Of course first on the agenda was a sleep in as breakfast (French toast with maple syrup) was served later today. That all went to hell in a hand basket when I woke up at 5.30am, so it was off for an early morning jog to get the knots out of the legs from the previous day's ride. Just a short 2k out and back to enjoy the sunrise over the beach at Mon Repos, a popular conservation area where turtle nesting season will commence in the next month or so. Funny that a jog now helps my tired riding legs recover better than a rest as it employs a different set of muscles to get me moving.
True to my promise, we had a bike-free day today. Just me and my best bike buddy, a couple of all day bus tickets and the town of Bundy at our feet.
The poor bus driver must have wondered what he'd gotten himself into when he got to what I imagine is normally a sleepy stop near the caravan park, to find a group of 20+ riders waiting to board. But hats off to the driver of the 9.05 bus #4 from Bargara to the Bundaberg CBD as he wins my nomination for friendliest and most helpful driver ever. Big smiles, helpful advice and even gave directions on how to get back home at the end of our day of exploring.
Bundaberg Rum Distillery tour was our first stop of the day. Great way to spend a couple of hours learning about the history of this Queensland icon. Two comical tour guides (Jacqui and Lea) made for a fun, light-hearted learning experience, capped off with a couple of tastings of our poison of choice (all made by Bundy Rum Distillery, of course). Not being a rum fan myself, I must admit that the chocolate, coffee, rum, caramel, vanilla liqueur that the sell only from their cellar door was nice drunk on the rocks (sip before next ingredient), with a dash of cream (another sip) and the finishing touch, filled with Fanta (oh my god it was like a Jaffa in a glass) - aptly named a Bundy Fanta-sy. Second drink was a white Bundy Rum with passion fruit soft drink - nice but too easy to drink too quickly for my liking!
So leaving the distillery behind, we walked up an appetite into the CBD. Ate at an exquisite and delicious cafe recommended by a friend, Indulge. If you're ever dropping through Bundaberg and find yourself a little peckish on Bourbong Street, as Molly would say, "Do yourself a favour," and wander in for a bite to eat. Can't remember what we ate but it was Devine (with a capital "D") and I would love to work through the menu next time we visit the region.
Wandered around the shops after that, tried to find Target to get a mat for my sleeping arrangements only to be given an initial bum-steer by Siri on my phone. Eventually located said mat and hope to have a better night's sleep as a result.
Back to camp on the bus, with kudos to this bus driver for his care and diligence in applying the 1m rule correctly when passing cyclists. Of course he may well have felt the eyes of about thirty riders on him watching him as he approached each rider! Talk about performance anxiety!
Shower, dinner (lamb and hokkien noodle stir fry, bread and butter pudding with custard) and a soothing massage sees us all set up ready to move on (albeit a little reluctantly) tomorrow.
Kicked back in my tent while I'm writing this, listening to the jazz from the cafe and the waves crashing onto the shore from behind me, while admiring the beautiful moon. Bargara really is that cliched little slice of heaven to visit. A beautiful esplanade walk, plenty of cafés and eateries, a good pub and that small beach town feel that I miss about Maroochydore these days.
Thinking of hubby who is at home with my two children and thinking that if they were here it would be even more perfect. Must start working on them for the next CQ. Only 360ish days to go...