The longest leg…

The final leg of the first part of the journey was definitely the toughest one to date. 741Kms (give or take a little) from Airlie Beach to Cairns.

We left Airlie at roughly 11a.m., sharing the driving as usual (I did the pedals, Dave steered… only joking). The challenge on this leg was for the navigator (who actually had nothing to navigate) to stay awake! The landscape was pretty much featureless – it changed from huge sugar cane fields to dead open fields and back to sugar cane again.

On the map, the road looks like it snakes it’s way north. In reality, there are slight kinks in an otherwise straight road. This is enough to keep the driver busy, the navigator is bored into a kind of waking-sleep. The most exciting part of the trip was in Ingham when Dave was stopped at a police checkpoint and breathalized… he actually had to use the clutch and the brake. Wow! And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times… the Police here are so professional. I’ve never been a fan of the shower at home, but they are really shown up (and completely out-classed) by the police in Australia. You are not subjected to the stupid questions (or general ignorance) here – just a polite greeting, a simple question or two, a please and thank you – and finally a simple goodbye. As we drove away from the checkpoint, we were both stunned and speechless – Wow, this is what Police are supposed to be like! The Gardai really need to get the thumb out.

We reached Cairns at about 9p.m. and checked into the hostel. Tired, Grumpy and Hungry, we got some dinner and headed straight for bed!

We have been searching for work since. I walked around every block in the city yesterday, I didn’t find a job, but I slept well! There seems to be more people looking for work here than there are jobs. I also tried all of the car rental companies – no joy.


  1. Hi Den, just back from Budapest and Prague and decided to catch up on your news. Your non-sailing trip sounds wonderful. Loved the picture of the boat. Dying to talk to you.

  2. Hi Den

    Just back from the weekend in Dublin at the Phoenix Park Races and catching up on your news. Sian said there is a town south of Darwin that loads of people go to because there are great fruit picking opportunities. Can’t remember the name but I’m sure you’ll find it in the Lonely Planet. Have you looked at things like Hosties on the boats or bus driving for hostels? The money wouldn’t be great but your accommodation (and sometimes food) would be paid.

    The Park was brilliant. The only downside was that the head gasket went in the Avenger before the practice run on Saturday so Dad didn’t get out at all over the weekend. Other than that it was great fun as always – Dad kept us well fuelled with morning fry-ups and steak BBQs and Mom kept the vino flowing! Sian really enjoyed it too (she brought OJ and Champers and we started Saturday morning with Buck’s Fizz!)and both she and Katie’s John camped with us on Saturday night. I don’t think it was the best night’s sleep John ever had but he entered into the spirit of things. Liam (Volvo driver – which also had troubles and couldn’t run on Sunday)had us in stitches with his stories so great time was had by all. The only thing that was missing was you! Looking forward to the Limerick Hill Saturday week – so will be back home before we know it (Hal’s coming over too).

    Delighted that you went to Great Keppal – isn’t it brilliant?! Keep the site updated – it’s great to follow how you are getting on.

    Take care bro!
    Lots of love


  3. Hey Denis-
    remember me?
    Met on the Fraser Island trip first, then in Noosa and again in Byron Bay before Christmas and in Sydney! Surprised you are doing the East Coast again… guess there is always enough left to see.
    I hope you are having a great time and finally decided what to do (at least not to go home too soon…)
    Wanted to email to you but lost your address, lucky I found this page.
    I’m home since the end of January and continuing my studies.
    Would love to hear from you! Still want to come to Ireland some day…
    Have fun and take care,


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