Should you accept this mission. . . . .
Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
164Trip End Feb 16, 2007
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Do you accept this mission? OF COURSE WE DO!
So you can probably guess at the kind of day we are having! I will start at the beginning. . .
The house was full to bursting so last night Brian had to sleep on a mattress on our bedroom floor. Ben was up before the sun, Brian wasn't far behind him and they both woke me up at some unearthly hour. I had hoped for a little lie in but no such look now that there are two of them to gang up on me!
It's Sunday, we shower, get ready and jump on our push bikes heading off to the café down the road for breakfast. Our task today is to find a car/van to hire so we can drive down the East Coast as we need to be in Sydney by 7 December.
From the minute these two woke me this morning I guess I should have know the kind of day it was going to be; long, hot (40 degrees) and extremely trying!
For those of you who don't know our Brian I need to tell you a bit about him. He is very set in his ways, extremely fussy about anything and everything and is incapable of making a snap decision (he can mull things over for weeks, months, even years in some cases). He very rarely tries new things and knows what he likes and dislikes and that is the end of it.
So moving on unsuccessfully from one car hire place to another with out so much as a set of wheels even coming close to screeching out of a car park we finally stumble upon Cars & Campers. We beg and plead to borrow a car to drive to Sydney. Answer: a big fat NO!! Ya see the thing is all the cars that should be in Cairns are already down the East Coast so if you are coming up to Cairns you can get a free car (see previous entry) but if you wanna go down chances are you may have to walk! She then says she could possibly let us drive a car to Brisbane. The car is an automatic and Brian is not keen so we say we will think about it. She says they close at 12 noon and if some one else walks in she will let them have it. It's now 10.30am. I tell Brian we need to make a decision NOW or we are gonna loose the only vehicle we have been offered. He needs to think so we head off to another place all to no avail. However it was probably a blessing in disguise as the bloke tells us "if you've been offered anything at all take it before some else does there is nothing anywhere, we can't get the cars back fast enough."
The time is now just past 11am. I am desperately in need of coffee and looking at Brian I think the realization has hit him that it's this silver Mazda2 even though it is an automatic or the Grey Hound Bus. This is probably the quickest decision he has ever made as he relentlessly gives in and says "ok we take the Mazda." I sigh with relief thinking a caffeine fix will be close at hand and Ben smiles satisfied that we have wheels or at least we will have if we make it back to the office in time to book it!
Papers are signed, money is exchanged and the wheels are ours, well at lest for the next 10 days. We have coffee and cycle back home. I pack, them two collect the car and we decide we will waste no time aiming to set off in the next couple of hours to Mission Beach which is about 2 hours away.
We plan to travel light. Ben and I have way too much stuff so we leave 2 bags behind which will travel to Perth ahead of us and we will collect them when we arrive at a later date.
With a loaded boot we stop to say goodbye to Leigh who has had a few beers while lounging around in his pool and partly watching the cricket! It's alright for some isn't it! Sorry we missed you Lucy and we hope to catch up with you all again next year. Say hi to Sam when he arrives.
We hit the high way ready for a new adventure, excited and prepared for what ever may lie ahead.
It's a straight run, the sun is slowly setting and we hope to arrive in Mission Beach before dark. As darkness descends upon us we arrive in Innisfail. We stop for KFC; it was either that, McDonalds or Subway. Brian refused to go to Subway cause last time it ended up costing him 200 quid after breaking a tooth or something. After a quick nicotine fix we set off again following the road that takes us to Mission Beach or at least that's where we thought it was taking us!
Not five minutes in to the second part of the journey we are stopped by the police and Brian is breathalised. The police man checks his English driving license, clearly does not understand what it says and thankfully sends us on our way. Missed photo opportunity me thinks as we drive off laughing; it's gonna be a long nite!
Some how, some where, we have taken a wrong turning not that we have physically turned off any where we just kept following the road. This road is now heading in land to god knows where in the pitch black and the only thing we see again and again is a sign saying "look for trains." We don't want bloody trains we want mission beach! We keep driving, past every creak from a to z and over at least 50 train crossings. It's really dark now. Ben talks about the crazy mad man from Wolf Creek who kills tourists for fun; 'maybe that's his UTE over there' he points. We decide to pull over and have a cig and do a spot of star gazing. Brian refuses to get out of the car as another car slows down to check we are ok. Ben and I have a cig and gaze into the night sky. The stars are so much more plentiful and bright when there is no light pollution around. We finally coax Brian out of the car and into the darkness to gaze at the stars. I jump back in the car and both of them exclaim at exactly the same time "did ya see that shooting star!" Well no obviously I didn't!
Back on the road we drive some more, god only knows where we are going. There are no signs, we just hope we are still heading south (ish), while waiting for the IPOD to select the song 'we're on the road to no where'.
Finally we reach civilization and see a sign for Mission Beach. We spend the next 3 hours driving round trying to find a bed! Most are full, at one there is no answer and we are directed to several that we simply cannot find. Is it so hard to sign post things over here!! But then I guess it is dark. Finally we give in and ring one out of our guide book (why we didn't just do that in the first place I do not know). The phone rings and rings and rings till finally someone reluctantly picks up at the other end and I beg them for 3 beds, we'll sleep anywhere and of course directions as we seem a little lost.
10 minutes later we park up, grab our sleeping bags, grab the keys and crawl in to bed for much needed sleep. Night, night xxx
To be continued. . . . .