Cooktown Road Trip 2012

Well, in the words of Neil Young's Tired Eyes, it wasn't supposed to go down that way, and the eyes had a bit, but not a whole lot to do with it.

Hughesy Finch Bay 2.jpg

We'd got back from the Canberra road trip almost exactly a year ago with a pencilled in touring itinerary that ran:

Randy Newman concert in Brisbane in July;

Three weeks in Japan in coloured leaves time (October/November);

An excursion to Angkor Wat and Laos in February;

And possible side trips to New Caledonia and Cooktown before the end of the 2011-2012 financial year.

We managed the Randy Newman, but as a three-day fly down Thursday, fly back Saturday jaunt it wasn't a trip within the definition in the relevant legislation. 

The wheels fell off shortly thereafter when The Supervisor was on the verge of booking the tickets to Japan. Advice from The Mother and The Sister that frequent aftershocks following the earthquake that took out Fukushima made it in advisable to subject hairy gaijin to the tremulous terroir, and while I wanted to get over there and spend a fortnight riding around on assorted shinkansen, I wasn't keen on the prospect of seismic activity. 

A Skype call to The Teacher, who we'd stayed with in 2008 and lived in the hinterland of the tsunami area came just after a minor quake that had induced mass panic on the east coast of the USA.

It sounds like it was a five (at least that's the figure I recall, reality may vary from recollection), Meg reportedly remarked. We get those every day

Japan, in case the alert reader is wondering, has developed a different scale to measure earthquake intensity, one that reflects the apparent effect on humans rather than measuring the actual intensity of the seismic activity. Or something.

What it meant was that, despite a fairly low Richter reading, the quake in question was pretty scary (hence the mass panic), and on the basis of Meg's remark Hughesy was quite happy not to be heading in that direction.

Madam, on the other hand, being relatively tremor-experienced, was OK to go, and subsequently spent a fortnight over there, reporting no significant seismic seizures. She wad a nice spell catching up with old acquaintances and eating out. I had plans to do a bit of lunching out while she was away, but ended up herding cats through the daytime while major roadworks were carried out on Brisbane Street.

Plans that revolved around lunch at Food Freaks on Monday, Coyotes on Wednesday and somewhere else on Friday got pushed aside while I set about ensuring that small furry felines didn't intersect with heavy earthmoving machinery.

About two days after the wanderer returned from the Land of the Rising Sun we were off to see the ophthalmologist, who advised I needed cataract surgery and pencilled in an operation around the end of February. Fine, I thought, that'll coincide with the return from Cambodia.

The roadworks in Brisbane Street and the responsibilities associated with cat herding put the kibosh on that one. Having watched the snail-like progress of the roadworks on the upper end of Kennedy Street I should have known they wouldn't be finished before the wet set in, and we'd been making sure the furry felines were indoors during the day, which they wouldn't be if we weren't there.

So, as the astute reader may have guessed, Angkor Wat and the old royal capital of Laos remain on the get around to these in the future list.


© Ian Hughes 2012