Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Marlborough to Black's Beach

October 4

Up early to beat the heat. Re the kangaroo road-kill, we saw a lot of it that morning in various stages of decay from recently dead to just scraps of desiccated fur.
A lot more wide brown land to drive through. I started recording the road signs:

Survive this Drive
Rest if Sleepy
Driver Fatigue Zone for 10 Km
Rest Revive Survive
Banana plants must not be taken past this point
Break the Drive, Stay Alive

Says it all really, doesn't it?

Closer to Mackay we began to see more of the huge canefields stretching out in long lines from the highway. Narrow gauge rail lines sometimes ran alongside the highway and across the side roads. The signs changed to Cane Hauling Ahead and Cane Railway Crossings next 30 Km.

Mackay is an attractive town. After a cyclone in 19?? which flattened a lot of the buildings, the town decreed that new construction had to be made of brick or concrete. And it was the era of art deco. The result is that Mackay has a wealth of deco buildings. Some have had unsympathetic paint jobs, but all are in good shape.

We ate our lunch in the local park which was unremarkable except for a lovely double row of palms and this oddity, a cannonball tree (Couroupita guanensis, according to its plaque):

Mid-afternoon we arrived at Black's Beach, with a small, slightly shabby, cheerful caravan park right on the shore of said beach. Lovely big trees overhead to shade the area,

and a long stretch of soft sand with just a half dozen or so people wandering along or surf fishing at the water line.

The were sand dollars everywhere, and tiny crabs that threw up curious spherical balls of sand in random patterns that looked like some sort of abstract art or aboriginal dot paintings.

In the evening we went for dinner in nearby Eimeo. The Hotel sat on a headland overlooking the ocean from north to south. We had checked it out earlier in the day and I took this photo from the very spot where we sat that evening.

Of course it was dark by then but as we stared into the blackness, a mango-coloured full moon rose slowly out of the sea, turning the sky to pearly grey and tipping a myriad tiny black wavelets with sparkles. Just magical.
Dinner was good too.

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