Day 71 - 22nd June
35 km N of Rockhampton to Avonvale campsite via 1770
Distance Travelled - 390 km
It seems that there are too many inconsiderate people in this world to shoot all at once (and get away with it). A group of three backpackers last night decided to stay up and talk very loudly whilst everyone else was trying to get to sleep. Half an hour after midnight I got up and asked them to quieten down, particularly as the group behind them they had packed so close to, squeezing in between them and me, had 3 little children (6 and under) that probably shouldn't be woken up. They said they would. They did - 2 hours later.
There does seem to be a little bit of natural justice though because as soon as the mum of 2 of the kids saw that I was awake at 6.15 am she came and asked if I was planning to go back to sleep. I chuckled and said no which she was pleased with. She went and got the three kids and told them to play only in this section where she could keep an eye on them, which just happened to be right where the backpackers were camping. We discussed how rude they had been the night before and how close her husband had got to getting up and having a go at them but apparently just as he was about to they heard me get up and decided not to unless something happened and he was ready to come out and help me.
It was with some smug smiles of self satisfaction that we watched these three guys stumble out of bed soon after, looking none too happy about being woken up so early. One of them must have given a glare to one of the kids because the mum went over and tore strips off them about it and said if they hadn't been so inconsiderate the night before maybe the kids would be playing somewhere else.
After waiting for things to dry and get packed I eventually left camp about 9 am and headed into Rockhampton. Posted my blog at Maccas and then headed to the nearest shopping centre to find a jeweller to replace the battery in my watch that had stopped working the day before. The first three jewellers all said they didn't do it. The 4th said they did change batteries but not on ones like mine that are water resistant but they would be happy to send it off to get done and I could collect it in a week. They did however suggest that the Mr Minute guy did batteries and was able to do the pressure testing required for water resistant watches. I found him and left it while he worked on it and I went for a look around the other shops, collecting the watch 40 mins later when it was ready.
From Rockhampton I went through Gladstone, not a very pretty town with the coal industry and port requiring a lot of ugly infrastructure to operate, and then on to 1770 to look at the lighthouse. 1770 was not the original name of this town but they changed it some time ago to reflect that it was in 1770 that Captain James Cook made his second landing in Australia there. as you would suspect there is significant amounts of Captain Cook related naming around the place - Captain Cook Drive, Endeavour Place etc. It was quite disappointing though to find out the information I had gleaned earlier was not quite correct and this lighthouse too was on an island only accessible by boat. I enquired at the caravan park and they gave me information on tours of the island. They only run Monday, Wednesday and Saturday leaving at 9 am and returning at 4 pm. Cost $155. I had missed the Monday one and staying at teh caravan park was going to cost me $35 per night (off peak price). I didn't think it was probably worth $260 to take a picture of the lighthouse so decided to move on.
Drove as far as Avonvale, about 25 km before Bundaberg and stayed at the free campsite next to the pub. Rang Keri who I met on my Antarctic trip to organise to catch up with her and she seems quite happy to have me stay at her place for a few nights. We teed up times and I should catch up with her Thursday sometime. Set up the tent,had tea and pretty much went to bed feeling somewhat tired after two nights of limited sleep. Tomorrow I will look through Bundaberg and then go to Burnett Heads for lighthouse photography (hopefully) and maybe as far as Mooloolaba or Caloundra to do more and then into the Coolangatta area on Thursday.