This "Carly for any occasion" business is really taking off (except, I'm not getting paid for it). Julie had mentioned that she really wanted to go camping, but no-one was interested in going with her...sounds like a job for a certain Carly we all know and love...
The decision was made to head north (about 5 hours) to Mon Repos, on the coast off Bundaberg, home to a 1 point something kilometre stretch of beach which attracts a large number of nesting turtles every year. Our aim - to see some baby turtles!!
We drove through 3 huge storms before reaching Bundaberg, where the rain let off considerably. This cheered us up, as the prospect of putting up the tent in the rain wasn't one we welcomed. Of course, as soon as we pulled up to our camp site, the rain started again. We got a bit wet, but the tent went up remarkably easily. And we made sure we camped in the "unsafe" area (after Mum had made the laughable comment about making sure we were in a 'safe area')...tehehe
Julie had cleverly booked us into 2 nights of turtle watching, just in case our first night was unsuccessful. Even though we had to wait a good three hours (with little entertainment and hard seats) we were super excited when they told us there were hatchlings!! Yea!!!!
They were so cute, there were about 95 of them, which the rangers put into a temporary holding pen so they could bring a couple around for us to touch. Leathery. We then formed two lines to help guide the little dudes down to the water. The ranger asked for some volunteers with small flashlights, and I eagerly volunteered my LED torch. I got to stand (mostly with children) in the middle of the lines, tunnel ball style, to provide a direct beam of light for the turtles to follow.
They crawled over my feet! Those who know me will know that my toes are the only ticklish part of my body, and they were flapping all over them. It took quite a bit of concentration to not move my feet...didn't want to trample any turtles!! It was a very special moment. After getting back to the tent around midnight (and having got up at 4am to get my flight back from Canberra) I was absolutely shattered and thought nothing short of nuclear war would wake me. All if took was one massive thunderstorm, and the constant fear that the tent was going to flood...thankfully it didn't!
No trip to Bundaberg is complete without a visit to the Bundy Rum distillery. We couldn't be bothered doing a tour, so we took a couple of photos and got the hell out of there...bogan central...
Our second night turtle watching was even more successful (we were in the first group down to the beach), 145 hatchlings!! They are so cute, and it was really interesting to talk to the ranger about how they survive and breed etc. The rangers have to allow them to make the walk (flop?) down to the ocean on their own, as they align themselves to the Earth's magnetic field, so they know where to come back to when it's time to lay their eggs...cool huh!
Unfortunately my thumb covered the turtle, but suffice to say, it was a great experience. Camping with Julz was a lot of fun, if not because we camped luxuriously - I'm talking a blow up mattress each (Julie's was even king size!), a fan, an ipod dock...much more luxurious than any other camping trip I've ever been on!! We're already planning the next camping trip...south somewhere.
Oh yeah, somehow my mobile escaped from the confines of the tent to somewhere in the camp ground. But luckily, someone handed it in and the lovely camp people are posting it down to me. So, in case you were planning on calling or texting me in the next couple of days...hold off!!