Published: September 18th 2011August 17th 2011
Oh What a life!!
Blog Day 1014
“I told you to stop calling me that” I said to Andy as he referred again to “Little fat bums”. “I’m not” he says, “it’s just that you promised me koala’s and we have only seen one resident koala who doesn’t seem at all interested!”
Good point, but I did promise a wilderness of Koala’s, so I am going to have to do something about that today.
It was great, life on a tropical island, a nice leisurely start to the day, cup of tea in bed, read a few pages of my book and a slow meander through the tropical gardens, listening to the sprinklers sprinkling, up to the restaurant for breakfast. I could get used to this, again, alas it is only for a week, but it is great to be away from the cold Canberra climate.
After breakfast, we headed back to our room to pack a day pack and get the cameras ready, we are off for a hike on the Fort Walk near Horseshoe Bay, locals have told us that if we want to see Koala’s in the wild, then that’s exactly where we will find them. I hope
that they are right for Andy’s sake, I could not bear to see a disappointed face at the end of the day if our search was not fruitful.
So our little 1.3 Suzuki packed with our hiking boots, plenty of water and a snack or two off we set toward Horseshoe Bay, with a little stop in Arcadia to see our little local friend who had climbed higher than ever in the tree, we think that this little Koala was wise to us so thought he would outsmart us.
Next stop was to pop into a shop in Horseshoe Bay so that we could buy a couple of hats, we figured that if we were going to be out in the sunshine then we need to protect ourselves and stupidly we both left our hats at home. Careless really but hats are a necessity in this environment.
For this we have to pass the entrance to the Fort Walk, but not long after we head back up fully kitted out and slathered up with factor 30. Despite being the winter months it is still hot during the daytime here and the sun can still do a lot
We head up the path having a nice slow meander, maybe this is going to be hard work, but we take it easy. The first stop that we have is probably not even 5 minutes into our walk, we look at the view which would be over Florence Bay, it is stunning, a young woman stops to talk to us and we find that she is a teacher from England on a 6 week holiday to take in the sights of the East Coast of Australia.
We slowly move on up the track and not even 30 seconds later with our eyes averted to the appropriate types of tree, we spot our first koala of the day, fast asleep sprawled across its branch, this Koala is unperturbed by our presence, we move on.
It is a hot morning, but it feels great to have the heat from the sun, there are plenty of people on this track, most people say hello or nod as they wander past.
The track is not too difficult but you can clearly see the areas that have been damaged by weather conditions and of course no doubt that Cyclone
Yasi had a lot to do with the damage. You can see were water has eroded deep gully’s down the track. Of course with my eagle eye for nice bright shiny things I spot a piece of quartz lying on the track. It still seems to baffle Andy how I can spot something so small in this wilderness.
Talking of something so small in the wilderness, we just turn a corner in the track and within about 3 feet of the track and just slightly above our heads there is another little fat bum lounging in a tree, this one is nicely wedged in between two branches, thereby making sure that when he/she falls asleep there is little likelihood that it will fall off the branch.
Of course we take loads of photo’s stand and watch for a while, a small crowd gathers and we move on. The day is getting hotter, we stop for a rest and a small drink every now and again.
A couple of people head down the track toward us tell us where to find another Koala, this would be our third, they say that it has a baby with it so
we get quite excited about this one.
Just before the track changes to a steeper incline with some steps we spy a koala that is looking very tubby, we look for signs of the baby koala but there is none. We think that this koala is so tubby and with the he is sitting slumped over the branch it looked as if there was a baby, but from every other angle, nothing.
Again we head off leaving this koala to its daily slumber, while we start to make an effort to climb the steps up toward the fort, it is quite hot now so we do stop regularly for a drink of water.
We eventually find steps up to the gun turret, at the top we find the remains, not gun just the large concrete base and the guidance track. The view is stunning, we step off the concrete and onto the rocks, being mindful of snakes potentially basking in the sunshine.
We can see right across the water to Townsville and the mountains surrounding Townsville. Heading further up, we find a t junction but we cannot turn left, it is all taped off and there
are warning signs, so we turn right up towards the lookout, inside the lookout we look through the narrow landscape window at the view, you can see for miles. We then climb the ladder to the top, below us we can see Horseshoe Bay and the township, the houses just tiny little blips on the landscape from our viewpoint.
Eventually after taking in the sights, we head back down, I spy a little lizard basking in the sunshine so stop to take it’s picture, it stays motionless for me and we move on. Checking out our little koala’s on the way down. Just by the large water tank we stop for our lunch, just a short rest and we continue on the track down.
The heat feels searing as we open the doors to the Suzuki it hits us, we decamp from our hiking boots and back into thongs.
The afternoon passes by slowly with some relaxation in the shade next to the swimming pool, and a few chapters of our books.
Before the sun was due to set we got ourselves ready for dinner and headed back out in the Suzuki, this time we turned
When I was asleep, someone put a tag in my ear.
right up toward Picnic Bay, the roads are quiet. At Picnic Bay we turn off the bitumen onto the dirt track, only 4wd’s are allowed past this point and it soon becomes evident why, there is a lot of sand on the track and I do remember when the hire car was dropped off the lady told us that it would cost us to be recovered if we got stuck in the sand. There really was only one option here and that’s don’t get stuck!
We drove past the entrances to some properties, and eventually we find ourselves running along the side of the beach, a yacht lies on it’s side stranded on the beach, we both wonder if it was a remnant of Yasi.
The driving gets harder as the sand gets deeper, but Andy guides the Suzuki to exactly where we need to be, there were already a couple of vehicles parked up and one on the beach who was fishing.
We saw some people grab some glasses and a couple of bottles of wine from the back of their truck and they headed down to the beach, they stopped to pour a drink and
left their bottles in the sand while they went for a wander.
Andy and I stood on the beach the sun was already low and casting that lovely glow over the evening, it still felt warm and was such a pleasant evening to be standing and watching the sunset, but the guy fishing came up to talk to us, we wouldn’t mind, as you know we speak to a lot of people, but this guy could hardly string a sentence together, he said he was drinking green tea, but I am pretty sure from past experience that drinking green tea did not make me slur my words.
I left Andy to it, he sat down and when I turned round the fisherman had sat down next to him to talk.
The sun disappeared below the horizon which signalled our time to leave, we headed back down the sandy track and toward Arcadia, tonight we decided that we would go to the pub to have a meal and watch the Toad racing, yes you heard that right, Toad racing. Our friends Ian and Heather mentioned it earlier in the week when we saw them, so we thought we
should give it a go.
Unfortunately when we arrived the pub was closed and cordoned off with fencing, so no Toad racing. Later in the week we found out that the pub is closed for a few weeks whilst it undergoes some refurbishment.
Finding dinner that night became difficult, a lot of places were closed so we ended up back at the hotel restaurant, that almost backfired as we ended up waiting over an hour for our meals, but on the good side we were given a chocolate port to drink after dinner.
And on that note it was bedtime.
There are more photos below