“Down by the Riverside”

The site was everything we had been promised by our travelling brotherhood, nestled beautifully on the edge of the Noosa river. Now, picturing rivers from home, and most fresh in my mind the murky River Tyne, it’s hard to believe that this is a river. The Noosa River is deep blue, it’s shores decorated with beaches and palm trees, people swimming, fishing and enjoying different waterspouts.

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After a few island hopping adventures, a night on the tiles and another long drive, we needed another relaxing stint, this place crying out as the perfect venue. We spent the morning after arriving lying on the beach, only a 30 second walk from our van. We were joined by some new friends that day, a couple of pelicans who hung around for the scraps of fish tossed away by the fishermen.

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We walked the short distance to town to check out the local area. We strolled along the main street passing bars and rester aunts, even stopping at a bakery for a snack, before seeing our kryptonite. We are powerless at the hands of this ice queen, pulling us in with no mercy, the Italian Gelato stand had us drooling onto our flip flops. We simply had to have a chocolate ice-cream, however, reaching into my pocket I noticed some money missing. In all my pedantic budgeting, I had been separating money and keeping them in different pockets and assumed it was accounted for elsewhere. Delving deep, I produced nothing but lint. We bought the ice cream with what we had left and optimistically headed back to the bakery where we had lunch to see if the mislaid cash had been handed in by an anonymous doo-gooder. Really? Had my opinion of Aussies rose so high I thought this plausible?

The whipping breeze only diminished the optimism of our treasure hunt as mother nature tossed leaves about the roads. Crossing a road and begrudgingly announcing this annoyance to Holly, there it was. A crisp note, flattened by the wind and adhered to the tarmac, smack bang in the centre of the road. Collected with frivolity, this money was a sign. A sign that we should go straight to a bottle shop and get some wine! Which we gladly did.

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That night we had BBQ steak with onions and asparagus, along with our wine, while watching the sunset at the river side.

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As the nights are dark and the shared bathrooms are often a walk through the camp site, as Holly thought, occupied by snakes, spiders, vampires and god knows what else, we have taken to using a bucket instead of having to brave the evil perils of the night. Have you ever ate asparagus and then been to the toilet? That delightful aroma that crinkles your face? It had no means of escape, and the stench dutifully crept through the campervan. Our home where we eat and sleep, filled with the toxic stink, emanating from the bucket. Oh, what a wonderful life. A new rule emerged that night. When we cook and asparagus is part of our meal, there will be absolutely no using of the bucket that evening.

The next day we had decided to do some Kayaking or Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the river. But first, after an early rise, we squeezed a short run in. As we bounded down the paths towards the beach, our lack of fitness became more and more clear. Clearly struggling and blaming the heat, a middle aged woman jogging with a pushchair, glided past with ease. Fucking hell man, could I really be this unfit? I ended up having to walk part of the way to the beach, which was only a short distance away. And with that, I gave up running forever.

The walk was nice along the river, with the million dollar houses with private jetties looming over us. This looked like the side of town for the rich and famous, a place for movie stars and sports idols to buy their second homes.

On our return to the camp site, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the wind caused the river the become a bit choppy and we decided to postpone our aquatic activities.

As we relaxed by the river again, there was a rescue mission unfolding beside us. Things were getting worse and the help already on the scene was proving unfruitful. Holly was first to react and get involved. I went running to the van for the first aid kit, we knew we had something to help save this life. We gathered around and Holly handed a young man some scissors and tweasers from our kit. He was able to use these to cut the wire from the young pigeons feet and we watched him soar to safety. Phew, disaster averted.

Relaxation was what we wanted, and that’s what we got here at Noosa.It’s my mantra that while long term travelling, you can just do nothing, and when you want to do something, then you do it. It is that easy. Things can be put off until later and there’s always something at the next place waiting to surprise you.

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