July 26th – Seaforth – Cape Hillsborough – Shute Harbour
Sometime during the night I decided that I'd head to Airlie Beach / Shute Harbour today. Telephone enquiries had revealed that the last ferry left before mid-day and I wanted to have enough time to do any last minute shopping as well as store the bike.
So after a lazy start to the day, we decided to ride out to Cape Hillsborough – an easy 12km ride. Climbed to the lookout and walked round the peninsula. Just a couple of km but great views. We even spotted a couple of turtles swimming below us in the bay. After a light picnic lunch, we headed back to Seaforth, with a detour down to Balls Bay where we had been told of another quiet municipal campsite on the beach. Our informant had bailed us up after breakfast, and started to regale us with stories about his rock and roll past. Johnny Grey. I checked him out on the net – turns out that amongst other things he's a Neil Diamond impersonator! http://www.johnnygray.com.au.
You meet the strangest people in municipal campsites!
Packed the bike (dry tent for once) and bade my farewells to Marco & Ursala. After 10 days on the road together it was strange to be setting off by myself. They'll have to amuse themselves for the next ten days while I go sailing.
Barreled up the highway to the Airlie Beach turn-off. Lots of road-works and traffic. Last year when I was in Airlie Beach I didn't get round to visiting Shute Harbour, which is 20 odd km further. Good section of hills and twisties to get there. Tucked away on the far side of the headland. This is where I found somewhere to store the bike for a week, also where I catch the ferry across to Hamilton Island to meet the others.
I found a quiet motel/lodge just up the hill from the ferry terminal. Coral Point Lodge is perched on the side of the hill with great views and at a reasonable price. Checked in, dropped my gear and headed back to Airlie Beach for dinner. A good feed of pizza and salad.
Should be a simple matter to drop off the bike and wander down to the harbour to catch my ferry tomorrow.
So – that will be it until the 6th August. No laptop while sailing – maybe the odd tweet if we're in range.