Earlier, we mentioned
watermelons. Pineapples are also very cheap and for 50p we can buy a
large pineapple which is very juicy and has no hint of acidity. For the
first time yet we have had a back wind . This is a result of the
weather change. It is much cooler and more pleasant.
stop in Maryborough found us in a cafe by the river. Ducks were
swimming around and we threw a few pieces of bread. Immediately the
water boiled with large catfish that grabbed the bread before the ducks
had a chance. At any one time, there were at least a dozen fish half
out of the water.
About 5 miles down a side road we stopped at
Boonooroo (a place with 6 'o's') a very small fishing village. David
had another go at fishing in the estuary. For the fishmen readers,
Chris and Adam, he used 9lb line and frozen prawn for bait. Long
casting is not necessary as the fish come close in.
couple of good sand whiting and a flathead make a good breakfast. But,
as had happened before there was the one that got away! In these waters
there are huge fish which on normal gear are unstoppable. This one went
straight out like a steam train and after 100 yds of line finally
proved too much and disappeared into the ocean. We wouldn 't know what
to do with a very large fish, but it would be nice to see it before it
the way, we are not out of crocodile and stinging jellyfish territory,
and swimming in the sea is ok. However there are stonefish, similar to
our Weever which sit just under the sand with very sharp poisonours
spines sticking upwards. If trodden on, the excruciating pain can be
relieved by immersing the foot in very hot water.
After a very
short ride to Poona we headed towards Tin Can Bay on a nice quiet
forrested road to arrive in pouring rain. To play safe we treated
ourselves for two nights to a Motel type room overlooking the harbour.
This only cost 20 pounds a night with kitchen facilities included. The
owners were concerned about local development plans to replace the
shallow water at the back of the rooms with a car park and a marina for
400 boats. This would completely ruin the outlook from their house and
the rooms and we signed an objection petition in sympathy.
the change in the weather, jthe wind has now changed round and is
mostly a gentle tail wind, but we must pay with the occasional shower
which is no problem with temperatures in the high twenties centigrade.
inland to Gympie through pleasant green countryside with many ups and
downs we cycled towards Maleny to stay with the Australian couple we
A phone call confirmed that they would be in and they
seemed genuinely keen to put us up. David aranged to be there on Friday
(the next day). After camping that night by a reservoir in a national
park, we started uphill 1,500ft to finally arrive at Maleny in the
mountains. We were a bit early as we said we wouldn't be there until 6
o,clock and so sat in a cafe in town for an hour before turning up at
Nobody was at home. After waiting until 6.30 it was
getting dark and David suddenly realised that last night at the camp,
the warden had corrected us when we said it was thursday - it was
actually friday yesterday. Today was Saturday and we said we would
arrive on friday. We were a day late and they were not expecting us!
The nearest Hotel was full and we ended up cycling in the dark to stay
at an expensive camp site. Our apologies were telephoned the next day.
down hill from maleny to a resort called Scarborough in the northern
suburbs of Brisbane (Scarbough is near Clacton and Margate in
Queensland). This left us two days to get the 30 miles to the
airport in Brisbane and as the heavens opened in a thunderstorm we
moved into a static caravan. Two inches of rain fell that night but it
was all dry by the next morning.
Our flight to Auckland was
12.15 on the 17th December and we started off soon after breakfast at
7am. David had a rear wheel puncture on the way and arrived at the
airport with greasy hands. Quantas insists on bike boxes which they
supply at about eight pounds each and we packed a bike in each one but
also some heavier luggage including the tent in one of them.
At the check in desk they do not always weigh the bikes as they are not
easy to get on the scales. Sometimes they ask us the weight and we say
"ten kilos" which is somewhat of an under-estimate. Other times we
offer to help them weight one of them and they double it. This time we
offered to help them weight the lightest one and they happily accepted
that the other box was about the same weight. This ruse has worked
several times. However, they are never really strict on the weight
limits, anyway and we could aways carry on the heavy stuff if necessary.
It is still very important to make sure that carry-ons have no banned
articles though. Of-course, our petrol container and stove were
carefull cleaned so that no trace of fuel was evident. The fuel bottle
was filled with water and carried on just in case.
After several delays, the flight took off an hour late and arrived in Auckland.
Zealand is very strict on importation of food and organic material. Our
bikes were inspected to make sure that we had imported no dirt on the
tyres and Joan declared some tea bags, sugar, milkpowder and a tin of
sardines. The milk powder was confiscated. Afterwards we found we also
had a garlic and an onion!
Interestingly they also ban the import of feathers and we decided to
forget that our sleeping bag contained nearly two kilos of duck down in
order to save an argument.
In the dark, we checked in to a very nice motel room with kitchen for an exhorbitant 80 dollars which is about 30 pounds.