Going troppo

I’m thinking of heading up to The Whitsundays for a week next month. It seems a strange decision even to myself as I’ve spent all summer complaining about the heat and humidity but now seem to have the urge to head to a very hot and humid place. The worst of it should be over by then and if not it can’t be much worse than the humidity we’ve had here this summer.

We went up to Daydream Island years ago when the kids were small and when I told my husband yesterday that I thought we should head back that way he said – didn’t someone try and steal something from us last time – like a bag? and I said – actually it was our children, I think they’re one rung up the ladder from the bag.

The airline did lose our bag though which led to the alleged stealing of the kids. I only ever took one bag when we travelled that the five of us shared. It was big and blue and so I appropriately called him Big Bluey and I painted a big smiley face on him so he was easy to pick out in the crowd.

We were waiting at Brisbane airport for our flight back to Sydney and I was gazing out the window when I saw a tractor pulling a trailer full of suitcases drive by and there was Big Bluey sitting on top. I wonder where Bluey is going I wondered.

Melbourne it turned out. We discovered this when we got back to Sydney and they said if we could wait an hour or so he’d be back on the next flight or we could come back the next day but as we still had a three-hour drive ahead of us to get home we decided to wait.

My husband set of to get the car which we’d left in a parking station about a bazillion miles away so I was waiting with three bored kids all under the age of eight. They asked me if they could go play on a luggage carousel and I said it was ok as they were well in sight but when I looked over they were all there talking to a man. I got up and started running over there and he saw me and took off out the door. I asked them what they were talking about and they said he wanted to know if they were alone and where their Mummy was. Creepy. Now I would be willing to consider that he was just concerned about their welfare if he hadn’t of run out the door when he saw me on my way.

These days I travel without children or checked baggage so there shouldn’t be any dramas although it’s still a bit of a hike that involves a car, two planes a boat then a short bus ride. Australia – it’s just so damn big but what the hell, we didn’t get away last year so it’ll be nice to just lay around a pool sipping cocktails and maybe head out to the reef; see it before it disappears.


16 thoughts on “Going troppo

  1. Just make sure to paint a big Smiley face of your husband so no one steals him.

    (Yes, the guy running off was extremely suspicious. A well-meaning stranger wouldn’t do that – unless … maybe you’re just that scar looking?)

  2. Did you ever get Big Bluey back? Not that it’s more important than your children, but I presume they all got home safe and sound, whereas you say nothing about the suitcase, which I imagine smiling as it sits among the piles of lost luggage.

    Hope you enjoy your trip!

  3. I worked in Proserpine Sugar Mill for a couple of years in my younger days. We used to go fishing in Whitsunday Passage, and also spend weekends on South Molle Island. That was in the days before Hamilton Island. Happy days. I always found the heat worse inland than in Proserpine, so April should be OK. Have fun.

    • You got around a bit then – must have been beautiful back then before all the tourists invaded. I haven’t been to Hamilton Island but it sounds like a bit of a monstrosity – old Keith must have had some friends on the Council there I’d say.

      The humidity here this year has been atrocious – 95% a lot of days, it’s like walking through a thick mind numbing soup. A 35 degree day of dry heat seems quite pleasant after a 35 degree humid day. I realised today that there will probably still be stingers in the water up there but then I haven’t been able to use the beach here much this summer as we’ve had three big sharks hanging around. Girt by sea but can’t get in the bloody stuff!

      • Yes, I managed to do Proserpine, Mt Isa Mines and Snowy before going home to Mitchell in 1973 , and then to Toowoomba in 1980.

        We did a day trip to Hamilton Island a few years ago. It looked OK. I’d say the accommodation is air conditioned which wasn’t the case on South Molle. I’d like to have done a day trip to Whitehaven beach, but didn’t make it. Hamilton resort would have been built in the Bjelke-Petersen years I think, and yes, Keith was “very good friends” with old Joh.

        Locals used to say to beware of stingers when there was a northerly breeze. I don’t know how accurate that is. I didn’t hear of anyone getting stung while I was there.

  4. John O’Grady of “They’re a weird mob” fame was working on South Molle while I was in Proserpine. He was writing “Gone Troppo” while I was there. When I read it years later I was able to recognise some of the characters he wrote about. He showed me the manuscript over a few beers, but no, I wasn’t in it. 😉

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