I enjoyed a restful night on the grass out the back of the Marlborough Pub, where they sell T shirts that say “Strut in Stagger Out”. I had a couple of tonic waters and got chatting to Ian, a retired man in his 70’s who was taking his time traveling up to Cairns where his son runs a dive school. They plan to go out 300 kms north of Cairns to dive with pods of Minke whales. Ian said its a deeply moving experience as the Minke’s are as interested in us as we are in them.
Tea and toast with Sandra in the Marlborough store, we discussed the pros and cons of small town living: Security and community on the one hand; lack of employment and options on the other.
Made good time in warm sunny conditions. A slight tail wind open wooded country. I encountered some yobbos but they only slowed to hurl abuse not objects.
I counted 18 creek crossings, Heifer Creek, 5 Mile Creek, Freshwater Creek, Blackfellow Creek etc. Sometimes I stopped to enjoy the micro climate. Closing my eyes and smelling the air; peppermint, lemon and lavender. I wondered about the origins of Blackfellow Creek.
I saw a sign that said koalas next 20 kms. I slowed to look for one and kept thinking i saw one, but didn’t.
At a roadside rest stop Kelvin was in a beat up old Hiace van: “Ever been to Bing Bong mate?”
“No” I said.
“Well neither had I until I met this bloke in the pub at Weipa who told me I should go there. Well I did, it’s right up in the Gulf Country.”
“What was it like?” I asked.
“There was a sign that said Bing Bong, that’s it. But I reckon I might go back and take a second look, in case I missed something.” Kelvin roared with laughter at the absurdity of it all and wondered off.
There was a free camp a few kilometers off the road at St Lawrence but I pushed on in the afternoon in hilly conditions the extra 30kms to Clairview and my first, since leaving Melbourne, view of the tropical coast.
The Barra and Crab Caravan Park has a relaxed old world feel about it. It should be a beautiful place to watch the magical full full moon tonight!