Monday, 23 June 2008

Capricorn Coast

After a quick one-nighter at Hervey Bay (waking up next to major highway roadworks AND a building site next to the caravan park after 8 nights on Fraser Island was a rude shock!) we drove into Bundaberg country.  Now unless you are Australian or drink a lot of rum this probably wont mean much to you, but here in Australia it is a national icon, and rum is closely linked to the country's early history - my favourite link being the NSW Corps (part of the RN Marine Corps that came here with the convicts on the First Fleet) became known as the Rum Corps as they held such a monopoly on the rum trade, which was roaring in those days of the British Navy ruling the seas (and notably the Caribbean!).  So Bundaberg has a rum distillery, and not surprisingly it is old and has a lot of interesting history, fires, spillages into the river killing/getting drunk all the fish! etc etc.  Me & Em went for the historical story interactive tour and a sample of the rum at the end - Royal Liqueur which was very nice with cream on the top!  I'm not a big rum drinker, but maybe one day I will be.....P1070030

Up the coast from "Bundy" is "Town of 1770" or "1770" or "Seventeen Seventy" whatever you like to call it.  We are still confused about the name, not just because it is numbers, but because Captain Cook landed here in 1770, which was 18 years before the First Fleet came back and the country was actually "settled" I would have thought 1770 was quite an important date being when Australia was discovered, not just 1788?  But maybe I am wrong and I will not pass the Australian citizenship test because of this....P1070036

We went for a sunbathe, a walk along the beach watching dolphins, seabirds dive for fish, fishermen, and other strollers, then watched a beautiful sunset on the beach from our campsite, I like to thin this would have been how Captain Cook would have seen the area when he landed here too (apart from the outboard motor in the corner obviously) P1070058 But then had the rest of the evening ruined by some "hoons" who were only about 16, with their 40 something totally dense father, getting drunk 2 metres from our tent and chatting up Canadian backpackers.  I shouted at them at 19:30 (dont laugh, it wasnt because I wanted to go to bed - they were being so loud me & Em couldnt actually hear each other) and then Em shouted at them at 22:30 as they were still going and we had their silhouettes dancing around on our tent wall.  They went to the beach and annoyed the rest of the campsite til about 01:00.  Not fun at all.  Then they were up at 6am making more noise!  I wanted to get up before them and wake them up but they beat me to it.  Actually I was going to reverse over their tent and run them all over, but its harder to hit moving targets.

We got on the road with a takeout coffee from the bakery as early as possible to get away from them, driving back through 1770 and Agnes Water, which are quaint little towns, and onto the Capricorn Coast....this is the most southerly point of the Great Barrier Reef and is very pretty, this is the view 20 metres from our tent:  P1070098  and these little fellas (flying foxes): P1070092  are about 30 metres away, but my god do they make a noise when they come home in the small hours of the morning!  They scrap all day fussing and fighting each other, making a screaming squeaky kind of noise, then they all fly off together when it gets dark to feed and come home to fuss and fight again.  I would rather be woken up by these little dudes than the village idiots we had next to us at 1770 any day though.  We've booked in for a few nights in Emu Park campsite which seems to be just right - delicious bakery and a fish and chip shop about 300 metres away, empty beach in front of us, and a powered site cheaper than some unpowered we've had.  We're both feeling quite relaxed here, swimming, sat around, chatting to the grey nomads (!) and will take our time cruising up the coast before meeting Paul and Emily again in Cairns on 13th July.

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