One thing about Yungaburra Lodge. Its VERY open plan, with no locks, open entrances and open windows. As such, it gets VERY cold at night here. I half wondered why they’d given me 3 different sheets and blankets – by bedtime it was painfully clear. Plus side, I had enough to stay warm and toasty all night.
Sadly, was woken up at approximately 6:58 by a rumbling, groaning, construction noise. It was a cement mixer, coming to pave a chunk of the outside area. Thankfully I was already semi-awake by that point and it wasn’t that big a problem.
The rest of the group would be going out on a mountain bike tour this morning, which I would be passing up as I planned to hire a bike and spend all day tomorrow exploring. Also, Tracey, the head of the lodge, was driving into Atherton to get the food ready for a large 20+ group arriving today, and invited me along to get food for myself as it would be cheaper from the superstore. When we returned, I buckled down and tried to catch up with my blogging – which became infinitely harder when WordPress erased a blogpost AGAIN.
When everyone came back from the mountain biking, I rejoined them for the afternoon canoe tour at 2pm. This took us along the local river, and we paddled close to the edge in the hopes of spotting water dragons, snakes, turtles, possums and a variety of birds.
Didn’t spot any snakes or possums, but did catch a few turtles and plenty of these guys.
When we got to a shallow and rapid part of the river, we wedged the canoes on the rocks and walked along bank towards a handful of oddly coloured rocks. The guide took them in her hands and explained this was red ochre, which the aboriginal cultures used as face paint.
…I’m sure you can see where this is going.
Then next 15 minutes all of us huddled by the bank scratching rocks and splashing them with water before playing finger paints with each other’s faces. Everyone was having so much fun they almost had to be dragged away. It took another fig tree in which we could see straight up the empty centre before everyone discarded the rocks.
Canoing back took a lot more effort since we were all tired from the paddle out there, and we were now having to fight the current. Most the animal life seemed to have vanished too, with the exception of one turtle and a very annoyed Egret. But as we crossed towards the final chunk of clear water, we spotted a handful of wallabies on the green grass – the two other canoes took a lot of time to pass that section.
When we got back to the lodge, the group only had 45 minutes before their bus left, so grabbed the showers first. I was half tempted to make something to eat while I waited, but instead held off until I was clean. Unfortunately, while I was in the shower, the big group Tracey had been preparing for arrived, and pretty much took over the reception and kitchen area – thankfully they were going platypus spotting so hung around with the group until they left and made a sandwich once there was a clear space.
When they returned, unlike last night, the lodge was teeming with people and you struggled to find a chair, although I managed to bag a good one by the fire and ended up in a discussion with an Irish employee about Scotland’s independence before finally calling it a night.