Aug 26, 2012
. I had two helpings but there was still much leftover but eagerly suggested I’d take some with me when I left the next day. Not knowing what to bring I’d come up with the idea of bring the fixings for a proper Gin and Tonic, minus the ice of course since we had quite the trouble in India to actually find a place that could serve a proper G and T. More often was the case that they had the Gin but no Tonic and if by chance they did have Tonic it was at a place where you didn’t want to chance the ice. As for the lemon or lime well that became thought of as decoration. So of course how we were to follow up a delicious meal but with a proper G and T. It was a great evening that passed by quickly chatting about the trip, discussing new trips and it was time to say goodnight as Margo and I had good intentions of hitting the gym in the morning. But before I closed my eyes I had a read of Margo’s book from her blog that Tanya had encouraged her start while on the trip. s I’m using the same blog site I was curious as to how the book was laid out as I will do the same. Well I ended up reading from beginning to end re-living our trip and it was so interesting to read/see the same trip from a different perspective. For the most part we had a lot of the same pictures but her perspective or what she chose to write about was really interesting and I really enjoyed her writing. I also learned a few things that I didn’t know happened like along the lines of Ben, our guide having to offer a bribe to get us into one of the holiest temples. After the most amazing sleep ever in that I don’t think I woke up once or moved (hasn’t happened in months) I forced myself out of bed afraid I’d fall asleep again looking like a lazy bum and headed out to their balcony to enjoy the morning sun while Tony was out taking Tess(the dog) out for a walk. We had a leisurely breakfast that resulted in there would be no possible way Margo and I would make it to the gym in time for the class. Planned or unplanned we will never tell and besides we had a Plan B, which started with a drive over to apricorn National Park and did the walk up to the top of Bluff’s point and back. Then we drove back to Keppel’s Bay were Tony helped us unload the stand-up paddleboards (SUP) we had put on top of the car prior to leaving the house and Margo and I went out for a bit of paddle around the bay while Tony hit the gym for a quick run on the treadmill. This was my first time on a SUP, and have wanted to try it for a while so was thankful I could try for free as the prices for rentals are pretty high. With some pointers from Margo I was standing up and figuring out to paddle and steer. After going around in a circle I figured it out and caught up to Margo and headed for the rocks at the other side of the bay. At first I was pretty nervous about keeping my balance, so much so that I was curling my toes causing them to cramp. Margo reminded me to uncurl and then things actually got quite a bit easier. We had thought that going out was going to be hard but turned out and realized returning was the hard part in thanks to a Westerly wind that had us paddling mostly on out left side. It is as they say a good workout and hope I can hop on another one or two somewhere in Thailand. After a quick shower we all went to the marina for lunch in which Margo "shouted", a new term to me for picking up the tab. Then they graciously took me to the Dick Smiths in town so that I could exchange the new waterproof point and shoot camera that I had bought just 14 days ago and wasn’t so waterproof. Thankfully this store was nicer than the one in Cairns who wouldn’t even look at the camera and did replace it. Then we stopped by to visit a friend of Margo’s to drop off some flowers for her and checkout her massive elephant collection; anything with elephants I’m sure she has it. The friend wasn’t home but her husband was and we agreed we’d all meet for a coffee up at the Café in Byfield National Park which was a scenic 30km drive from town taking a quick detour to check out the fancy Capricorn resort having resident kangaroos grazing about the lands. After coffee and a bit of a chat it was time to head back so that Margo could get me back to Rockhampton in time for the bus. It’s been a really enjoyable day and I’m so happy I stopped to catch up with Margo and Tony. It’s unlikely that I would ever have this opportunity to visit them at their home again, but hope I will travel or cross paths with them again somewhere, sometime.
The East Coast of Australia is massive and it was another 7hr bus ride from Airlie Beach to Rockhampton where I was jumping off to meet up with Margo and Tony Martin who I did the whole India trip with. Margo was there to pick me up at the bus depot in Rockhampton and it was so nice to see a familiar face again. From here we hopped into Margo's car and headed to their house in Yeppoon chatting and chuckling about life since we last saw each other in Kathmandu. Tony was at the door to greet me and before long I was inside settled into my room with a luxurious bed I was so looking forward to resting my head on later that evening and in the kitchen having a reunion drink. Tony and I were chatting about my travels while Margo was warming up dinner that she has been preparing over the last few days. It was the famous menu from the cooking class she did with Sarah and Joe in Goa which consisted of Goan prawn curry, Chicken Tikka Masala, Dahl Tadka, Basmati rice and Parathas. The meal was absolutely delicious and the first Indian meal I’ve had since my days in India