Wednesday shortly after midnight my train arrived with 30 minutes delay. I’m no longer surprised. I haven’t seen any train to be on time. And as there’s only one train travelling north of Rockhampton, that’s the only option. Additionally, this train only operates for 5 days in a week. Hence, one has to make sure, that the travelling happens at the right day. At least the waiting room was open the whole evening. It had TV, but also freezing cold AC. Hence, after a while a sat again outside, and attracted all the mosquitoes. The diesel powered train (yes electrification ends in Rockhampton) is pretty modern. There’s definitely a lot of space for long legs, but the footrest is designed in such a bad way, that I always hit my shin on it’s sharp edges. Additionally, each seat has it’s own small screen, where you can opt for your own entertainment, similar to airplanes. But as it was in the middle in the night, I tried to catch some sleep. I got a new, small blanket, which helped only marginally against the freezing cold air conditioning, and getting out wasn’t an option now 😅. Additionally, the bogie of my carriage was worn out. It went easily into it’s natural frequency at the driving speed (which means the damping went to almost zero). Hence, it caused a terrible vibrating noise, which made it hard to get some sleep all together. After about 4 hours I arrived in Mackay early in the morning. I needed to wait some time until Heather picked me up from the railway station. I stayed at the house of Heather & Garry, which I met in the train ride from Adelaide to Sydney in the Indian Pacific back in November. They’re very welcoming, and Heather gave me some very good local recommendations what to do, as both were very busy during my stay.
So I took the bus to Shoal point. Actually this bus stopped about 2 km before it, so I walked along the beach to Shoal point. The beach is pretty shallow, not really for swimming, but rather than for relaxing for some minutes in the shade under a palm tree. As the bus operates only every two hours (yes it’s inconvenient, so not surprising that almost nobody uses it), I needed to make sure that I’m back on the road. Luckily the next bus was operating all the way up, so I could easily catch it. Then I asked the bus driver to a direct connection of the bus to Eimeo, which worked out pretty well. Otherwise I would have to wait for another 2 hours, are walk for additional 3 km. Both not really an option. The beach in Eimeo was quite nice, had a lot of shade and it was high tide…but I forget my swimsuit in the morning, as I was in a rush to get the bus. Hence, I just relaxed for a bit, until I walked back to the bus stop. There was no shops at both sides, and I hadn’t too much supplies with me. Hence, I was pretty starving, once I returned to the town and went to a supermaket 🤣.