Another peaceful night, another immaculate dawn. At home I rarely get to experience the delights of early mornings. On a road trip camping, its a daily occurance, particularly when the campsite is in a national park where the full gamut of the dawn chorus can be enjoyed. Birds everywhere twittering up a storm.
Leisurely departure and a pleasant ride back out the valley through canefields and farmland. Just short of the highway Marco stopped to check a "strange" noise eminating from somewhere beneath him. Turns out he'd lost a bolt securing his chain guard which was flapping in the breeze and clipping the chain periodically - creating the noise. Fortunately the chain guard is plastic, so no damage to the chain, just a chunk eroded from the guard itself. Roadside triage was to remove the guard completely and strap to the panniers for later fixing.
Stopped in Tully to see if we could get a replacement bolt. Outside hardware store we ended up chatting to a local who owned a trucking business and who invited Marco back to his place where he had an extensive assortment of bolts for Marco to scrounge a replacement from.
Meantime I'd made contact with Jeannie our host at Mission Beach, who was in town for the annual Tully Show - and asked for recommendations for coffee and cake. Ursala and I headed for the bakery for coffee and a lamington while we waited for Marco's return.
Tully is a sugar town, with a refinery right in the middle. The smokestacks were belching a sweet sugary smoke that hung over the everything.
Marco soon returned with his chain guard now securely attached and we headed off to Mission Beach taking the scenic route and keeping our eyes peeled for cassowaries.
South Mission Beach then up to the shopping centre at Mission Beach for lunch. A pleasant enough meal, but overpriced. Tourist central. Txt from Jeannie to say they were back home. So last km to their place and first sighting of their newly completed house.
When we'd last visited 5 years ago, Jennies partner Albert had been working o/s. This time our visit coincided with him being home on leave. So - good timing. The afternoon passed with the ritual tour of the property as we all marveled at how much the trees had grown in the last 5 years. The afternoon was also highlighted by a surprise visit by Jeannie & Albert's son Andrew from Canberra. Jeannie had arranged it as a surprise for Albert who only arrived himself the day before. We all toasted the house and return visits with a glass of champagne.
An extremely pleasant meal and and conversation before retiring. Well past the early bedtimes we've been having on the road.
Tomorrow - Cairns. Who knows, we may spot a cassowary on the way out.
Finally - for those interested in an alternative view of this trip - my companions are also blogging : http://marco-ursala.blogspot.com.au