Shute Harbour Friday 18th November 2011


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Woken around 6 a.m. with the dawn chorus of parrokeets, it occurs to me that each day the birds, and other animals, display a new noise! Last night for example, I was waiting for the possum to emerge from the waste bin. I knew he was in there because I could hear him banging about eating our melon skins.

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When I heard this chattering sound which I could only attribute to the fruit bats, or flying foxes, which were flying round the sodium glare of the toilet block light. Maybe they locate moths through the reflected sound of his own chatter? I thought bats used high frequency to find their food, not Punch and Judy noises.

We’ve been on the road (!) for a month now and packing has become second nature. There’s a little sadness in leaving Magnetic Island but the bus, the ferry and the Greyhound call us onward.

Arlie Beach is as I suspected a very ‘happening’ place, full of tourists, youth, huge new complexes exploiting every available space along the hillside. I’m really glad we could not find a place to stay here: we move by taxi to Shute Harbour. It will be isolated and food shopping will be a logistical nightmare but…there’s a bus service, who cares?

Turns out to be quite a long road which climbs steeply to a magnificent view on three sides over Coral Reef Point and azure sea.

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At times it is so clear you can see the coral beds through the sea, a pinkish brown. On all sides islands, thick with deep green, fringed in places with soft cream beaches, or on the harbour, yachts moored. Our all in one room is well equipped with kitchen, etc and opens onto a private patio with a gorgeous view of the harbour itself. As the day progresses the colours change.

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Every one here is incredibly kind. Our host drives us down the hill to catch the bus. The bus driver stops outside the supermarket instead of the approved stop, because he says we only have half an hour before the last bus back. On our return the driver is happy to be flagged down because we nearly missed him, we are collected by car again on our return to the apartment.

Apparently, it is ‘schoolies’ week when the Sixth formers celebrate the end of school with beach holidays and Arlie Bay is a favorite destination. They parade their relationships, their beauty and their energy along the sea front and that is why we could not find a place to stay there! Probably for the best I think!

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