Road Trip 2016/17- Part 3 Day 11 – St Lawrence-Cairns

Its been a week or so since I added to the record of our road trip and with good reason. Last week there were dramas with our cat followed by colds all around! I’m still sick but wanted to at least continue with the last day of part three of our trip. After this we were in Cairns for ten days so that should take up one very big post!

When we woke up on Day 11 we planned on driving a reasonable distance to Airlie Beach (about 300kms). We set off enjoying the scenery and headed towards Mackay for lunch.

The kids enjoyed sushi for lunch and then we headed off again toward the Proserpine area. It was there that we were meant to turn off towards Airlie Beach and as we went along we noticed a lot of water in the fields and then the rain came. Yep, that’s rainy season for you but this this seemed like a lot of water.

We found the turn off to Airlie Beach and headed down that road, the whole time thinking ‘how are we going to set up the camper van in the rain?’ and hoping it was dryer there. Then we came across this part of the only road in and out.

It was 20cm deep at least and cars were making their way across on the higher part of the road. We made a snap decision, with the amount of rain that was falling and the depth of the floodwaters already we figured that we may be able to get into Airlie beach that night but we might get stuck in the morning and not make it to Cairns for a day or so. We turned to the four kids in the back and asked for a vote, ‘who wants to go directly to Cairns?’. Of course the votes were all yes despite the fact that Cairns was another 6-7 hours drive away. It was 2.30pm so we had time but we would be arriving very late at night. We phoned my parents to let them know and they were excited to see us all a day early.
The next stop along the way was one we’d been waiting for, the Big Mango at Bowen!

This added to our fruit collection of the Big Banana and Big Pineapple which we saw earlier in our trip. We also managed to see a big watermelon and pumpkin. The stormy weather continued up until Bowen and we probably could have stopped somewhere there for the night but we had already committed to driving to Cairns so we kept going. The weather wasn’t too bad, rain here and there but it looked like this:

Night fell and we hoped the kids would go to sleep. A couple of them did but Miss 11 was very uncomfortable in the back with her long legs and it was too hard to swap them around at that point. We pulled in to Townsville hoping to find a fast food place and should have stopped at KFC as it was the only place we saw along the main road and we ended up at a servo outside of town. I can’t say the food was great, it was pretty awful. This is what we were served:

It was pretty gross and we didn’t eat it all. The kids hot dogs were ok but still, we should have stopped at KFC.
One last stop around the Kennedy area for the toilet and we were off again. It turned out that stop was one we went to again on the way down and chatted with the nice people there who were giving out drinks for travelers.

The kids dozed off for a while and we high tailed it to Cairns. The last leg was done totally in the dark so we couldn’t see the gorgeous mountains as we went. It was very good when we finally saw the sign telling us we had arrived.

We pulled into my parents house around 11.30pm and everyone was very happy to be there, we’d done around 900kms that day. It was worth it though to be able to sleep in a nice bed with air conditioning!
That completed part three of our trip. We made it from Sydney to Cairns with a stop in Brissie on the way. I tell you, its a very long way!

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