Despite my TV watching antics, I managed to get up at 6am even without the aid of an alarm and headed straight for the Allumbah Pocket once again. All around Yungaburra a thick white mist was curling round the landscape, giving this pretty village yet another stunning look.
Wandered along Petersen Creek looking for any signs, but it wasn’t until I got to the pool and made myself comfortable that my waiting paid off.
Saw at least 2, at one point both of them on the surface and spinning around it other either for fun or some kind of courtship – unfortunately behind the branches and bushes I was using as cover so couldn’t get a good photo – and a few others swimming around before the sun was in the sky and they all fled to sleep.
By the time I got back to the lodge, everyone’s just starting to wake up, and I end up slumming around trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my day. I’m struggling with my work hunt – either not getting replies, there’s no work or I’m not what they’re looking for (curse my non-existent drivers licence), and its taking up most of my focus.
I want to go have a look around Atheron, but the buses don’t run on weekends and its a bit of a hike on the bike. However Megan on the desk recommends I take a bike and go have a look at the Gallo Dairy, which isn’t too far away. Seems like a pretty good idea, and armed with a map and what sounds like coherent instructions, off I go.
Unfortunately, the so called ‘coherent’ instructions hit my complete lack of navigational sense and a significant number of hills and kilometres later I realised I’d been going in completely the wrong direction. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go all the way back, and managed to hash out a circular route I could take to get back – though my ‘detour’ resulted in my doing about 10K more than I originally planned in the boiling heat of Queensland.
Gallo Dairy hosts a cafe and a small area in which you can view the cheese factory, as well as offering a walk through area for young calves and a viewing platform for milking. Its clearly aimed more at people with cars and looking for something to eat between Atherton, Malanda and Yungaburra. I’d had lunch before I left, but did sample some of the cheese options – all of which had quite a kick, never tasted a Gruyere that didn’t taste like plastic, but this one was strong. Ended up treating myself to a chunk of Baci (brie) and grabbing a handful of chocolates made in house for later.
Also, in an attempt to stay out of the sun for a little bit, had a chocolate milkshake…which ended up being the nicest milkshake I’ve ever had.
As I cycled back, my navigational mistake became clear. I’d been told to go on the road to the Curtain Fig. I’d assumed she meant the road before the turnoff, when she genuinely meant go past the Curtain Fig. I hadn’t actually realised said road didn’t stop at a dead end, and stopped off at the fig tree one more time (again to catch my breath).
It’s really getting too hot here – by the time I make it back I’ve got no energy and spend most of the afternoon lying on a bench in the shade of the garden until the next tour comes along and I go to socialise. While doing so, Tracey of the hostel asks me how I’m doing and I end up explaining the troubles of getting work – to which she offers me the free room and board for work that I’d had my eye on a few weeks ago. Turns out Judith, the current boarder is leaving Monday evening, so there’s an opening – since this means I can keep looking without having to spend a ton on accommodation and food? Sold.