After the most amazing road trip trip from Adelaide to Darwin, I was definitely feeling inspired to keep the spur of the moment adventures coming. I didn’t have to waiting long- only a few weeks later I had a text from Jake saying “I have to drive a vehicle to Cairns. I’m coming home to pack.” He hadn’t even asked me if I was able to join him, but I was already mapping out the route when he came in the door.
“Do you want to go too?”
I smiled. “Well ya. I don’t work again until next week. Do you want me to come?”
Jake grinned. “Well what do you think?”
Into the shower I went, mentally packing the items I was going to take. It was already afternoon, so we wouldn’t be getting too far tonight, but we were planning to drive to Cairns as quickly as possible so that we could spend at least a few days up there before flying back. Unfortunately this meant that we wouldn’t be able to stop at all the cool places I had wanted to go along the way. Oh well, I told myself. You’ll come back before you leave and do the rest.
As suspected, we didn’t make it very far. It took forever to get out of Brisbane’s rush hour traffic, and as soon as it got dark, we found a place to stay in Maryborough. We weren’t driving a camper van this time, so we had to get a motel, and I’m really glad we did! We stayed at River City Motor Inn and the lady at reception, who I assume must be one of the owners, was really nice to us. She gave us a better room than we had booked, and was just all around friendly. The place was basic, but clean, and quite spacious for a motel. After checking in, we drove around to grab some takeaway food. We got lost like a gazillion times, which made Jake “hangry”, and of course cracked me up. Good times.
We were really lazy the next morning and slept in. We seemed to really be on the ball during our Outback trip, but for some reason we had an awful time getting up and going in the mornings during this one. My guess is that when you are in a camper van bed, there’s not a whole lot of incentive for a lie-in! I managed to convince Jake to at least get some driving under our belts before stopping for breakfast, with the promise that he could get a full sized breakfast that would also tide him over for lunch. We would also need gas at some point, and we figured it would be best to stop for that and food at the same time! So Jake got his toast, eggs, sausages, beans, and tomato, while I managed to find a bowlful of vegetables! Both of us were happy! Of course I couldn’t finish mine, but Jake gobbled his down entirely! What I find funny though, is that he eats his meal one food at a time. Like, he ate all of his beans first, then his tomato, then the sausage… I think that’s weird. I like eating little bites of everything, but he says he was going to break his egg yolk and didn’t want it to touch the other food. Isn’t that the point? Who is with me?!?
Anyway, after our bellies were full, we continued on the road, heading north to Cairns. There were like a million places I wanted to stop off at, but just as the Outback trip we did, we were on a deadline, and stayed on the main highway.
We passed through quite a few downfalls and mini storms- it is the wet season after all. and of course things got a bit muggier the further north we went. We had hoped to make it all the way to Airlie Beach that day, but at about 9pm we realized it just wouldn’t happen, so we had to stop for the night. We stayed in a motel where we watched “Ice Truckers” on tv, which we found pretty funny seeing as we were driving through area that was the complete opposite of anything icy!
After another sleep-in, we were on the road again! I feel that somewhere along the way, my photos have gotten a bit mixed up. so I apologize in advance if the trees, mountains. and other bits of nature are not in sequential order. If anyone is from these areas and notices that a particular mountain looks out of place, please advise! My favourite roadside photo op was probably the Giant Mango at Bowen, which apparently was even stolen at one point as a stunt. You can read all about that here. Crazy Aussies!
Unfortunately, the vehicle that we drove this time didn’t have a USB port, so a) my phone couldn’t charge, and b) we couldn’t play my music. I guess that’s a good thing seeing as on our Outback Adventure, we were cursed with having to hear Achey Breaky Heart a gazillion times, but it also meant we had to rely on the radio… which was abysmal at best. Thankfully though, I’m usually quite chatty during road trips so we did have some nice long conversations (although Jake might not agree). And of course, there’s always plenty to look at, such as this “Pub with no beer” called Slim Dusty’s. Obviously we were intrigued, so after some research, I found out that there is an Australian country song called “Pub with no Beer” which is apparently rather famous. I guess way back in World War 2, there was a shortage of beer, so some dude wrote some verses about it, and then someone else called Slim Dusty added some more words and music, and voila! It all makes sense now, but at the time Jake and I were like… what? You can read all about it, and watch the video here. It’s actually pretty funny and I admit, rather dang catchy!
The closer we go to Cairns the more I was thinking, “Man, my dad would love it out here!” There’s mountains, water, and it’s stinking hot- all the things he really enjoys in a place. Do you ever go somewhere wish you could transport one of your friends of family there too, just because you know they’d really enjoy it? That’s exactly how I was feeling! Someone really needs to invent a teleporting machine, that’s for sure.
By the time we got to Cairns it was dark, and we were dying to stretch our legs! Thankfully we didn’t have to find a place to stay for the night as there were beds at the Cairns depot- yay! Obviously the staff were gone when we got there, but no worries, Jake got us in and we had a quick nap before heading out to find some food. It was actually pretty hard to get Jake to leave the depot because of the air conditioning, but eventually his hunger won out!
We wandered down to the Esplanade, and of course had a hard time choosing a place because I wanted to sit outside on the patio, whereas Jake was like “Are you freaking kidding me? I’m dripping with sweat and want to sit indoors with air conditioning.” It’s a constant struggle, but Jake won this time and we settled on the Woolshed, which, as it turns out, is actually a popular place with backpackers. Go figure. We were just in time to order some food before the kitchen closed, so we quickly made a decision and relaxed with some beers. Like I always say, there’s nothing like a cold beer at the end of a long road trip!
Find out what we got up to in Cairns in my next post!
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