Bats, Birds and Boats

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On another bike ride

This morning we enjoyed a lovely lie in before having some tasty eggs for breakfast and heading out to collect the bikes once again. We planned to head off to see the bats again before going in the opposite direction and seeing what the harbour had to offer. Of course, Codie wanted to see the swooping magpies again and film them so to begin with, we went back there. The bike I had today wasn’t too bad as I could brake a little bit better so that was good. I didn’t want to get too cocky though and end up on the floor so I kept my nice slow pace and let Codie go off ahead; he could be swooped on first! It’s really quite scary approaching that area as you can’t hear them coming up behind you, they just click and scratch your helmet before flying off again. I later read that you are supposed to get off your bike and walk through areas like that, if only I’d have looked earlier and known that in advance. Not wanting to distress them, we quickly left and carried on towards the bats taking a little diversion past the beach again for a sit down and then parking the bikes up by an aboriginal ocean monument. That way, we were able to approach the bats from a different direction and hopefully get some better photos in better light conditions.

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My view when waiting for Codie to get back

It was great. The bats were swooping and squeaking and it was really interesting to see them in the wild again. I really don’t know how so many people hate them. Of course I understand that they are loud and squawky and probably don’t smell that great but they do do a good job of spreading seeds for forests and plants and they are really quite cute looking. I’m hoping that we get to see more of them as we continue our travels as I don’t think the time we have here is enough to see them properly. As I was enjoying creeping through the trees, watching them fly about and shoving each other out of the way, Codie was using the Go Pro to film them until something terrible happened. One of them…deposited on him and it looked horrendous and stank. He describes it as “thick, green curry” and after a good laugh, we made sure that we cleaned off what we could with antibacterial lotion and wipes before deciding it was best for him to go back to the hostel and get changed. I suppose that’s the problem with wild animals, they’re very unpredictable!

An ibis
An ibis

Whilst I waited for Codie to get back, I sat on some benches listening to a group of people in a bandstand type of thing singing some songs. They were alright and at one point began singing  ‘Delilah’ in a choral type of way which did make me laugh a bit. Hervey Bay is a bit strange sometimes but it’s nice to be out of the city and in an area where people actually smile and look happy to be there. Eventually Codie returned and we set off for the marina, hoping to book a trip out to sea to see some whales. We’d been in the other direction yesterday but not too far and so it was nice to travel through more of the shady trees lining the path and other “beachey” bits. Weaving our way through the trees along the path reminded me a lot of Formby in Merseyside only a little bit hotter and with a complete lack of red squirrels. There were some ibises about though and when we stopped for our luncheon meat sandwiches for lunch, one in particular pestered us quite a bit until we fed him. In a way, it’s lovely to have a change of birds begging for food though I’m sure it won’t be long until we miss being surrounded by seagulls!

The pier
The pier

Quite close to the harbour, we came across a long pier stretching out across the sands. It looked really quite bumpy and the wooden slats uneven but we decided to give cycling down it a go and set off. It was bumpy. Very bumpy. At one point it felt like my teeth were being shaken out and I had visions of flying over the side into the sea which would have been quite embarrassing. It was fine though and we reached what I thought was the end so stopped for some photographs and a look across at the view. It was really pretty with the sun reflecting off the water and I even spotted a pelican in the distance. I hoped it would come closer but it seemed quite content there, waddling along the sand with it’s eye on a bouncy golden lab nearby.

Me with a rather large whale
Me with a rather large whale

After cycling a little bit further down past the harbour wall and Vic Hislop’s Shark Show (I had wanted to visit this but discovered he was still hunting sharks so decided against it!), we made it the the harbour and locked up our bikes for a wander. It was quite a lot smaller than I had been expecting but then again so had Hervey Bay and it had been good so far. Our first stop was the office of ‘Spirit of Hervey Bay’, the whale watching trip I’d had my eye on. I did notice that the boat was docked in the harbour which seemed a bit strange but they could have just been in the middle of cruises and were waiting to leave for the next one. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. When I asked the woman about going on one of the trips, she was quite abrupt and said “no, they whales are gone” and that was that. To be honest, I was quite annoyed as she didn’t mention anything else we could have done instead like most places do and seemed to have just written it off. I wasn’t having any of it though and after we’d treated ourselves to some ice lollies and I’d been more annoyed by mine melting down my arm, I looked in the free magazine I’d picked up and found some other options.

Codie and the whale
Codie and the whale

There were a few dolphin/dugong/turtle watching tours we fancied so toddled off to the tourist information centre to see if we could book on one. They were cheaper than I thought and as we couldn’t decide on the catamaran with snorkelling and a normal boat one, I was tempted to just book us on both and make the most of seeing all the marine life in the area. Things weren’t as straight forward as this though as it turned out that with the whale watching season only just ending, the other tours hadn’t actually begun. Grrrrr.  Luckily, one boat was doing a closing whale watching season trip and there was space left on that for us to go. Although the whales had apparently left the area, there was a chance we’d see some so I paid the $180 for the two of us to go tomorrow. If there’s even the slightest chance of seeing a humpback whale, I’ll take it! They also said there was a possibility of seeing dolphins and turtles too so I hope we’ll see something.

On a very pretty beach on the way back
On a very pretty beach on the way back

Very excited for tomorrow’s trip we had our photos taken with the huge life sized whale statue outside the shop then cycled back towards to hostel, stocking up on tasty chocolatey snacks on the way from the Foodworks shop. There’s a sign next to it showing a councillor for the area which always makes us laugh because he looks like the “I love lamp” guy from Anchorman. Hehehe. Back at the hostel, we had tea, watched a few programmes then had another early(ish) night so we are prepared for the fun tomorrow.  I just hope we see something now!

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