Rockhampton to Airlie Beach
May 19, 2018
Of course, the night before the longest day of riding, I slept horribly. The old grungy man in our room not only continued to burp in his sleep, but also farted uncontrollably and hacked up phlegm every half hour. Then, the guy in the bunk next to mine started emitting deep rumbling engine-like snores. I tried to pretend it was just a motorcycle in my dreams to help fall asleep. After coffee and leftover pasta for breakfast, I started to come back to life.
Our wheels were spinning by 8:30am, which left us with plenty of time to complete the 480 kilometers ahead of us. The drive itself wasn’t too exciting since the road from Rockhampton to Airlie Beach is a straight line through open plains and savanna-like scrub land. Every so often, the monotonous landscape was interrupted by cattle ranches, kangaroo roadkill, and little mountains off in the distance. The sun was shining and the roads were smooth, so we were pretty content. To break up the ride and regain feeling in our hands and backsides, we stopped every hour–once at a gas station with a Harley bikie, once at a stunning beach lookout in Clairview, and once at a gas station for lunch.
After working closely with gas stations in my last job, I vowed that I would never eat gas station food. However, desperate times call for desperate measures and I was hungry in the middle of vast Queensland farmland. I broke my vow and scarfed down a sausage and energy drink trying not to think about how many hours it sat in the glass display case.
Hours passed and kilometers zoomed by as we passed endless small towns and sugar cane fields. Finally, we pulled into Airlie Beach right around 4:30pm as planned, and booked into the YHA. Airlie Beach turned out to be way bigger than I expected, with a main street crowded with night clubs, hostels, clothing stores and tour agents. I was honestly expecting a cutesy little seaside town with one general store, but the streets were buzzing and the bars were packed already. After our long day of driving, all we wanted was a hot shower and warm dinner. After a wander around town, we stayed in and listened to all the British girls obsess over the Royal Wedding.
May 19, 2018
Accommodation: Airlie Beach YHA, $23
Lunch: Servo sausage and Energy Drink (gross, I know)
Dinner: Rice, veggies, McDonalds Ice Cream
Distance covered: 481 km