This morning we left Cairns at an obscene hour. The process of dragging everyone out of bed & packing up at 6:30am was taxing on everyone involved, least of all our very close neighbours who shot death glares at us for having the audacity to make noise before 7am. Can’t say I blame them. I was shitty too at being woken that early. Thankfully I have the good fortune of being able to sleep through anything, so other people’s midnight/early morning noises do not bother me in the slightest (unless of course the noises they are making are directed at me & closely followed by spew, then I am very bothered).
Ben wanted to leave early so he could take us to Bowen for a look at what he claims to be “the best beach he has ever laid eyes on”. Anytime anyone makes a claim that something is the “best” I am in like Flynn & 100% dedicated to determining the truth of their claim. Infact today, while stopping for petrol & lunch at a servo out of Townsville, I happened upon a sign in the servo restrooms declaring that this particular servo has the best pies in Australia, then they challenged me directly to try for myself. I was absolutely livid with myself for being so organised & having the foresight to pack breadrolls, ham & salad. It took all my self restraint not to toss me pre-made lunch in the bin in order to buy pies so I could determine whether there was any validity to their claim. Our lunch was eaten at a picnic table next to the Service Station Septic System. Very serene.
After lunch we charged on with our very long drive to see Bowens beach. Ben & I, still listening to historical audio books, came to a startling realisation. Ben & I are exactly like Captain Cook & Sir Joseph Banks!!!! Ben is obviously Cook. The sensible navigator, a man with a commitment to a task who was so consumed with his sailors health that he force fed them pickled cabbage and whipped them if they wouldn’t eat it. Serious, determined & diplomatic. Banks on the other hand was a debauncherously overindulged party animal who parasited his way on the Endeavour under the pretense of studying flora & fauna. His elaborate, lavish & insanely comfortable quarters on the Endeavour were far superior to even Cooks quarters. Banks seemed like an awesome bloke!! His passion for science & sociable personality saw him make friends wherever their boat docked. He even picked up two Tahitians on his travels to take back to Britain to keep as live specimens. Alas, they succumbed to some European disease before they made it to his first dinner party.
Kids nodded in agreement. Mummy was totally the Banks & Dad the Cook. Poor old Ben. He then started asking them questions that can only spell disaster (for him). “Well, who do you go to when you are sad about something?” “Mummy” was the unanimous reply. “Well, who do you go to if you are hurt?” “Mummy” again was the quick response. “Who is the most fun?” Ben was digging deep… “Mummy!!!!” The kids answered, as if he’d just asked them the most ridiculous question in the world. “Who’s the funniest?” Ben asked, scrambling. “Ummmm…, Daddy????” They responded, realising that poor old Captain Cook may be getting to the point where hurt feelings were involved. I was sitting smugly on my “tail saver” grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I leaned over to Ben & said “I was going to suggest getting an icecream at the beach. I’m willing to let you be the fun one for the afternoon if you want to suggest & then get them”. Cook nodded.
As we drove in to Bowen Ben started telling me about his last trip to Bowen, how much he loved it & how magical it was. “Sounds good!! Where did you stay?” I asked him. He responded that he had stayed at a resort on the beach. “Hmmm….. that sounds very un-Ben like” I thought to myself. Further prompting revealed that he had actually come here on a dirty weekend with one of his ex girlfriends. “Phew” I thought. Now we are even for my faux par earlier in the trip when I showed the kids a picture of a spot in the Wongai Pub on Horn Island and told them that was the spot mummy & daddy had their first kiss. “We didn’t have our first kiss in the pub!!!” Ben exclaimed “We didn’t even kiss in the pub!”. “Oh” I said awkwardly. “Well that’s the spot where mummy had her first kiss with some other pilot in a pub”. This was met with eyerolling & fake wretches from the kids. Kylah looked at me in horror and shook her head. Jazzy seemed pretty sympathetic though.
Bowen beach was great!!! Ben wants us to move there. It’s a difficult decision. Cooktown or Bowen…. Lucky we’ve got ages till we retire so a long time to think about it.
We are nearly at our destination so I’d better sign off. Camping tonight in a national park 1 hour South of Bowen.
Sorry for grammatical & spelling errors. I’ve been writing this on my phone while driving.