Thursday, January 31, 2008

DAY 118: Day off at Diamond Head campsite

Thurs 31st January 2008

Distance to date 7154 km (4471 miles)

Sunny, upper 20’s

I was lulled into another day in paradise by another warm, sunny morning. It’s only about 500km to Brisbane and I’ve 18 days in hand yet. As I was lying in my sleeping bag thinking about getting out, Skippy the bush wallaby popped his head in the tent to see where I was and we were eyeball to eyeball for a few seconds. OK Skippy, I get the message! There are 7 or 8 of these animals in the small area around the tent grazing, all day, but they don’t seem to be there at night - and I thought they were nocturnal - certainly night-time is when they get slaughtered on the road; you hardly ever see them in daytime.

After brekkie I walked a mile or so down the beach then splashed around in the sea awhile, then did some naughty sunbathing - not nude sunbathing, I mean because you’re warned not to due to the risk of skin cancer, but I couldn’t resist it. I was so warm and relaxed I almost fell asleep - now that would be very silly, so I got back in the sea again to refresh before wandering back to a cuppa and yesterdays paper. Apparently Sydney is grinding to a halt due to too much traffic, and the local government are taking a lot of criticism for making a mess of the transport system for the city, which appears to be run on 1940’s lines. Another big issue is the rising level of obesity among Australians, which admittedly seems high to me, although there are very more many skinny girls here than in the UK.

I chatted to a guy from further south (Steve from Mid-Coast) who is here for a few days fishing and peace and quiet, and he promised me a couple of fish he’s caught this morning, which will make a change from my usual rather samey diet. I think I need to start cooking something different rather than pasta / tomato / tabasco / meat combinations. I’m certainly enjoying muesli for breakfast having ‘found’ little cartons of milk that are just the right size. I’m right out of bread now so will have to stock up in the first town I come to tomorrow.

I lazed around all afternoon, reading (another Xavier Herbert novel “Soldier’s Women”). I reckon he’s one of the best Oz authors and I’ve read quite a few Oz-written books to date. His “Capricornia” is a great book, all about the impossibly hard lives of early settlers in Australia. Later on I did the headland walk again that I did yesterday, only the other way round this time - still as beautiful, though I was feeling rather tired for some reason. I also stood on a thorn for the second time today, and it looked like one of the tiny Jackthorns that I think caused the puncture a couple of weeks ago. Both times I got an intense stinging pain initially, and I’m not sure if the thorn’s are out or not; they are too tiny to get hold of with my big fingers and I can’t see under my foot very well anyway. Better slap some antiseptic on and hope for the best.

I have been meaning to ring Patrick and Lindsay, my hosts in Canberra, since I left, but just can’t seem to get around to it - sorry guys, I will try harder when I get a signal, or at worst call you during my 2 weeks ‘off’ in Brisbane in the middle of February.

I duly received the 2 fish from my new friend and have just cooked on the gas barbie - delicious and a nice treat. I then had my usual meal just to top up my (large) appetite requirements.

There are quite a few Horseflies here, and they are a real pest - they land ever so surreptitiously, usually when you're doing something and preoccupied; and sometimes before you see them they’re already sticking something into you - whether it’s to get blood, eat you or just sting you for the sheer hell of it I’m not sure, but I hate the things. The bush flies that have plagued everyone for months have all but disappeared - amazing but nice. Still on the insect theme, I walked through a few giant cobwebs during the headland walk today; judging by the thickness of the web strands a big spider must have made them, but I didn’t see any. The stuff is so hard to get off, it sticks all over your hands, arms, clothes - yeuchh. Some of the webs are several metres in diameter, and I saw one the other day about 6 metres long strung between trees - what are they trying to catch, birds, or koalas?! I see all kinds of insects above the tent inner liner when they get between the inner and outer, and sometimes spend the first 10 minutes of the day seeing what's there, but they haven’t got inside the inner yet as it is too fine-meshed.

Time to move on again tomorrow, but not sure where to yet.

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