The rain that was promised has arrived indeed, and it pours slowly over the night and well into the morning. I listen to the rain drops pattering outside the tent as I warm up my instant noodles and eat them with enthusiasm, anticipating my imminent homecoming. After that I pack up my camp (for the last time!) in my rain coat (finally it's getting some use!), rolling up my soaking wet tent as is. The morning is rainy and gloomy when I finally leave the caravan park and deposit the key from the shower block into the mailbox, placed there specifically for the purpose.
In the morning the journey continues. It's quite cool outside now: I'm very much in the temperate climate zone these days, and the autumn is close. Quite a difference from the perpetual 30° in the tropics.
When I wake up before dawn, I quickly boil a few eggs for breakfast, leave a grateful note for Alex and Sarah and jump back into the car: I have to drive on to Sydney, which is almost a thousand kilometres away. However, I make one quick stop on my way in the morning: Byron Bay.
In the morning the whole tent is covered in thick dew, so I have to pack it as is, soaking wet. It will stay that way in the Tucson's boot for two days, because both in Brisbane and Sydney I will be staying in proper houses.
Around Australia in 22 days: The Land of Sugarcane
4 May 2016
When I wake up, the sun is up, too, which is unusually late for me. Then again, Townsville's tyre shops don't open until 8:30 anyway. When I do arrive there, they finally tell me that they do have 235/60, and half an hour later I drive away with brand new front tyres. Hooray!
In the morning, when I visit the toilet facilities, I suddenly see a white frog on the seat. I lift the seat to scare it off, but apparently the creature is all too familiar with human ways and simply crawls higher up, looking at me angrily. I shrug and enter another stall. Already sitting there, I glance to the right and see another frog, which is green and about twice as big. I keep glancing at it nervously until I'm done with my business. Croydon: the frog capital of Queensland.
Around Australia in 22 days: The Gulf of Carpentaria
2 May 2016
After having slept beautifully, I get up at 5 a.m. and finish eating and packing up before dawn. As the sun rises, I add a bit more oil to the engine (just in case) and take off. Ahead lie Queensland and the mining town of Mount Isa.
I start my day very early, before dawn; but, surprisingly enough, I slept excellent and didn't get a single drop of rain: either it passed me by or didn't start at all. Also, I firmly decide to implement the itinerary change I came up with last night.
Too humid for a good sleep, so I don't get much. After a quick shower, where I wash off the morning sweat (it instantly reappears), we pack up and move on to the Litchfield National Park. From the north it can be reached via dirt track (which we're using right now), or via proper sealed road from the east (which we'll use later). Either way, the park and its rainforest are all around us.
After having an excellent sleep in Kununurra, we quickly pack up (it takes less and less time these days: we're getting used to the moves) and take off. Kununurra is the last town in Western Australia; ahead lies the Northern Territory, with its own towns, roads and other quirky little things.