The rest of our week here on the sunshine coast went great. We had adventure after adventure. Tuesday was another day of surfing and hanging out at the beach. We did a little better surfing Tuesday, we had some ups and some downs haha. The waves were big and coming so fast it was a fight to even get out to catch a wave. But we had fun once some of the rain cleared up we had a great day on the beach.
The night brought Emily and Kevins first Australian BBQ! Kids from school met us down by the beach and we had a Barbie right next to the beach. It was a perfect night there was a slight breeze and the air was nice and crisp. We had a great time listening to the waves crash on shore and eating Good food! I think Emily and Kevin said it was the best food yet, (food similar to home so that might be why!) Wednesday brought a long day of school for me and a beach day for em and kev, they body surfed in the waves at Mooloolaba then they headed to the airport to pick up the rental car for our next adventure.
Emily and Kev wanted to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef so dad suggested Rockhampton. So we mapped it all out and decided it would be a good day trip. But then as we researched it a little more we found out Rockhampton isn’t actually on the coast so we did a little more research and found a great little island called Great Keppel island. It all looked perfect we would get up early drive up there it was about 20mins from Rockhampton then take the ferry to the island at 9:15 do a snorkel trip and them come home at 3:45 (sounds like a perfect day right) well we left for our trip at 1am! Kevin was a pro and drove the whole way home it was very nice of him. Emily and I did offer to drive more than once. On our drive we encountered our first adventure, only in Australia would mapquest take you off the main highway to a dirt road in the middle of a national park at 2am! Emily was having some serious anxiety about it. But besides a dingo running next to our car for a few minutes the drive was fairly uneventful. Then we made it to the ferry dock, we went to go buy our tickets for the ferry when the sales person told us some not so great news. The ferry went to the island but then came back at 10:15… we were very confused considering online it said differently but apparently it is off-season right now and that is why. After some deliberation we decided to stay the night on the island and come back in the morning. We also found out there were no snorkeling trips but we could hire out some equipment and go off the beach because we were on an island we could go right off the beach! It all sounded good and the flyer made the island look good so we called the rental car place and extended out car rental and hopped on the ferry. We should have thought something was up when we were like the only people on the boat but we were just ready for a good day.
Once we landed on the island the weather was great, sunny and the first beach we landed on looked really nice the sand was soft and white and the water was warm, clear and so many great shades of blue. We headed for our hotel. Now as we walked down the path we began to notice that there was no one else on this island all the other houses and places were empty and we hadn’t passed another visitor. I believe Kevin’s exact words were “This would be a perfect place for a murder mystery” we tried to be positive and press on. So we got up to the hotel and there was a sign on the front door that said go around to the restaurant to check in, so we followed the path around and headed up to the restaurant. Behind the counter in a very empty room was a “hillbilly” of a woman. She was very nice and understanding of the predicament we had gotten into. She told us a little about the island gave us a map and pointed us in the direction of snorkel equipment. So we once again headed out down the deserted path to find our snorkel equipment. After finding an old man (who ran the dive shop which was of course not open because it was not peak season) at his house and renting the mask and fins we headed down the beach to the path he told us about to get to the beach with the reef. This path was so over grown and we had to do a little rock climbing to get to the beach we were ready for the water by the time we got there. It was about a 35min hike up there! Not something we had expected but the views were great!
The beach we ended up at was BEAUTIFUL probably one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen, we were in a little cove and again the sand was white and soft with warm clear water!
We set our stuff down and headed for the reef. This was rather disappointing because of all the flooding and such the reef was cloudy and a bit destroyed but we had a good time and saw a few things. Once we were back on shore Emily spotted two nerf sharks so that was pretty neat to see them right up close to the beach. We laid on the beach and played in the water for a few hours before we got really hungry and headed back to the hotel for some food. Because we weren’t planning on staying long we didn’t really bring and food or water and we didn’t think the beach was such a hike or we would have gotten food first. Thankfully we did have some club cracker to munch on for a little while (thanks dad!!) we headed back and got some food! Then the lady showed us to our room, it was not a real hotel they had like little cabins and tents and such to stay in. she put us in a cabin, there were two twin beds for Emily and I (it felt just like we were little girls again sharing a room) and a separate room with a bigger bed for Kevin, you’d think it was perfect right? Well lets just say we didn’t spend much time in it haha, as cute as it looked it had some major problems one of which was don’t drink any of the water because it is bad (the lady brought us a jug of ‘clean’ water) and the power will go out between 11pm and 5:30am don’t worry said the lady. So the fan and everything will stop! You have no idea how DARK it gets on an island with no power! We woke up in the night and you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face. No exaggeration. In the morning Kevin said he kept waiting for his eyes to adjust so he could see but it just never happened! But after seeing our cabin we headed to another beach, this one was much closer to our cabin! We laid there for a while till Kevin got antisy and we went for an adventure to find the creek that was supposed to come out on that beach according to our map. It wasn’t a far walk and was kinda fun to see some more of the island.
After that we headed back to our towels and just hung out in the water and the beach for the rest of the day. Then back to the cabins to change for dinner…oh wait we had no clothes so we put our towels down and headed to dinner. Then it was dark and still really no one around we saw a few people at dinner but that was maybe like 6 or 7 people. we watched the sunset and then we played a little ping pong on the oldest ping pong table ever ha it was wobbling and the ball had a crack and the paddles were just wood! But all we could do was laugh and have fun! Then it was some pool, it was a good time I almost beat Kevin but he won by one ball. We headed down to the beach to watch the stars, the stars here are so beautiful! I could lay under them forever! We saw a few shooting stars which is always fun then headed to bed. We were tired after a long day and a very early morning. We woke up early to some rain and headed back to bed hoping it would be gone by breakfast time. it was! So we got up, packed up and headed to the restaurant for breakfast. Then to the beach where we laid for a short time before some rain came ☹ then the morning ferry came, we had talked about staying till the afternoon but if it was going to rain we figured we would head home then. We asked the man who drove the ferry if he knew the weather because we had no idea with no Internet or phones or anything on the island. He said they were supposed to be scattered all day so we headed to the mainland. On our ferry ride home we saw some dolphins another exiting highlight! Once back to the docks we drove for about 2 and a half hours through the clouds and rain. Then the sun came out! So we got off the mapquest and headed toward the coast thinking there must be a beach right. Well we did find one it just happened to be in the middle of an industrial park! No lie!! But it was a beach with a little sand and a swimming area and even a park with swings (Kevin tested them out!)
We stayed there for a few hours till it was time to head home. Now it was time for Emily and I to tackle the driving I must say we all did a great job! No accidents or close calls even! (besides our dingo friend on the way there!) we all made it home safe and sound! The next day Emily and kev got up and packed then met me at my apartment. We headed off for out next adventure with some kids from school! The waterfalls!! We did the hinterland trip and it only took us an hour to get there and what maybe 15+ wrong turns! But like I said this week was nothing short of an adventure. We did the walk, jumped of the waterfall again! and enjoyed Gods wonderful creation!! It was a great last day, it rained while we were at the rock pool but we were already wet so no big deal!
Then we headed back to my apartment and mapquested Brisbane and we were off! We dropped the car off at the airport and began searching for a hotel to stay in. after calling like 6places that were all full we found one which was good because Emily was getting a littler nervous. So we caught a cab and headed to this hotel. When we got there it was nothing like the pictures! (are we finding a common theme here?!?) but we made this “inner city inn” work for the night. We went out and had some dinner and walked around downtown Brisbane for the night it was fun, and we got to see some cool stuff. It was almost like an Australian time square! Then it was back to the hotel, we watched a movie and fell asleep. The next morning was a little somber in the room we all knew what was coming (goodbyes) so we packed up and caught a cab to the airport. After waiting in line they were all checked in and we headed to security where we parted ways. Not with out hugs and few tears from each of us (well not Kevin but I know he was crying inside haha) they headed off to their gate and I headed to the train station. (by the way I just got word they made it to Detroit safe and sound) and that was our adventure of a week!! Sorry for the long post but so much happened!! Please continue to pray for me that I will be content where I am and take comfort in knowing God has a great plan for me here and it isn’t over which I why I had to stay here as they headed home. It was hard to watch them go but I know I will have another amazing 3and a half months! Lots of trips to take, places to see and visitors to be had! Next on the list is Mom, Dad, Abby, and Morgan! 18more days!! Can’t wait to have them here with me! Have a great night!