Tall Tales of Turtles and Other Exotica

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January 8th 2007
Published: January 13th 2007
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John & Noelene's PoolJohn & Noelene's PoolJohn & Noelene's Pool

Much frequented by Wendy
Up early despite late night and excess alcohol (home brew, red wine, port and drambuie are not really recommended). Morning here is a bit like living beside the aviary at a zoo -parakeets, lorrikeets, our old friend the mynah and I don't know what else - a dawn caucophony rather than dawn chorus.
Organised car-hire and trip to see loggergead turtles, Wendy had a quick dip in the outdoor pool then went into town for a wander round Brisbane (and to let Cara have a last shopping spree). Spent most of the afternoon between the Botanic Garden and Roma parks.
Saw my first kookaburra once you hear them you understand where the name comes from. The place is also overrun with Ibises - flying rats according to the locals (they tend to live off garbage), large number of lizards, also saw a couple of turtles in the lily pond in Botanics. Trees again - the Botanics have various impressive trees including a very impressive banyan.

Last night in Brisbane so went out for a meal with our hosts John and Noelene, very pleasant but quite restrstrained after previous night's excesses. Once again we've been made more than welcome and thanks to our hosts have had a brilliant time. They have also arranged for us to stop over tomorrow evening with a couple of friends of theirs who live near to the turtle hatching grounds.

Tuesday - left John & Noelene's and went to pick up a hire car, which we immediately nicknamed the Beast and as you'll see from the photos, it's a bit more up-market than our New Zealand rent a wreck. Then having driven round Brisbane's one way system a couple of times, with Willy saying "I need a cigarette now!", we finally stopped looping and headed north to Bundaberg.

It was a long a tedious drive. A "Motorway" here isn't always a three lane carraiage way - sometimes it has right turns, intersections and roundabouts and often only has one lane in each direction. Once in Bundaberg, we met Roger, as arranged and went out to his and Vicky's place a 2 acre plot on the edge of Bundaberg. Vicky fed us and we headed back to see the turtles. Yet again the hospitality and genorosity towards strangers was overwhelming.

We arrived last and eventually got into the visitor centre - we
Brisbane River with catamaran  river feryBrisbane River with catamaran  river feryBrisbane River with catamaran river fery

Cliffs behind are ones I didn't quite climb
were in group 3, which meant we would get to see the third turtle on the beach that night - could be anytime between 7.30 and 1am.... turtles don't lay eggs to order to suit tour groups! In the event, we only humg around for an hour and a half before group three was assembled for the walk in pitch darkness to the beach. (Light upsets the turtles and makes them turn tail and head back to the sea).

"Our" turtle was huge - we all gathered round her just in time to see the last few eggs being laid. Then she laboriously covered the hole and landscaped it with her flippers, so that after about 30 minutes you couldn't tell where the nest was. Then she turned round and headed back to the sea.

We headed back to Roger and Vickys' and off to bed.

Wednesday - Roger took us for a drive to the edge of the housing scheme where they live to see wild kangaroos feeding and boxing.

Then we left for "The Town of 1770" - founded I guess in 1770 (By Captain Cook no less - Ed). Another tedious drive through
Banyan Tree in Brisbane BotanicsBanyan Tree in Brisbane BotanicsBanyan Tree in Brisbane Botanics

The lady in the pic sat down just as I was about to take this shot
vast woodland/scrub - this country is just so big and so hot - thank god the car has air conditioning. Arrived at Agnes Water where those of us who don't have a shedload of cash stop ( it's only 6 km fron 1770) rather than 1770 itself.

Staying in brand new backpackers hostel $75 per night for the 3 of us (shared room, bunk beds) thats only ten pounds each! Everything's new as hostel doesn't officially open for fortnight.

Had a lazy day yesterday after drive up here also its too hot and humid to do very much between 11 and 3 (in my mind its too hot almost all the time (I'm having 2 or 3 Cold! showers each day). Then had a barbecue last night using one of free barbrecues. Then a short walk another shower to cool off and an evening planning the rest of our trip.

We now have a rough idea of where we're going and when(nish). Plan is to be in Sydney for Australia Day (26th Jan) with Cara who is then heading off to Adelaide and meeting up with us in Melbourne for our last 2 weeks in Eastern Oz - we plan to drive the Great ocean Road west of Melbourne.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12



The water bottle at the top is Wendy
Our first free BarbecueOur first free Barbecue
Our first free Barbecue

In Australia, electric barbecues are situated at picnic areas for anyone to use and then clean up after them selves. They are free - and they're always clean - so
And the master chefAnd the master chef
And the master chef

always clean - so
Beauty and the BeastBeauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

I'll leave you to decide which is which. I've driven it too. It's big!
Our roomOur room
Our room

At the Sothern Cross Backpackers in Agnes Water.

13th January 2007

Glad the weather has improved for you guys. It seems to be getting worse here and I'm now minus a fence! The kangaroos and weird plants are awesome. Keep the photos coming.

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