Revelling in the heady delight of a day off, I sleep in til 7a.m. The camp is quiet apart from the wind howling over the top of my tent. Eventually I amble out into the bright morning sunshine and greet Bill and Bernie. Bill has a bung leg and is worried that he won’t be able to ride on. Today he will be hunting for a doctor and whatever pain relief is available.
I remember a forum mates advice, (hiya Narnie!) and tell him not to push too hard on the leg as it may cause more damage. He will see how he goes. We stagger off for breakfast… no line this morning!
A quick pedal up to the marina to get a few photos of the dolphins being fed. A large crowd has turned out, much to the delight of the bloke running the show, and to the greater delight of the dolphins who seem eager to get stuck in to a huge feed of free fish. It didn’t take them long to train us did it?
Pedalled round the township, located a fruit shop, a chemist, and a hardware store. Checked out a cheapy shop, but they don’t stock bandannas either. 6 months ago I was tripping over the damn things every time I walked into a shop…
Back to camp, I let Bill know about the chemists and he gives me a hot tip on the best fish and chip shop in town. It’s a good trade of information. The wind picks up another couple of notches, and Bernie’s getting a bit of ribbing from me and Bill about his pending dolpin watching cruise. When we learn that it’s a 3 hour cruise Bill and I launch into the opening verse of the Gilligans Island theme song! “Give my love to Maryanne and the Professor!” I call as Bernie walks off in disgust.
I visit the fish shop, there is a cue a mile long outside the door, ‘Not today,’ I think. I pedal past the remaining 3 fish and chip shops and am dismayed to see similar lines. The only one that doesn’t have a long line happend to sell fish for $9 a piece, which explained a lot.
Back to the original shop. I join the cue, and order a fish, chip and salad lunch. I’m informed that the meal may take an hour. No worries. I go for a ride and take some piccies, and learn that Tin Can is named after an aboriginal word Tuancanbar, which roughly means, the place where the dolphin and the dugong feed. Interesting eh? It reminded me of how Noosa got it’s name. An early visitor to the area asked one of the local aboriginals, “What is the name of that beach?” The native, who had a smattering of English replied, “No Sir”. The visitor then dubbed the place, Noosa Beach. I’m not making this stuff up by the way…
History lesson over, I think about my flimsy little tent and decide to buy a tarp, and look for a pirate flag to strap to my bike flag. The flag is harder to find than a damned bandanna.
A quick visit to the campsite has revealed that my tent is in danger of being blown away by the gusting winds. I locate another site near a large clump of trees, remove my four dinky little pegs and move the tent to the new site. The absence of wind roaring through my ears is a blessed relief.
I return to the fish shop, wait for another 40 minutes and pick up my lunch. I’m so hungry I could eat the wrapping as well. Back in my tent I pig out on the best tasting fish and chips I’ve eaten in a long time.
Meal time over I open my book for a quiet read. The meal has its’ effect and I fall asleep almost straight away. I awake in the middle of the afternoon and note that the clouds have built up, and the wind in the trees is really going off. Bills tent out in the middle of the field is buckling. I stroll over and ask him if he’s interested in moving. He visits my site and decides it might be a good thing. With the help of the ever smiling Phil, we move the Taj Mahal. Phil also decides that it might be a good idea to move. I start laughing at the scene. Bernie’s tent is sitting like a lone duck in the middle of the park being buffetted by gale force winds. The rest of the team join me, and we crack a couple of jokes at Bernie’s upcoming surprise when he returns. I wonder where I could lie and wait with a camera to catch the look on his face.
He turns up later in the day with a tale of woe about the size of the waves in the sheltered bay. His tent is bearing up well in the gale, but he decides to move in to our exclusive, and less wind blown neighbourhood. We help him move. The clouds are much darker now and the wind is not letting up. Tomorrow’s ride is going to be fun. Bill has spent the day icing his sore knee and is hopeful that the rest, along with a slight overdose of Neurofen, will see him ready to pedal at dawn.
That night at the after dinner briefing we are given the bad news. 90% chance of heavy rain, backed up by howling South Easterly winds. Tomorrow is not going to be fun. Horror stories emerge about last years ride, where half the riders pulled out after 3 soaking, freezing days being buffetted by a strong headwind. The forecast is for more of the same this year…
I hit the sack after strapping my new tarp a bit tighter over my tent. The rain hits not long after and it’s not mucking around. Even with the shelter of the trees I’m getting wet. I move everything to the middle of the tent, curl into a tight ball and try to stay as dry and as warm as I can. It doesn’t work.
I can’t wait for tomorrow… oh hang on it’s already here. Anyone feel like a 2 am start?