July 25th – Sarina to Seaforth
A reasonable night. Woke up at about 1:30am for a toilet stop. Discovered that Marco had woken up at the same time for the same reason. To many beers before bed. Had me wondering if old men that lived together ended up synchronising their urination the same way women who live together are reputed to synchronise their periods? I returned to bed to dream of old age homes full of old men waking up at the same time of night for a pee!
Woken at 5am by the neighbours – a couple of contractors for the local power authority – who were up and gone before 1st light. The evening before one of them told us his family were down in Woodford on the Sunshine coast, and that he spends up to 6 weeks on the road before getting home. His wife had just had a baby, so he was talking about giving up the road work – although the money was good. There appear to be lots of tradesmen like him working all over this part of Queensland. There are 'temporary' work camps set up all over the place with demountable cabins. Mostly set up by the mining and gas exploration companies it seems. They are also putting in new roads and upgrading the existing ones at a great rate.
Today a short but scenic ride. Bypassing Mackay by taking the inland back roads through sugar cane fields. The cane appears to be flowering, as they all had this feathery top – looking like stands of giant grass. Then across the Bruce Highway and back to the coast.
Over breakfast we had picked out some likely destinations. We are ever in search of quiet, out of the way cheap / free campsites. The evidence we have to date in our dealings with the Gray Nomads, is that there is a secret 'knowledge' they share, about the best places to set up camp for a night or two at minimal cost.
Today we struck it lucky at a small seaside town north of Mackay called Seaforth. It has a municipal campground, right on the beach. Shady trees and grass. Water, and hot showers – all for $21 per night for a site. As most sites are occupied by 4 wheel drive SUV's and a caravan, our 3 motorcycles and two tents are an easy fit. We have been told by the operator that under no circumstances are we to publicise the location!
Although the early part of today's short (100km) ride was through cane fields, the last 30km into Seaforth is through what looks like old volcanic plugs and basalt domes. Solid masses of rock that rear out of the coastal plains – spectacular scenery and a good stretch of winding road. A perfect approach to a great destination.
I only have to be in Airlie on Friday morning. The others have already indicated that they want to stay here for 2 nights. If I stay Thursday night as well, it will mean a VERY early start to get to Airlie Beach on Friday morning in time to park my bike and catch the ferry! Decisions decisions. Mmmmmmm.....