I've been a bit slow on posting. On Wednesday I drove from Cairns to Townsville and last night (Thursday) I got into Biloela and went straight to bed. I'm posting this before I head off to Goondiwindi.
When I dropped off my friend at Cairns airport on Wednesday morning, I realised that the moment he walked through the departure gate* was the start of my long journey home. I delayed it slightly by going for a walk on the mangrove boardwalk near the airport but it had to happen. Reluctantly, I headed south.
I went for a walk on the beach at Cardwell. A beach stone-curlew patrolled the water's edge. It might have been admiring the view of Hinchinbrook Island but was probably more interested in the thousands of mudskippers doing their elaborate modern dance interpretations on the tidal flats.
I stayed with a friend in Townsville, which was great fun. The house is on the edge of a park frequented by bush stone-curlews, so I fell asleep to the sound of their melancholy wailing.
Anyway, the drive from Townsville to Biloela (about 900 km) wasn't too bad. I spotted a crested hawk (aka Pacific baza) just south of Mackay and another Brahminy kite over the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton. (And other birds, obviously, but those were the notables.) I got stuck behind a ute between Dululu and Biloela, which wasn't a problem except that driver and passenger kept chucking out their rubbish as they drove along. Where's that roof-mounted RPG launcher, titanium cow catcher and laser axle-vapouriser when you want it?
* One of the many things in life that I don't understand is why Cairns airport's two arrival gates are numbered 1 & 2 but their seven-ish** departure gates start at 16 ***. Where are the others? Do they lead into an alternative reality?
** I've forgotten the number
*** I've forgotten that number too****
**** But you get the idea