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.