Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We had absolutely nothing planned for today, and we ended up getting up a little before 8. Dawn had given us a large fruit plate to eat, including some Mangosteen, ending a 9.5 year wait. We had Mangosteen for the first time at Amanpulo, on our honeymoon. We have been looking for it ever since. When we were in Thailand in 2005, it was out of season. There were Mangosteens in Botswana in 2007, but again they were out of season (plus you'd have to fight off the baboons). Alas, we had built them up so much over 9.5 years, they didn't quite live up to what we remembered. Still very good, but not the best fruit we'd ever had (which is what we remembered).
After breakfast, we met with Dawn to make some arrangements. We decided to book the Cooper Creek expedition that we had heard so many good things about. They had a nature walk/river cruise combination, so we were able to kill two birds with one stone by booking that. We booked it for the next day, and decided to just leisurely wander around Cape Trib today. We walked across the street to the small grocery store ("largest in Cape Trib") to get some water, then walked north up Myall Beach. It was perhaps the nicest beach we've ever been on, right up there with the beach at Amanpulo. We were there at low tide, and the beach was roughly a mile end to end, and 100-200 feet deep. There were little sand "pellets" all over the beach, courtesy of Sand Bubblers (Scopimera inflata). There were almost no waves - 6 inch maximum height - and the sun was out with some clouds for context. The water was very warm, probably at least 80 degrees. Lastly, there were almost no people at all - less than 20 for the entire beach.
At the north end of Myall beach, we walked over Cape Trib's "saddle" and went from Myall beach to Cape Trib beach, which was more crowded and not as nice as Myall beach, but still very nice in its own right. We walked north for awhile, past some mangrove forests, before eating lunch at the Cape Trib Beach House. We had some fruity drinks that looked and tasted very Shiznitty. The food was good as well. As we were leaving, it was startng to rain a bit, and the people were kind enough to give us a couple of plastic bags to cover our camera gear. Fortunately it only rained a bit, and it was pretty light, so it was actually quite comfortable. There was a bit of a cooling breeze as well.
We got back to the Farmstay around 3, and just lounged around a bit at the lounge. It was like a big family, with many of the guests having been there for quite some time. A little before 5, almost everyone was there, just sitting around and chatting. For dinner we went to one of the other easily walkable restaurants, the Cassowary Cafe, which was on the grounds of Ferntrees, a backpacker's hostel. Not surprisingly, the restaurant itself was a backpacker's haven. It almost resembled a college dining hall in terms of its makeup - everyone was in their early 20s. The food was decent but nothing to write home about, not surprising given the context.
When we got back we opened one of the bottles of wine we got in Adelaide Hills, a sparkling Rose. While sitting there finishing off our bottle, two co-workers from Rockhampton showed up. They were up in Cape Trib working on a water catchment system. Similar to the US, water catchment system (and PVC) cannot be used for drinking water, only items like yard irrigation and laundry water. Water catchment is used quite a bit in Queensland, where it rains quite a bit, but only for 3-4 months of the year. The water gathered during that time is used to water things the other 8-9 months out of the year. A Dutch couple also showed up and joined the conversation. The guy's family had been relatively famous, doing both railway work in Indonesia and also exploring in South America. He was telling us about "vacations" that he had done on rail trips on Java and also hiking in Suriname - his wife wasn't quite so enthusiastic. His family, and himself, seemed pretty interesting, and he had quite a few interesting stories to tell, including treking through swamps in Suriname at 1km per day. It didn't sound like a whole lot of fun, but it was interesting to hear about it from someone else.