Our main destination for the day was the Henty Sand Dunes. This was a bizarre experience – acres of soft, white sand containing vegitation and leading to a beautiful stretch of beach.
We swam in the South Sea, frolicked, threw tennis balls at/to each other and chucked a frisbee around for a while as the ozone-less sky allowed the sun to turn us all a very fetching shade of red.
Lunch was a filling BBQ by a tributary near the port town of Strahan. By now, we were starting to get to know each other as a group and – like the Outback tour again – everyone mucked in to help out with the preparation and cleaning up.
Matt drove us into Strahan for a short while and we walked around the souvenir shop. Some of us weakened and bought some rather expensive, but utterly delicious, hand-made fudge from a local shop. Almosty everyone ended up with equally artery-hardening ice-cream from another vendor. A great end to the day out. But it wasn’t all over yet!
Canoing or cycling was also an option once we returned to our accommodation (the Tullah Lakeside Chalet again). There was a bit of “fun” getting the shutter doors open, but eventually myself and three others (Paulo from Portugal, Gustavo from Colombia and Leon from Wales) saddled up… and got a lift to the nearby dam. Because of the lock problems, we didn’t have time for a return trip so Matt kindly ferried us and the bikes uphill before letting us loose.
The first section is very fast. Very fast indeed. And I very almost became at one with the asphalt just before the first corner. Hammering the rear brake to slow down caused my back wheel to judder quite violently and attempt to throw me from my saddle. Matt was driving behind me in the minibus at the time and told me later he thought I was going to do a flier. Somehow, I managed to keep control and the rest of the ride down was uneventful – aside from being good fun and allowing good opportunity for a couple of stops to take pictures of the astounding scenery.
Dinner was another simple, filling affair – and this time I OD’d on desserts. Three of them. Well, I’d burned off a lot of calories on the bike ride! Four of us shared a bottle of wine, and then we headed bedwards. Well, I sat down outside to read for a while as there was a nice breeze, and Ashley the random dog kept me company. He waited until I left my seat to go to bed, then jumped up onto it and curled up. I’m going to miss that pooch. I can’t believe he’s a stray.
By now I’d worked out the makeup of our tour group: England, Wales, Colombia, Portugal, 2 x Thailand, Korea, 4 x Japan, 3 x Germany, Holland, Denmark, France, Belgium, Canada, US and 2 x Australia (not including Matt). Again, another great mix and everyone spoke good to superb English. Even the American girl.