Back on the Bruce Highway. What else would an Australian motorway be called? Also back in a tent. Pffft. We’ve gotten soft. Too much easy living. Not having to worry if your house is waterproof. Not having to think about power, or drinking water. Jees. What’s happened to us?!
Putting that tent up again was a real pain in the ass though. It felt like such a hassle, and we’d both lost a bit of fitness too I think, so it seemed more exhausting than it had previously. It is quite a workout setting up.
Fortunately, the place we’d just arrived at was beautiful. So that helped. Seventeen Seventy and its twin, Agnes Waters, are both lovely little seaside towns only a couple of kilometres apart. They’re quite isolated, and you have to drive through about three hours of nothing to get there.
I heard the road has only been covered in bitumen within the last 20 years, which is probably why they’re so small. In the four or five days we stayed there I started to feel as if I was a local, seeing the same people around all the time, almost on nodding terms.
Agnes Waters also has the last surf beach in Queensland before you reach the Great Barrier Reef, which kind of kills the surf, and Crocodiles, which kind of kill whatever the hell they like. I can’t think of a better reason not to surf than that, even if there was surf! Sharks are one thing, but Croc’s are a different ball game altogether.
Anyhoo, the oddly named Seventeen Seventy wasn’t actually named by Captain Cook for a change. It was named because of Captain Cook. This was the second place he set foot on Australia after Botany Bay, and he did so, on 27th May 1770.
Him and his ol’ buddy Joseph Banks landed, grabbed a few plant samples, shot and ate a bird (a bustard) that they declared the tastiest they’d had since leaving blighty, and then buggered off.
Watched closely all the time, of course, by the local Aborigines who had no idea what was about to happen in the coming years or they would have done away with him, I would imagine. It would probably still be called Seventeen Seventy had that been the case. As that’s when the local’s shot a visiting white fella, averting God knows what in the future…
Back in this universe however, we had decided that didn’t really like caravan parks. Some of them had been OK I guess. And although this one was perfectly positioned on the beach, right next to a national park, right where Captain Cook and Joseph Banks actually landed, there were just too many people, in too close quarters.
When that’s the case we find we’re permanently telling the girls to shoosh, be quiet, shhhh. It’s a shame really, because they’re just having fun and enjoying themselves, but at 6am, with neighbours a few feet away only separated by canvas, you don’t want them playing up.
So, this being the last surf beach for about four thousand miles, we decided to sign Katie up for another surf lesson. I got in the water with her this time, and she was first up one again.
Yee ha! Another life-long surf bum was the teacher too, although I didn’t warm to him as much as I did to Terri.
If he said “Yous guys were all amazing guys” one more time, I was going to belt him.
“Seriously, yous guys were amazing.”
Seriously, shut the fuck up mate.
The best Mother’s Day ever!
From now on, this is the only way I’m ever going to spend Mother’s Day. Erin had breakfast in bed, of course, and then we went out for a coffee somewhere, quite a treat these days. Next we went to a beach and picked up hundreds of shells, and then we went to the very point that Cook and Banks came ashore, and went fishing for the rest of the day.
Then I wandered down the beach to try and get some photos of Gannets diving into the water, and when I returned Erin caught her first fish! Happy Mother’s Days!
It was brilliant, and reminded us of what this trip is all about. Seeing beautiful places, spending quality time with each other and having a bit of an adventure.
School continues of course, and one day, half way through our maths lesson Katie asks me “If smoking kills people, why do they allow people to make cigarettes.”
“Well, that’s a good question sweetheart. I don’t know.”
I didn’t really fancy getting into a ‘there’s too much money involved’ discussion with her. But she’s right. I mean it really is that simple.
Then she said “Well when I grow up, I’m going to be a scientist, and I’m going to get people to stop making cigarettes.”
“If you do that sweetheart, you will have saved more people’s lives than anyone else in the world, ever.”
“Will they give me a trophy?” she asked.
“I would imagine they would do sweetheart.”
Why isn’t the world that simple.
It really is a shame.