Published: October 12th 2010October 5th 2010
Tuesday 5th October - Saturday 9th
The last time we left you we were just killing time before heading off on the next leg of our journey, over to the Queensland coast. We spent the day pretty much doing the internet, laundry, coffee thing whilst soaking up some sun on the Darwin waterfront....it's a tough life.
On our last evening in Darwin we met up with our friend Tina again and organised some Thai take out so we could chill out at her place. No air con so not very chillin.....still 35 degrees and 90% humidity! Managed to organise a blind date for Tina whilst collecting the meal....what a friendly place.
Mixed feelings about leaving Darwin. Love the laid back vibe but not sure if we can handle the heat and humidity anymore. Hope to come back when it's a bit cooler. Fantastic beaches, good bars and restaurants and a thriving economy though.
Wednesday - So after swapping good ol Junior for his bigger sister Bertha, we get cracking on the loooong journey to Cairns. A bit nervous about it as everyone we've mentioned it to has done the sharp intake of breath thing as in "do
you know how far that is mate??". Loving Bertha though.....a huge 6 berth house on wheels with toilet, shower, 3 double beds, cooker, fridge, air con, TV etc etc. The roads are straight and the journey boring and the temp gets up to a massive 50 degrees!!....nobody in England should ever complain again! Han takes the opportunity for a well earned rest and takes part in a sleeping competition for England....and wins.
600 kms later and we arrive at Dunnamara Roadhouse which looks rough but ends up being a great place. Get talking to Tricky Nicky and Sticky Vicky, a brother/sister team from Stratford who are doing the whole country in a beat up Holden car and tent. Had a great night chatting and drinking whilst avoiding the mozzies who by now have told all their mates about us (By the way, their best friends were from Cutnall Green - small world for those of you who herald from the Midlands)
Thursday 7th - bit cooler today when we pack up Big Bertha and start the next leg (44 degrees). Big excitement when i had to use the indicator to turn left to go east! (So exciting that
I woke Han up just to let her know we were turning).So that's officially the end of the "Top End" and we can start thinking about another cooler coastline...or can we? Lots more looong straight roads although the scenery starts to change from lots of trees to more desert landscapes. It's a bit weird when you can see 100kms either side of the road and NOTHING in-between, but pretty awe inspiring....boy this country is big.
950kms later and after crossing the Queensland border, we check into a van park in Mt Isa. Dark when we arrive but seems nice enough. At this point it's just another place name on the map which isn't really what travelling is all about but we're knackered!
Friday 8th - 28 degrees when we wake up so fleeces on! Get out of the van park asap as we know what to expect now from a day with Bertha. Fleeces soon come off when the midday temp gets up to 50 degrees again. Another 950kms later and the scenery changes again from desert to mountains to desert to the beginnings of rainforest. Arrive at a van park in Townsville. Don't really get to see
much of the city but it looks great....just nice to be in civilisation again!
Saturday 9th - Hi Guys....Han taking over here cos I've woken up a bit!!! After days of dried creek beds and flat plains, we set off from Townsville along the Great Green Way. Essentially it's Rainforest on the left and the coast on the right - absolutely stunning and enough to keep me awake. The rainforest causes it to rain here (GO FIGURE!!) so the temperature is far more pleasant. After a quick pitstop at Cardwell, we proceeded to Mission Beach to camp for the night. We went out for a few beers and read a local news board about a circus dwarf that had been swallowed by a yawning hippo (and here were we thinking nothing much happened here). Arrived back at the campsite where some naughty Dutch couple had unplugged our van to steal the powered point for themselves. Their response to this atrocious behaviour was "well surely you don't need your air conditioning". Rather than get into an argument or feed them both to the local yawning hippo, we maturely packed up the van and moved to a different pitch.
There are more photos below