Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Road trip to Airley Beach

Whitsunday Islands here we come!
All of us were up nice and early, after breakfast Daphne suddenly decided to pack herself a bag and come along too, we just threw our luggage in the boot along with the chillybin and were off. Erle driving, Daphne was very quiet in the back, she didn’t like being forced to go on holiday, but about an hour into the trip she had thought of how this short break with family, was a real treat not a punishment, and so she started to cheer up and enjoy the trip. The drive was just over 3 hours long and we keep moving fast all the way so as to be able to acquire good accommodation in Airley Beach at a Camping ground, as we wanted a 2 room cabin we thought we had better get there early before all were let out.
As we drove, there was a huge storm brewing layer after layer of big black clouds raced past or did we race under them? Maybe a bit of both, some rain did fall but nothing too much.
There was a nice fruit stall near Bowen selling Mango Melons, a large smooth skin bright yellow fruit that is very juicy and yellow fleshed, we just couldn’t resist the delicious taste of mangoes, so I bought a large Melon to go with all the other fruit and some passionfruit as well, it will be fruit salads for breakfast each day! If you ever get the chance to try a Yellow Mango Melon do so they are the most superior melons there are I think they might only grow around this area.
By time we got to Airley Beach the sun had broken through and it was a lovely sunny day.
As we drove into Airely Beach we saw that a Market day was in progress, so we stopped and had a wander around, tasting wine at one stall and sweets at another and buying some Lady Finger Bananas, the best there are., then we came to the man selling hot spit-roasted beef sandwiches which we all decided would be just perfect for lunch. We took our sandwiches and sat on the edge of the beach to gobble them all up.
I could hardly believe my eyes when a string of Camels all dressed with saddles and passengers, ambled past us. I love to ride Camels, so I just had to jump up and take a photo of them, I wished to have a ride too but we really need to find our accommodation for the night so I let the moment pass.
It took 2 attempts to find a 2 room cabin but we ended up at Island Gateway camp and we couldn’t have found a better place, they make a feature of the local birds and attract them by having feeding stations around the camp, I saw hundred of Lorikeets being fed, very noisy and a bit messy but it looked wonderful as the birds are so colourful. Palm trees and many amenities, like a pool and tennis courts, surrounded our cabin in a real nature wonder land. We broke out the duty free rum to toast such a great place to stay.
As there was an electric frying pan and a microwave in the cabin it was decided we would cook for ourselves tonight. A small shopping centre was just down the road so we set out on a buying expedition to get dinner supplies, beef rissoles, mushrooms, sweet potatoes (kumaras) and a big bag of salad greens and tomatoes. Plus we decided a bottle of wine to celebrate being away together; all of this came out of $15 so a great dinner cost only $5 a head with wine! Prices are quite reasonable in Australia; it would cost more in New Zealand I felt. Tasted wonderful and Daphne who thought she couldn’t eat anything found that she managed to eat as much as we did and enjoy every mouthful, she is so much better and happier already. Postcard of Airlie Beach township, and hillside buildings.

We decided to have a rest day in Airley Beach tomorrow and to book a full day boat trip out to the Islands for the following day, a good scheme, it gave us a chance to explore the small town and have a good look around while still taking it all easy.

We have booked to go out in the Reef Jet to three different Islands tomorrow, its going to be so great, the weather is expected to be fine and sunny and calm; good one. Not particularly cheap but with dinner and snacks all day its should be good value’ and we get the Seniors discount!
More wine was purchased for tonight plus a big pack of pork chops for dinner with all the rest of our vegetables, was extra good. Once again we got dinner for $5 a head!
We noticed with surprise that the local taxis all had advertisements painted on their sides, not something we are used to.
I went out after dinner to have a little flutter at the poker machines in the local hotel, and won a small jackpot, it made my lovely day even better, to come home with more cash than I went out with.


Barb said...

Well - you had luck all around! Now your jackpot can pay for another dinner (or a camel ride). Have fun!

reanaclaire said...

wow..what lovely captures especially the colourful birds..


Ginny said...

I'm enjoying your trip posts more and more, and it sounds like the trip just kept getting better! I love all the colorful lorikeets, and the row of camels. It's too bad you didn't get to ty a ride. All your food sounds so yummy!

smallkucing said...

Gosh the birds look so lovely.

magiceye said...

oh wow! a paid vacation!!!

Felisol said...

what an interesting meeting.
A New Zealander in Australia.
Can it be more exotic?
I wonder where we were, when I saw that camel flock.
Never heard of camels in that part of the world.
I once made a camel ride on the island Lanzarote.
Never again. That was scary.
% dollars a meal? In Norway you don't get a single hot-dog for 5 dollars.
When I get old, (real old that is, not just 60),I might take my pension and go to Australia.
Then I could have lots of sun and eat out everyday.
Thanks for taking me along on your ride.

Jo said...

Oh what a lovely vacation, Glennis. I love the camels on the beach. And the colourful lorekeets.

eileeninmd said...

What a fun trip. I would love to see all those pretty birds. The scenery is gorgeous! Have fun and thanks for sharing your world!

JOE TODD said...

Your post was my "jackpot" for today. Thanks for showing us around

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed today's travel post. I looked in surprise at the camels too. What a great picture! Too bad you didn't get to ride one. I have never seen so many Lorikeets in one place! I've never seen them in a native habitat either, only at the zoo. They are a beautiful bird.

Me-shak said...

Oh, wow. The parrots are amazing, and Woohoo There are camels as well? Super. Love the pictures. Looking forward for more!


Cloudia said...

luck and birds!

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

Kcalpesh said...

Interesting, cute and beautiful captures!!

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Pixellicious Photos

Denise said...

Hi Glennis, lovely post and photos. The only times I have ever seen lorikeets was when we visited an aviary exhibit. Four of them decided to land on my sneakers and successfully untied the laces on one of them. I loved those little birds!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

An English Girl Rambles

Pooch Morning Glory said...

i love that word chillybin.... i love your photos and description of your travels.
sounds like fun to me !!