Published: September 30th 2010September 30th 2010
At last the rain has eased in Queensland, after the wettest September on record! It was a true test for our tent, but Linda and Denis came through sleeping in it with no leaks, just dissapointed in the lack of sun! Still the rain hasn't stopped us doing anything, and was mostly at night.
From Cairns we headed south to Mission Beach, stopping on the way at Mourilyan for lunch near another sugar loading wharf in a small harbour. It was very muggy at South Mission Beach, so we were very pleased to have a pool to cool off in after the tent went up and we were all settled. We walked on the beach later in the warm wind.
The next day we were off again, called in to Tully and climbed up the Big Gumboot - it was as tall as the amount of rainfall (7.9m) it had one year, we think 1984. After another stop at Lucinda for lunch and to view the longest wharf, that has a sugar conveyor belt to the end to load ships, we continued on to Rollingstone for one night. We had a huge site there, plenty of room for the tent as
looking for a sapphire
well, and enjoyed that pool too! Again the rain came , mainly at night.
Denis and Linda got very good at picking the moment between showers to pack up the tent. We were off again next day to Townsville - we stopped at a truck service place to buy some "Purple", Chris likes it for cleaning the bullbars and aluminium (got some for you Rick!) and unhooked our van and left it there while we explored around the city. Then it was on south to Bowen. We managed to get into the caravan park at Horseshoe Bay, and stayed there for 2 nights. One of our favourite places, the beach was windy the day we arrived, but the weather improved the next day, and we had several swims in both beaches nearby and also the pool. Then we were off again to Airlie Beach. Again we were given a big grassy site with plenty of room for the tent. We tried for a boat trip to the Whit Sunday's but there was a cruise ship in and all the boats were booked out for the next several days. We had a visit from our friends Mardi and Bap there. They're
still in the area, and now have a new grandson. Good to see them again.
We continued on the next day , south down the Bruce highway, then turned west just before Mackay. A long drive west saw us arrive at Clearmont, where we stopped for the night. The effects of the rain were obvious, everything very green everywhere and many of the rivers and streams high. A few spots had water over the road. It poured that night, but still the tent didn't leak! We were unable to take the short cut route as roads were closed, so went south to Emerald, then west to Sapphire. We're back in one of our favourite camping grounds here at Sapphire - under new ownership, but still great. Linda and Denis have found it's not a good idea to feed the many birds here - Denis has been monstered by them all! Mainly they are rainbow loorakeets.
Yesterday we went out fossicking for sapphires on a self drive trip (Fascination Gem Fossicking) (this is the only thing we have done twice on our trip, it's a great day) and got very dirty, but we came back with a small bag with some
little sapphires. I found 3 that could be cut, and Linda found 1 yellowy green coloured good one.
Today, the team is busy packing up around me as I write this, getting ready to move on south. Denis has lost a big filling from his tooth, so we will call in at Emerald and see if he can get in to a dentist, then head off south towards Cania Gorge. We will probably stop somewhere on the way, as it will be too far to do in one day.
Regards to all
Lynne and Chris, Linda and Den
There are more photos below