Early rise at 4.30am - couldn't sleep so I read my book for a bit before ambling to breakfast (French toast with maple syrup) and a quick google check to find out how to get to the Carlo Sandblow.
Walked the 700m to the main road and actually found a sign that pointed me in the opposite direction to my google navigation and began the hike up the the Sand Blow. This track is part of the Great Cooloola Walk, which I'd love to come back and do sometime as its a great part of the world to explore.
The track winds through 2km of the national park around the area, with options to continue onto Double Island Point, but today's destination was just a steady climb up and up until I was standing on the edge of the blow. It's amazing that within 3 minutes of walking across the blow, my footsteps had been completely obliterated - you would never have known I was even there just minutes before.
Walked around the blow, taking shots of a misty Double Island Point as there was some cloud around. Totally awestruck to identify a rain shower out at sea that was blowing in quickly. Took a number of shots to show how quickly it was roaring in over the water, as the winds have been quite blowy. So much so in fact, that after finding the shelter of the trees across the blow, my face felt like it had had a chemical treatment due to the sandblasting it had copped on the crossing! Nice fresh face for Sue!
Completed the loop (if I'd followed google it would have just had me go up the way I came down, which would have negated a lot of the walking and climbing, but also wouldn't have offered some of the views down to the valley below) and wandered into town, then down to the beach for a swim. Given the wind, the surf was pretty rough and there were strong rips outside both of the flags, so didn't venture too far out as I didn't need to test the lifesavers' rescue skills on my day of rest.
Bumped into Gill and Michelle and had a Salted Caramel malted milkshake from a local cafe before walking back to camp to drop some hiking gear off and return to town for lunch. I had been invited to join a couple of groups, but decided to just sit and have some me time, so went to the local butcher to get some fresh prawns and a dozen oysters, and settled myself on the Point to enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. Got chatting with one of the other dads on the ride who has his whole family along this year (I think he mentioned it was the kids' third). It really is great to see families out enjoying all cycling has to offer.
Bumped into Gill and Tracey this time, and joined them for a windy walk along the beach talking all things riding before heading back to camp for a well earned shower and afternoon nap. PS - remember to apply sunscreen throughout the day next time, Sue you dingus!
Did a bit of tidying up of the tent (when did my kids get here and make this mess?), welcomed my new camp neighbour after my friend Jenny (who I miss already - she always has a smile for me) was forced to withdraw from the rest of the ride due to fatigue, pottered around camp until it was time to pick up my trusty steed and headed to Epic Cycles.
$260 to get me back on the road again, but that's nothing compared to how disappointed I would be if they hadn't been able to swap out a part for me to continue the ride. Caught the shuttle this time back into town to enjoy a rump with chips and veges at the Rainbow Beach Hotel, as well as sussing out potential apartments to stay in for our anniversary later this year, as there is so much we can do while here. Dinner at camp was stir fry with bread and butter pudding for dessert, which I wasn't in the mood for tonight. Did grab a coffee from camp though, and bumped into the lovely Anna from previous CQs, who helped me solve the riddle of Belinda's absence from the ride this year.
Picked up my phone from Ride Reception and I am now laying on my mattress in my tent, listening to the rain on the roof as showers pass over the town. Big day of 94k tomorrow, with those damn hills to recross early and then it's onto Maryborough - a town I've visited twice before with CQ and look forward to pulling into again tomorrow afternoon.