Well I packed up the car from Montego Sands in Surfers Paradise. I was quite sad to leave Brian & Kaye. A lovely couple and so nice. But we had to get on. I must write a report on Tripadviser! Anyway, I was aiming for Noosa which I made with lots of time to spare. The road trip wasn't that exciting except as you drive up the Bruce Highway you see loads and loads of blackened trees and vast areas of nothing. I've since learnt that the trees were burnt during the huge bush fires that swept that area a few years ago. You can clearly see that there is new growth and things do seem to return fairly quickly but lots of wildlife suffered and lost their homes or lives. This was a great concern to Mollie. We did see Koalas at the koala hospital that had been burned and lots big patches of fur through fire. One had even had his wee face and paws badly burned :-( The treeline anyway is on the mend but even today as we were driving we saw smoke up in the hills from bush fires. It has been very warm and very dry over the last few days. All the signs at the side of the road are on a medium-high risk for bush fires.
There are road works on our main highway, the Bruce Highway (original!!) and it does slow us down quite a bit. However, what slows us down even more are the huge lorries carrying dumper trucks that are wider than the road. It's even more interesting when you get another oversize lorry coming the other way.
We made good time to Noosa and found another gem of a place. Noosa Head Motel. As I'm discovering over here many of the motels are in better condition than hotels. Just enough time to drop the bags, find the cozzy and find the pool. Check! Mollie was in in seconds. She loves the pool. I even purchased a wee pair of goggles for her and she swims under water, or she thinks she does. Her head goes under but her bum stays on the top of the water and then she bobs up and down like a duck. She is still doing really well with the swimming and I'm very proud of her. I was watching her in the pool and thinking how much she had grown over these last few weeks. Her legs are definately longer and her face is changing again; a lot more like Graham again I think.
Noosa is a lovely place but can get very busy.it has a lovely beach area and harbour/jetty type bit none of which we saw as we were only there for the night but maybe on the return leg we might stop in and see more.
This morning we left at 7.30 having been up since 6am. I had Rockhampton in my sights. It was going to be tough but I was going to try it. Poor Mollie. She knew it was going to be a long trip but she was well armed - iPod, vtech Storio, books and as a last resort iPad filled with movies and games!
We didn't have breakfast before we left. I wasn't fussed for it and Mollie said she wanted something later. Ok! Off we set. What's striking here is the number of roadside fast food chains. McDonalds, Hungry jacks (our Burger King I think) the coffee club, pizza hut, subway and the list goes on. So you're never short of anything. However, we have been on the road for just over a week and with the exception of Coffs Harbour, eating has become bland and yeuch. I'm looking forward to getting back to cooking (I never thought I would say that) and eating fresh stuff.
So, anyway, Mollie and I toddle on along the Bruce Highway. More roadworks and more oversize lorries. We eventually stop in a place called Gin Gin because Mollie saw a play park! Fair enough as she had again sat patiently in the back without moaning. As soon as we get out of our air conditioned car you can feel how hot the sun is. It burns you within 30seconds. RUN!!!!! Luckily all of the play parks have covers over them. Right, 20mins later Mollie is exhausted and it's time to go. Here's the funny part. Gin Gin was the last fuel stop for 200km!! I of course didn't realise this so as I'm driving along I notice that the needle has dropped significantly but yet there were no petrol stations. Hmm, there will be one soon...............nope! My needle hits E. Not the place you want to be caught out with no fuel. I feel like Fred Flinstone and I'm going to have to start running with the car soon. AT LAST! I reach a shell station with a queue at it. Glad to see I wasn't the only one!!
I never made Rockhampton. Mollie was just about done in and after 8 hours off and on behind the wheel so was I. So a lovely picture popped up at the side of the road; Tannum Sands. It's a big mining place. Lots of guys come here for the week and then return home at the weekend which means no accommodation. I was very lucky to get the last available room in another motel room is fine but more importantly it has a gorgeous pool 10 steps from the patio doors. Mollie was in it within 5 mins of getting in the room. I didn't even have to say find your cozzie.
Tomorrow I should have been hitting Airlie Bech but the distance is too much so we I'm aiming for a place called Makay and then Airlie beach on Thursday. Great Barrier Reef hopefully Friday/ Saturday. I can't believe I've got to come all the way back down again. Anyone fancy driving us down? I'll sleep and Mollie provides great in car entertainment! Let me know ASAP :-) xxx