Ouch...


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Mission Beach
December 6th 2011
Published: December 15th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

There was no better word to describe today. Ouch. Talk about waking up feeling like the living dead. The hangover is spectacular - even requiring some hugging of Armitage Shanks. Not a good day.

The French lady I so rudely interrupted last night appears to have disappeared this morning - I know I didn't dream her being there as her belongings are still there, but she must have made a hasty run for fresh air, given the amount of alcohol fumes that must have been coming from me. Packing is painful - turning my head upside down is not good - but soon I'm on my way to check out.

The bigger worry is that I have to hire a car today to get me to my next destination, Mission Beach. A tactical Macca's stop was required (Egg Mcmuffin and a hash brown - the essential hangover cure) plus a paddle at the lagoon, and I headed to the car hire places. Disaster. No cars. Anywhere. Probably not a bad thing given my alcohol state but at the same time, I can't stay here in Cairns any longer without messing up subsequent plans. I dug out the trusty iPod and connected to the internet to search for cars. Hey presto, there's a car at one of the depots that just told me to get lost. I booked it on the spot, and headed back into the branch, to be greeted by 'Still no cars!'. Imagine the surprised look when I told him I have a booking....

Reluctantly he processed the order, like a cat with its tail between its legs. He had the last laugh - my new-found 4 wheeled companion is a maroon Getz, the smallest of the small. The backpack will barely fit in the boot. The air con needs regassing. It's going to be a long hot journey...

Still, I hit the road after lunch and after much more water had been consumed, and headed north towards Port Douglas. I'd had a plan to go to Cape Tribulation but with the head feeling as bad as it is, I've had to give that a miss. Note to self - hangovers don't mix with sightseeing. Must do better next time.

Just leaving Cairns on the Captain Cook Highway, there's a giant, almost LEGO-esque statue of the great man surveying the road. Surprised I'd not noticed him before but there you go. Something that will now appeal to all you ex, or maybe still current, TP folk. The next place I saw was Yorkeys Knob. You guys will appreciate why I found that extraordinarily funny...

There are signs everywhere telling me to watch for Electric Ants. WTF? An electric ant? I had no idea what they were on about until I stopped at a BP garage for Powerade (hangover cure no.2), and saw the critters along with some enormous flying beetle creatures, all dead on the floor. It was like walking into an insect cemetery, so I moved on quickly.

The road to Port Douglas is beautiful - a winding coastal road that takes you close to the water's edge, through tropical rainforests and past orchards of pineapple, banana and coconut trees. At Port Douglas, I turned around, and headed south, back towards Cairns, as I need to keep heading south from this point onwards until I hit Melbourne in the New Year. I stopped at one of Cairns northern beaches - Palm Cove - on the way back, which was absolutely stunning. Beautiful elegant restaurants, and a lovely beach, all tree lined and glowing in the summer sun. You can't swim anywhere on this beach - only between the white ropes, as there are crocodiles in the water. I took a photo to make sure I didn't make that bit up in my vodka-haze...

Late afternoon and I arrived at my backpackers in Mission Beach, having driven around 250km today. It's a lovely place, away from town, and I'm greeted with a bit of local advice for travellers 'my age' (great - the youthful appearance must have disappeared...). I can drive around to see the wild wallabies sitting in people's front gardens before having a glass of wine at Elandra, an upmarket resort at the tip of the headland (http://www.elandraresorts.com/ ). I took both bits of advice - the wallabies were unbelievable - tons of them just hopping about over the gardens, stopping to stare at you staring back at them. The resort was gorgeous - a beautiful place with stunning views over to the islands. I stayed until sunset, before heading back to my less than luxurious, yet adequate backpackers, to contemplate tomorrow's drive. With a clear head, I reckon I'll make it to Airlie Beach, but I wouldn't mind a stop at Magnetic Island via Townsville. Let's see how awake I am in the morning....

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