So today is the last day in Airlie Beach. Which is sad, because we've grown quite fond of the place. It's clearly a tourist town and there appears to be only two kinds of accommodations - either backpacker hostels or holiday apartments. We're staying in the later and Cathy is deeply sad to be leaving it. The price is insanely reasonable, we have a balcony and a view. I think Cathy is wondering if we can attach it to the back of the car and drag it off with us when we leave tomorrow.
Ah yes, tomorrow. Probably going to be my least favourite day of the vacation. Tomorrow is nothing but a run and gun down the coast of Australia. In other words, hundreds of more kilometres of sugar cane. We're trying to make it to Hervey Bay, the launch point to go and see Fraser Island. Alas, it's about an 11 hour drive away and I don't think we can get there in one day. I figure we can get about eight hours of daylight driving in tomorrow and that's it. And I simply don't want to chance driving at night in Australia. Yes, there's the matter of driving on the left hand side of the road at night, although I've gotten pretty decent at it by now. I no longer live in fear of roundabouts and yesterday I accomplished the small matter of parallel parking for the first time.
No, the problem are the kangaroos.
It seems right around sunset, and even after dark, the kangaroos comes out in force. This is not Australian joke. Several people have told me this, and they were dead serious. Kangaroo/car collisions are no laughing matter in these parts and we've seen numerous instances of kangaroo road kill (along with birds enjoying the road kill) littered on the side of the road. And the 'roos can do some serious damage to cars, so I've been told.
Australians are very serious on this point, you can tell. I think all the joking about the things that can kill you around here tends to mean that when they tell you about something that can actually happen to you, people brush it off as another Aussie joke. One guy on our tour yesterday joked there were no sharks in the waters where we were snorkeling because all the saltwater crocs ate them. The number of people that began paddling back to the boat because they missed the joke...you would not believe.
But no, I can understand things leaping out of nowhere and hitting your car. I grew up in Newfoundland. I've been lucky enough to not hit a moose, but I've seen my share on the side of the road and known people who haven't been so lucky as to miss them. All of which is a long way of saying we'll be finding a motel somewhere tomorrow night.
Still, if tomorrow is the worst day we have on vacation, then I can't complain too much. So far, it's been a blast.
Now if you excuse me, I need to go didgeridoo shopping. After consulting some oracles (ie friends on Facebook), I've decided that a high quality didgeridoo with free shipping back to Canada is better use of my money than jumping out of an airplane.