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Our really quite big adventure, Act 3 - heaven and hell in Queensland

Our really quite big adventure, Act 3 - heaven and hell in Queensland

Jan 25th, 2014, 10:42 AM
  #41  
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Perhaps now you realise what this bit's been difficult to write - but let's get it over with.

Day 6 - Let’s get to the hellish part.

Those who read the WFD thread on the lounge may guess what’s coming next, but for those who don’t, suffice to say that the next 24 hours were pretty hellish as I spent far more time than I’d have liked either in or near the bathroom. It was a very nice bathroom with the usual equipment including a capacious and efficient shower [thank goodness] but no-one wants to spend the first day of their stay in a new place in close proximity to sanitary ware.

A most unpleasant experience. Was it the pizza? Was it what I’d eaten on the plane? Was it..???

Who cares, it was pretty horrible, both for me and for DH, who had to spend most of the day exploring Port Douglas by himself, and more or less wiped out my first day in OZ. Not a good start. What was worse, we’d scheduled our trip to the GBR for the next day as the forecast said that the weather beyond that would not be so good for diving and snorkeling, or so we’d been told. A decision had to be made, and ever self-sacrificing, I told DH that he ought to do the trip by himself. The wisdom of this decision was confirmed by the fact that when I did start to feel better and ventured out in the evening, I had to race back to the hotel pretty damn quick. Let’s move on - things have got to get better, haven’t they?
annhig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2014, 10:42 AM
  #42  
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oh, and Happy Australia Day BTW!
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Jan 25th, 2014, 11:04 AM
  #43  
 
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Thanks for that.

Question, the WFD thread on the lounge, is that the quarantined place that new Fodors people can't access ?
sartoric is online now  
Jan 25th, 2014, 11:21 AM
  #44  
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Question, the WFD thread on the lounge, is that the quarantined place that new Fodors people can't access ?>>

'fraid so, Sartoric. Does that apply to you? Sorry if that's the case.
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Jan 25th, 2014, 11:29 AM
  #45  
 
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Yep, that applies to me.

Never mind I shall just wait for the next episode here.

Sorry about your bug, know what it's like. I got really sick after India, fortunately at home but gastro is never fun.
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Jan 25th, 2014, 01:16 PM
  #46  
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Sartorial - I'm on a roll - here 'tis!

Day 7 - a little retail therapy always helps.

After a far less interrupted night, DH got up early to go diving on the GBR, and I had a lie in, enjoying the unfamiliar birdsong, and the fact that I was not occupying the bathroom, in almost equal measure. Bliss. There is nothing like a bout of illness, albeit short, to make you grateful that you’re well again.

But I didn’t want to spend too much time lying around, as it was Sunday, and I knew that on Sundays there was a big market at the other end of Port, where I was hoping to pick up some presents and souvenirs. So after a very light breakfast - just water and plain toast - and a pause to see if it stayed where it should - I set out to walk down to the market. Of course I had to inspect the many shops along the way so it took me getting on for an hour to walk from one end of town to the other, though I did stop off for a cup of tea en route, and I was definitely taking my time, walking slowly, keeping in the shade as much as possible, and spotting the public toilets, just in case!

Eventually I got to the market which was already heaving customers. Hundreds of stalls, nearly all with homemade offerings as the market rules apparently require, though there were a few clothing stalls where home seemed to include China! I had a lovely browse, unencumbered by DH who is not an asset when it comes to shopping, though I didn’t feel able to sample the delicious-looking juices and other snack foods that otherwise I’d have loved to try. Oh well - at least I was outside, not inside inspecting the inside of the lavatory.

Specifically I was after presents for our lovely kids for house-sitting, Christmas presents for them too, plus my mum and other relatives, a birthday present for DS, and presents for a few friends who have done us favours during the year. Not much then! As it was the beginning of the trip I didn’t want to weigh us down with too much, but OTOH, I didn’t want to miss out on things that we might not find later on. In the end I compromised on some fun t-shirts for DS, some jewelry for DD, and a scarf or two that friends might like. Later on in the shops I found some joke pressies too - an Aussie hat with corks, but in red with a Father Christmas on it that I knew that DS would like, and some kangaroo Christmas serviettes - perfect for Christmas dinner and nothing weighing very much at all.

All this retail therapy was very good for my morale, as was my present to myself of a lovely summery dress which would be perfect to put on after the beach, and at home too on those long hot cornish nights. [well, a girl can dream, can’t she?]

By now it was lunchtime, but I wasn’t really feeling up to anything proper to eat, so I treated myself to a massive vitamin C replacing smoothie with lots of different fruits. Expensive at $8, but absolutely delish, and very refreshing. After going back to the hotel to leave my purchases and to have a rest, I ventured out to the beach for a swim. Because of the risk of “stingers” we had been advised only to swim within the net, and bearing in mind that no-one was in the water anywhere else, despite the length of the beach, this seemed like advice well worth taking. It’s not like being able to swim freely in the ocean, but it’s a whole heap better than being stung. Paralysis and depression are but two of the effects you can expect apparently not to mention death, so it’s not a minor risk you’re running, not to mention the odd croc lurking in the shallows.

After a quick dip and a dry off in the incredibly hot sun, I went back to the hotel just in time to meet DH on his return from his diving, which he had enjoyed but perhaps not quite as much as he’d hoped. I’m not sure how it didn’t live up to his expectations [the impression I got was that the people running the boat weren’t as helpful with the divers as they were with the snorkelers] but he did say that the snorkeling session he did in between the dives was the best bit. Ah well - perhaps I didn’t miss out that much. Sigh.

Night was falling fast [coming from a place where the opposite is true this always takes me by surprise in the tropics] and we wanted to see the sunset, so we quickly drove up to the other end of town and found a table in the Tin shed - a bar and restaurant run on “club” lines, which meant that we had to sign ourselves in, but not a lot else. Sadly the sunset wasn’t brilliant [they never were when we were there] but the sound of the hundreds of parakeets coming in to roost sounded pretty exotic to our ears, and the atmosphere of the bar overlooking the water was lovely. At this stage I can’t honestly remember what if anything we ate there [I wasn’t that interested in food to be honest] but generally the food we had in PD was good, but not brilliant.

Overall, everything considered, not a bad day, there’s always tomorrow!

Next - from hell to heaven in 48 hours [ish].
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Jan 25th, 2014, 02:19 PM
  #47  
 
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Ooh so glad to get you rolling !

PD is a lovely spot, although it was so long ago when I was there I can't even figure out when.

The birds were probably lorikeets, they can be so loud in my back yard that when I'm on the phone people think I have an aviary. My Itailan mother in law calls them larikeets ( as in larrikins) which always makes me laugh, they are kind of daredevil birds.

Enjoying your report.

Greetings from a rather cold Queensland Australia Day, only 21 C at the moment.
sartoric is online now  
Jan 25th, 2014, 08:44 PM
  #48  
 
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Ann, sorry about your bout of sickness during your trip. I'm enjoying and looking forward to more of your report. It's giving me ideas for my next Australia vacation.
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Jan 26th, 2014, 02:21 AM
  #49  
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sartoric - you're right of course - lorikeets. I think I knew that when I was writing it but I was having a senior moment. We have parakeets flying wild in London now, and they are a real nuisance. of course the noise of the lorikeets is amazing but even more, the way they disappear into the trees once they roost is extraordinary.

21C cold? you must be joking. it's wet and horrible here, and only about 7C. Thank goodness DD and DS did our "Great garden bird watch" yesterday. The idea is to spend an hour in the garden simply noting the species you see and how many, then to send your results into the RSPB who collate them and compare with previous years. Even we can do this - this time last year it was 10C lower and we had loads of redwings in the fields, whereas yesterday, there wasn't a redwing in sight.

tp - I've been enjoying YOUR report as well. i love the way that Trip reports can give you not only trip ideas but also a flavour of the person writing so that you know whether what they like may [or may not] be what you might like too.
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Jan 26th, 2014, 02:57 AM
  #50  
 
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Well Annhig, 21 is cold when you expect 30.

Love the bird counting thing, our local council doesn't seem to care. We have many avian visitors, including galahs and cockatoos and the occasional kookaburra, those guys are really fun. Our dogs see them as deadset enemies, and bark accordingly.

Bit of a cyclone forming now in the Coral Sea, it's quite windy.

And, yes okay 21 is better than 7.

I spent several miserable winters in London and the Home Counties many years ago, and still don't know how you guys stay so cheerful. Love you all the same.....
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Jan 26th, 2014, 03:12 AM
  #51  
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Sartoric - the bird count is a national event, held every year at the end of Jan. DD and I have been doing it since it started about 15 years ago i think. Last year over half a million people took part.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/

the sun's come out now, so no reason not to be cheerful, really.
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Jan 26th, 2014, 03:25 AM
  #52  
 
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That's fantastic. Birds are so important, beautiful from so many aspects.

Sun is always good.

Getting windy here.....
sartoric is online now  
Jan 26th, 2014, 04:35 AM
  #53  
 
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You're right, Ann. And I'm looking forward to your installments on the South Island of NZ, as I haven't been and am always looking for new ideas.
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Jan 26th, 2014, 10:38 PM
  #54  
 
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Glad you've made a start, I know how you must've felt in PD! Happened to me in HK. We were In a street market having dinner...miles from our hotel....makes me shudder to remember!!

Looking forward to more.
AD in cool Brisbane!!!
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #55  
 
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Another follower joining the merry band and I'm glad the hellish bit is over! I had a similar experience but it was at the end of our Christmas trip to the Caribbean and boy was I glad that I recovered before the flight home!

Hoping to make it to the GBR this summer or next!
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Jan 31st, 2014, 01:03 PM
  #56  
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Another follower joining the merry band and I'm glad the hellish bit is over!>>

or is it?

glad to have you along for the ride, sassafrass!
annhig is offline  
Feb 8th, 2014, 10:27 PM
  #57  
 
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So pleased to finally read the next part of your report. Not pleasant having an upset like that when you are in a strange place away from the comforts of home. (Try flying Brisbane to Cairns after an attack of food poisoning!) Good to see you managed to get out next day and explore PD. I have only been there to catch the boat out to the reef.
Looking forward to the next chapter. Hopefully, no more "bathroom hovering" for your trip.
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Feb 9th, 2014, 02:40 AM
  #58  
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hi dottyp,

thanks for the encouragement. I've been somewhat "distrait" recently with work and the weather but hopefully some more instalments coming up soon.

I've never flown with a stomach upset, but I have been on a train in Tunisia with the trots - not an experience I'd like to repeat!
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Feb 19th, 2014, 09:15 AM
  #59  
 
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Wow, didn't expect to "meet" you in my old stomping grounds (lived in Qld in the 80's) after all your great advice about Cornwall!!! My husband and I were back once again three years ago (going again next month) and got our friend here in Toronto a bottle opener made from an unmentionable kangaroo part. It has caused a lot of hilarity every since (probably not for the roo so much!!). Enjoy your trip!
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 03:38 AM
  #60  
 
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Okay Annhig, I see you are now MIA somewhere near Sorrento (the one in Southern Italy, not Mornington Peninsula Vic) are we ever going to hear the rest of your travel story ?

Wouldn't ask if I wasn't enjoying "
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