I need to apologise profoundly for the spelling errors in that last blog. Ordinarily, after I've typed an entry I go through it and correct my errors. However, as I mentioned there was a rather long queue and I didn't have time. I have gone back and corrected the mistakes now so hopefully it will make some kind of sense.
I had one more day in Airlie before moving on and I used this to go to the book exchange (I have just finished Donna Taart's- a Secret History. I got it because it was cheap and it turned out to be marvellous) and laze by the town lagoon - an outside picturesque swimming pool created, I think, to prevent silly tourists jumping in the unsafe sea. I met up with Judy and the other Kendal 2 and we all had dinner together before an uncharacteristic early night for them all as they were getting boats early the next day.
I then went to Mackay, 2 hours south of Airlie. Now this is not really a backpacker destination and as such I could only get a motel not a hostel. This was delightful luxury. It's amazing when you've been roughing it (ooh it's been almost 3 weeks since being at Maggie's with my own room- practically a lifetime!) that having a double bed, en suite and TV can do for the morale. After a stroll around town, I got a take away which I ate at my little table with a cool bottle of cider watching the news. Fantastic.
The next day, I did more exploring as you see this was not just a holiday visit, it was recon. Anthony and Cat, 2 friends from uni are moving here in August to work at the local hospital after being lured by another uni friend (Matt) who already works here. There are several nice things in Mackay. Little cafes, an adequate shopping centre, 2 cinemas (neither arthouse), a free art museum, a book exchange and apparently botanical gardens (I couldn't find them). There is also a nice marina by all accounts, but I didn't have time to see it. Well, that's a lie actually, I just couldn't be bothered with the faff of getting the bus. I am a terrible tourist. One thing I noticed though is that not only is Mackay very flat, but it is a very anti-pedestrian place. The reason the bus was a faff was because I couldn't find a bus stop. And half the streets don't have pavements. Anthony and Cat- buy a car.
That evening I went to see the afore-mentioned Matt and met his lovely wife, Lucy (who I thought was called Marion for some unknown reason) for the first time. Getting to their place was slightly precarious as I have mentioned the lack of pavements and as such I had to walk either on the poorly lit road or on grass embankments. I abandoned the grass walking after a large rat ran up to my foot, stopped, looked at me and ran away. Fortunately, after a nice catch up and feed, Lucy offered to drive me home so return journey advetures were avoided.
The next day I had to catch an overnight bus and so I spent the day uncomfortably. I prefer to awake and then jump on transport, not hang about , but the evening bus was the only option. I did very little as I couldn't settle. Fortunately, I had got another very good book (Marcus Zusak's The Messenger- an earlier work to his critically acclaimed the Book Thief, which I have also read) so this was a comfort and helped toil away the hours. I then got the bus, the first leg of the journey taking 13 hours, followed by a gap of 2 hours then a final 1.5 leg before arriving in Rainbow Beach, where I am now. I did not smell good on arrivial and very quickly had a shower then went for a wander aroud town. This is a lie. There is no town. I found a small cul de sac of shops and a shell garage. Oh well, it's only for a night before I go on my Fraser Island trip.
Right that's me, I better go spell check this now...