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Tuesday 23 Apr 2013
Noosa, Australia

Cycling for sushi and beers with the Henlow Mafia

After such a busy few days in Airlie I needed to relax a little, so I had planned to stop in the little town of 1770, between Rockhampton and Hervey Bay, but the bus shedules weren't that convenient and I couldn't find any decent hostel reviews, so I carried on through to Hervey Bay instead, with an overnight in Rockhampton YHA.  This turned out to be a strange little courtyard around a small garden in a quiet back street that I would never have found had they not collected me from the bus stop.  That is one inconvenience of Greyhound buses in Queensland.  They don't necessarily stop at central bus stations.  Often it is a truck stop or service station, but at least the hostels know this and send cars to collect you.

Hervey Bay was the same, with the YHA being 6km away from the bus station. Luckily there was a YHA car waiting for my bus even though they weren't expecting me until the following day.  The YHA here was much better than Rocky.  This was more like a holiday camp with a swimming pool, big open bar and terrace and a line of computers free to use.  I was also lucky enough to get a 4-bed room to myself.  I had a swim and joined in the evening barbecue - and let's face it, the Aussies know how to do a good barbecue!  

The next morning, I hired a bike from reception and set off along the sea front.  There is a cycle path that runs for 14km along the bay, but I had no plans to cycle that far.  Instead I drifted along in my own little world for about 7km until I reached a nice looking sushi bar in Torquay.  I ate half there and took the rest back for lunch.  Hervey Bay has a lovely old pier that stretches a kilometre out to sea, so I decided to add that into my route.  Cycling out was a little bumpy going over the wooden boards, but not too difficult and I got a lot of slightly bemused smiles from the fishermen when I reached the end. Going back was a lot bumpier and I was starting to think it wasn't such a great plan after all, but I persevered and reached the path again without bursting any tyres.  After another swim, I spent the rest of the day uploading photos, finishing off my Myanmar blog and making plans for the next few days.  It was exactly what I needed.

Feeling much more refreshed and relaxed, I boarded yet another Greyhound and headed for Noosa, where I was met by Mike Brigham - one of the original Henlow Mafia!  Our parents have been friends for over 30 years.  Mike and Sarah have been in Australia for five years but luckily chose 2012 to come home for Christmas.  We caught up a few times in the pub and they insisted I came to stay when I reached Noosa and I am so glad I did.  I can't thank them enough for such wonderful hospitality and such a fun few days!  We stopped off at Mike's beer and wine haven to stock up for ANZAC Day and the weekend, then headed up to Brigam by the Sea - Mike and Sarah's amazing pad in Noosa Heights.  The house sits up on the hillside with a stunning view across Noosa including the river, the marina and all the way to the beach.  Mike left me admiring the view with a cold beer on the balcony while he picked Sarah up from work.  We had a lovely evening catching up and eating bbq steak with a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir.  Henlow people really are lovely!

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Zobeedoo's Big World Adventure, Part I

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