a glimpse. Apparently they were all tucked away for the night not to be bothered.
Wednesday is another date that we will never get back: 9.9.09. Brett and I spent 8.8.08 in Vegas with about 20 friends last year and about one year later we are spending it together alone in a very cute little touristy town called Airlie Beach. This town is the backpackers dream with lots of shops, bars and hotels. However we came strictly for the Whitesunday Islands. Once again, we are parked in a lot right on the beach and we just had a great little dinner for about $4 each. We made one minute mashed potatoes out of a bag, grilled zucchini and we grilled up a BBQ pack from the supermarket which included some of our new favorites: seasoned rissle (I am really not exactly sure what rissle is or if I even want to know, but it is yummy and warm), dinner sausage links and a piece of steak. We had a feast topped off with a glass of South Eastern Australian Merlot and it literally cost us next to nothing! We were marveling at the view, the proximity to the sand and our great meal thinking we should be sitting at The Four Seasons with the amenities we are getting used to.
We are going to do our best to play like tourists and enjoy the Whitsunday Islands. We booked a day excursion for Thursday. We tossed back and forth the ideas of camping on one of the deserted islands or taking a boat for the day to snorkel and relax. While we thought camping would be really fun and different it is really quite expensive and then you are secluded to one island and/or one beach. To camp on one of the 74 islands you must bring in all your own gear, get dropped off by a boat and get picked up the next day. We thought it would be better to spend the day on a boat hopping from island to island. Tomorrow’s cruise will take us to one of the most popular beaches, Whitehaven Beach, for some relaxing time on the perfect sand beach as well as to Hook Island for some snorkeling and Hill Inlet for a small climb to a lookout point. The excursion will allow us to see much more and enjoy the islands as well as the waters that surround them!
The rest of our trip is still unplanned but we are still making our way up the coast to eventually land in Port Douglas. The next stop is unknown but we have been using our guide books religiously. We are referring to Let’s Go: Australia 2009, Lonely Planet’s Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef 2008 (our parting gift from Simon) and our 8th edition Hema AAA road map. So far, all the cross-referencing and tips from the locals have steered us in nothing but the right direction!
xoxo, B and K