So, after 5 days of learning the ropes at Parrots in Paradise, I finally have a day off… and immediately set upon the bunkhouse. The previous tenants have allowed the blankets and sheets to explode from their shelf and invade what should be some of my storage space. On top of that, the kitchen shelf is a wreck and there’s dust everywhere.
Clearly, this has to change.
So I spent my morning gutting out the bunkhouse and folding sheets in an attempt to regain control. My actions were well received, and I managed to salvage 3 shelves as well as stealing another one for myself.
This was a little bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, I now had a clean(ish) living space, on the other, I’d lost the early morning and it was getting unbelievably hot. The previous day we’d spent the afternoon hosing down cages (and birds) for hours trying to keep their temperatures down. By the time I was done, it was too hot for me to even consider going anywhere on foot – but Dail was going to Caloundra, and offered to drop me off.
Caloundra is about 40 minutes from the Glasshouse Mountains, and its main attraction is its beaches – especially Kings Beach. This ribbon of sand is where many learn to surf, and round the corner is a smaller beach, cut off from Kings by a collection of rocks and a sharp current noticeable from the shore. Although it was hot, and I could really do with a cool down, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my gear unattended – next time, gonna take advantage of the lockers I saw at the bus station when I’m leaving.
Along the beach front, there are several different restaurants and cafe’s catering to the hungry swimmers. I was elated to discover a Japanese restaurant among their number, and got a relatively nice Kitsune Udon for my lunch. Haven’t had this since my trip to Japan several years ago – tofu was as nice as the Japanese, but the noodles were slightly rubbery and the broth was a non-entity for flavour.
After walking along the shore, I headed back inland to have a look at the shops available. There are dozens of charity shops in the centre and I was considering grabbing a few more pairs of shorts for work since the ‘free clothing’ cupboard didn’t have anything that would fit me trouser-wise, and don’t really want to wreck my new outdoor trousers if I don’t have to. Unfortunately, several shops later, I’ve yet to find a single pair that would fit me without being uncomfortable (denim in hot glaring sun is not fun).
It’s still early in the afternoon, but since the sun is still relatively hot and I’m not swimming, I decide to see how hard it is to get back to the Glasshouse Mountains Station on my lonesome. This requires getting the 605 bus from the depo, and taking the 20-30 minute trip to Landsborough – a tiny town consisting of essentially one main street – and catching the connecting train which lets me off 2 stops later. When I hit Landsborough, I’d clearly gotten too used to the air conditioning, because the temperature hits me like a hammer. Its got to be at least 5 degrees warmer here than it was on the coast. I huddle in what little shade I can, then flee onto the train, not looking forward to the 20 minute walk I still have to go through once I get off.
Thankfully, little over 3/4 of the way there, I run into Mark, whose out in his van on an errand, and he happily drives me back the rest of the way, so I can collapse into a puddle of sweaty goo just a little bit faster. Make a beeline for the shower (which has sadly been doing nothing but cold water since yesterday), and collapsed on my bed for about an hour until rumblings in the sky dragged me up.
Last night, all of the helpx crew had slipped into the duck and turkey area to get a look at the silent lightning crashing several miles away. We didn’t get a good look (far too many trees), but from what we could see, it was impressive. Tonight, we were getting the main show – huge bolts of lightning blowing up the sky practically next door – and this time it was accompanied by thunder and rain. I tried to record it, but my camera couldn’t handle the dark and light reactions very well – really something that has to be seen to be believed.
Tomorrow, to save my cash, I’m doing something a little closer to home. I’ll grab one of the mountains and do the circuit walks before it gets too hot.