Published: July 8th 2008July 6th 2008
6 weeks in Bella, over 6000 Km, 6 million amazing experiences, about 6 dollars left in our bank accounts and you will all be pleased to know, more
than 6 showers!!
Anyway... after thinking my senses had been overloaded by stunning Fraser island we set off again towards Airley Beach (the gateway to the Whitsundays). Most travellers get the 14hr overnight bus from Rainbow to Airley missing out on spots such as Town of 1770, Agness Waters, Hervey Bay, Bundaburg and other lovely little beach towns along the coast. The great thing about being in Bella is that Holly and I get the best of both worlds, we have found that we love exploring all the tiny one-wallaby-towns
but every so often we like being around other backpackers doing the traveller thing. Airley Beach was a real backpacker town, all the busses stop here so that you can go sailing around the Whittsundays, it's the thing to do! We booked into a campsite/hotel thingy and managed to meet up with our whole crew from the Fraser experience so had a few days playing in the man made lagoon, drinking copious quantities of Goon and generally relaxing/nursing hangovers in the
sunshine! For those of you who don't know what Goon is, it's the Australian version of boxed wine only it's dirt cheap, doesn't contain the word 'wine' anywhere box yet simplysays:
Warning: NOT SUITABLE FOR VEGITARIANS, MAY CONTAIN NUTS, FISH AND MILK.
hmmmmm...I personally hate the stuff but Holly is actually a fan, you do get 4.1 Litres for about 4quid so I drink it with lemonade or anything to try and disguse the taste!! bleugh!
Before you think we're just drinking our way around the world let me tell you about Sailing, ahhhhh, what a wonderful time we had. Hols and I set out on the Boomerang, an 83ft Maxi world Champoin racing yacht with an awesome crew and 23 travelers to explore the Whitsundays. The wind was great for sailing and we all got to join in, helping to get the sails up etc. On of the beaches we stopped at was Whitehaven beach which some say is the best beach in the WORLD!! The sand here is made up of 98% pure Silica which gives the most amazing white texture ever! just a beautiful beach. The rest of the trip included good food, good dancing on
deck, good goon, good company, good snorkeling, an overall amazing time. I wish i could spend more time on the boats...
After Airly we made our way up to Townsville where we met up with one of Holly's friends from home. Katie left home 3 years ago to go travelling and loved Oz so much she stayed, I can see why, it's a lovely counrty! It was good to be shown around a town by a local because most of the time we rock up to a place, find the beach, find a supermarked and a laundry and never really know the 'trendy' places to go! T'ville was lots of fun although Bella was slightly vandalised (back windscreen wiper ripped off and a kick dent in the side) we felt like neglectful parents when we returned to find her like that! Poor Bella (and Poor us waiting to see if we got our $500 deposit back, fingers crossed!)
From Townsville you can get a ferry across to Magnetic island, a beautiful little spot, named in 1770 by the big boy Captain Cook himslef becuase him compass played up while he was sailing past. The hostel that holly and
I were staying in had a toad racing competition going on (yes, i know, aussies are strange like that) where they raise money for the local school. Tres fun! Holly and I decided the best and cheapest way to see the island would be on bicycle. I don't know if you know but I'm not a brilliant cyclsit, always been a big afraid after breaking my finger whilst riding along, no hands, with my bike tied to Toby's - Asking for trouble really! Anyway, I manned up and we cycled all round the island, 20km with gradients reaching 14% nightmare going up but super fun going down! don't ask how i felt the next day!
From there we continued our journey up, only stopping briefly in Mission beach becuase in was bucketing it down and the only reason you go there is for the beach. Various beautiful stops along the way up towards the end of our road trip including the back route through the Atherton Tablelands where breathtaking scenery of rainforests up in the clouds takes us towards Port Douglas - another beachy town, v cool vibe there tho. We were planning on heading to Cairns from there
but at the last minute changed our minds and carried on up towards Cape Tribulation, the furthest north you can go before you reach unsealed rd. Cape Trib is, yet another, beaut of nature where rainforest actually hits the beach, v.cool! We sampled some crazy home made ice cream, made from fruits i have never even heard of like Black Sapote (the chocolate pudding fruit) Sour Sop (a mixure of apple and lemon) and wattle seed (tasts like cappuccino) all very exciting.
The last part of our road trip in Bella takes us to Cairns, a lovely lively city with a lagoon, 28degree sunshine in the middle of winter and a young party vibe. Holly and I were very sad to give Bella back, they literally had to pry the keys from holly!! To get over our sadness we booked a dive on the Great Barrier Reef. It was obviously beautiful with wonderful coral and fish glaore. Am I the only person that gets hungry diving? all I can think about is whether they would taste good or not!! haha At the ned of our dive, we had surfaced right next to a Loggerhead Turtle so we whacked our
snorkels in and followed the lovely turtle for about 5mins, we were very excited and it made our dive!!! yeay!!!
We're now in Brisbane, after flying back down from Carins and we've had our head stuck in India's lonely planet guide. We're heading to Mumbai tonight (in a very round about fashion and about 40hrs travel time) and are a complete mixture between excited, nervous, sad to leave Oz, happy to be nearly seeing friends/family and generally mixed up!! Can't believe it's been 6 months already....
There are more photos below