Day 22: Rainbow Beach to 1770 and Agnes Water
I woke up to the loud voice of a proper Aussie named Nate corralling the newest tour group at 6:30am. I didn’t mind much since it meant we could get an early start on the road too. After breakfast, I checked the forecast and it said 90% chance of rain starting in an hour. We scrambled to get everything packed up and were waving goodbye within 45 minutes, giving us a head start on the rain.
Apparently, it wasn’t quite enough of a head start and we hit a solid ten minutes of rain. I thought we were doomed for a day of dampness, but the clouds parted and blue skies emerged. We cruised in between the towering tree farms, with the smell of pine present through the helmet. We gave a sort of sun dance while riding that included theatrical arm gestures and singing Sun, glorious sun!
Along our route, we passed through a town called Childers, which is known for a horrendous hostel fire in the early 2000s. There’s a memorial for the backpackers that perished in the fire, so we stopped to learn more. Fifteen backpackers died after an arson set fire to the historic Palace Backpackers Hotel. This tragedy has led to many updates and regulations regarding fire safety in hostels, possibly saving the lives of future Backpackers.
Our next stop was in Bundaberg, a town made famous by its rum and ginger beer production. The town has an abundance of sugar cane fields, which are crucial for the production of both beverages. The rum distillery seemed a bit overpriced, but the soda factory welcomed us with free tastings and deals on all their products. We bought two sodas and enjoyed them in the courtyard with our leftover noodles. However, we didn’t have any utensils with us. Our sad attempts at cutlery ended up being a straw bent like chopsticks and a bottle opener used as a scooping device. We probably looked pretty ridiculous.
The ride to Agnes Water was accompanied by rain, but the roads were quaint and enjoyable. At one point, Byron put on his brakes and pulled a u-ey. I followed him, and he pointed to his left hand side at the backyards. Kangaroos!!! There’s were four of them crouched in the yard nibbling on grass and staring at us. This was our first kangaroo sighting on the road trip! I stared at them for a long time until they hopped off in unison to the forest. I was giddy with excitement as we continued down the road.
Half an hour later, Byron pulled the same maneuver and pointed to more kangaroos bouncing along the road in majestic leaps. A short while later, I spotted another family of Roos along the road–the were everywhere!
We pulled into Backpackers at 1770 and saw the English lads from our Fraser Island Tour. Turns out only one of them was actually English, but again tonight they broke out into shouting Ed Sheeran songs, just like on the island.
Instead of participating in round two of The English jam session, we caught up on blogging and scrapbooking.
May 8, 2018
Accommodation: Backpackers @ 1770, $24
Food & Drink: $20
Breakfast: Toast and Peanut Butter
Lunch: Leftover instant noodles & Bundaberg soda
Dinner: Rice and Veggies & Guinness