Once again it’s up early and packing up our gear. We sit waiting for Justin to collect us outside the hostel and are surprised to see Tracey the girl we met in Guilin in China walk past. We have a quick chat, tell her we took her advice and stayed in Kowloon in Hong Kong and listen to her story of her adventures in Melbourne over the past week. We say our goodbyes again, promise to email and hope to catch up further down the coast maybe for dinner one night.

We set off in the VW for The Esplanade. Justin and Gill explain that they have invited a few close friends (“Their Australian family”) and it’s lovely to meet them, have a good chat and feel part of a group of friends. We explain to them that although we have met lots of really cool people during our trip making any real connections with anyone is hard. Although we have had some great conversations with people in the back of your mind you always think you probably won’t ever see them again.

Davy’s birthday party goes well, the sun doesn’t quite shine but it doesn’t rain either and the little birthday boy seems to have a great time splashing around in the fountains, opening his presents ( We got him some play dough and cutters) and getting covered in chocolate from his cake! Gill and Justin have bought a few snacks along and then buy fish and chips for everyone – yum! We spend a few hours before deciding its time to leave and set off in Anastasia.

It is so cool! In great condition and obviously well loved, Anastasia is a peach and Simon gets the hang of driving her in no time. We stop on the way and stock up on a few beers and a bottle of wine. I love it! We tune into some old radio station that plays “the tunes you haven’t heard in a long time” and the sun comes out! What a fantastic experience all I need are some flowers in my hair.

The road between Cairns and Port Douglas is beautiful. It hugs the coastline and we stop off at a view point to take some pictures. The kids are very happy and we potter along, taking in the scenery. Less than an hour and we reach Port Douglas, we have been warned its very expensive but find a campsite for 40 dollars and pull up for the night.

First job is to put up the tent we have bought for Ali to sleep in. he has been so desperate for his “own space” and it seemed like a good idea. The tent is up in no time and we sit having a few beers before heading off up the road for dinner. It is quite costly and nothing special but I console myself with the thought that we will be cooking some food ourselves over the next few days and saving a bit of cash.

We get back to the site and having given Ali lots of warnings about snakes, dingoes, poisonous spiders, scorpions and the Australian strangler etc he decides he perhaps doesn’t want his own space that much after all! In the end they decide they will both sleep in the tent, a better idea I think! Off to bed now looking forward to tomorrow very much.