Turtle Love At Mon Repos
Not far from Bundaberg is Mon Repos (My Rest) , a beautiful white sand beach where turtles lay eggs and hatch. We were able to see the little (the size of a silver dollar) buggers swim through the sand down the beach, get tumbled in the surf and disappear in to their ocean home. We were able to feel them push against our fingers; the urge to get to the sea is very powerful. Way cute. We decided to stay for a rest day since we had such a beautiful tent site facing the beach and only a metre or so from the sand, and very few people on the beach. In the morning we ran barefoot for a couple of kilometres on the beach before our morning swim. This is our second beach run, and I love running in bare feet, there is none of the sore feet and knees I encounter with running shoes. During the day we bush walked to a nearby town for provisions and a bit of Bundy, the Australian rum, made in Bundaberg. We had a light tea and lots of Bundy and Coke on the beach until after dark, then a bit of a tumble in sand and surf, until torches coming down the beach ended our party. There is something about palm trees, sand and surf that stirs the soul, or at least our libidos.
After Mon Repos we turned inland for a day, stopping for the night in Rosedale, a struggling former railroad town. We camped behind the local pub and enjoyed happy hour and the daily roast, and the locals: the Leprechaun, a small beaded fruit picker, Possum; the sad eyed pub dog; the mother of six (she let us know early) who was drinking away the night, and her family’s money, and the very Irish barmaid. There were three opportunities to punt (bet) during happy hour, and the proceeds of each are earmarked to local charities. The chosen charity gets a several hundred dollars each month they are on. It seems an easy fun way for the locals to give, and have some fun too.
One Lonely Rich Woman
The Town of 1770 was the place where Captain Cook landed first in Queensland, second landing in Australia. It is a happy date for white Australians, a not so happy day for Aboriginals. On an afternoon walk we met a woman walking her small dog on the beach. She told us about her life: mansion on the hill overlooking the town, husband at another house in South Africa where he has been working for the past four years, children going to finishing schools, or on their own in Europe and San Francisco, where she has a third house. She has just finished overseeing the building of the mansion, and now must decorate it, so far from major centers where she would have access to the best furnishings and interior designers. She is very fit looking 60 or so, a former marathon runner who has just had knee surgery and won’t be able to run for months. She was very interested in our life, and not a little envious of our way of total togetherness. She seems very lonely. Perhaps her husband thinks he has to keep working to keep her in houses, and all she really wants is to have him with her. She is not a wealthy woman because the things she values most she can not have. How complicated this idea of wealth. We know we are wealthy, and our house is usually a tent. She was a very nice person, and we wished we could stay and keep her company. But she didn’t ask, ultimately, unlike Judy in Bundaberg,, afraid to open up to strangers.