April 6 On to Gladstone (Day 192)

We woke up to cloudy skies and went to the beach to try and catch the sunrise.

A muted sunrise on Jeanneret Beach.

We decided to head back to St. Helens, use the town wifi for an hour, then move on to new venues. We chose the unsealed road through the eucalyptus forest in the far north east of the island to experience the “off the beaten track” wilds. Logging activity is apparent, but it being Saturday we didn’t meet any logging trucks on the road. We crossed the Ringarooma River on it’s path to emptying into the Ringarooma Bay in Bass Strait, the body of water between the island-state of Tasmania and the mainland of Australia. Then as we approached the town of Gladstone we stopped at Little Blue Lake to admire it’s bright aqua-blue water, a little muted on this cloudy day. It looked suspiciously like an old quarry and I later found out that it was the site of a tin mine and the color comes from suspended clay and high levels of minerals in the water. We reached Gladstone and checked out the town’s free campsite next to the community center, with bathrooms available! We decided to stay for the night, set up quickly and took a walk around the 2 blocks of town. We found the cafe-tavern and stopped in for a few drinks. I chose Guinness while Robert had a glass of red wine. I think we were the talk of the locals who came and went, with me being the beer drinker and Robert being the wine drinker! It’s the first Aussie bar we’ve been in, and with the muddy utes (the local pick-up trucks) out front, filled with the carcasses of wallabies and cages with hunting dogs, we expected Crocodile Dundee to stroll in! The locals told us that the hunters go out to shoot the wallabies for sport, then use the carcasses for dog tucker (dog food).

Not Crocodile Dundee, but a photo-bombing bar tender!! A fun evening at a local bar where a customer served us our drinks while the bar tender was serving folks in the cafe section!

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