Day 9: Sunday July 28th
Down for breakfast by 8:30am. Bad news overnight – Gowerton cricket club had been well beaten by Llandysul. We are firmly entrenched at the bottom of the league. Such challenges are what make you stronger. It will certainly be a time for the team to regroup and pull together if we are to avoid relegation. My thoughts will be with the squad while we are away.
The rest of the party gradually appear in the dining room. The same excellent variety is available but guess what? No change for me.
We are shuttled to the water park on one bus which departs at 10:15 and 10:45. When we arrive Leah Hyatt sees the large coastal lagoon and asks “Is the lake heated?” “Yes,” comes the reply, “when the clouds move the sun will do its work!”
Bus 2 arrives half an hour later. Mr Thomas has already primed the group – “Don’t worry if the water looks cold, the lake is heated!” Most on the bus are not gullible enough to believe anything Mr Thomas tells them. Niamh Bradley said, “If Mr Thomas says it’s going to be heated it’s definitely going to be cold!”
After a safety briefing the group are allowed on at 11:00am. Clearly the water is cold, but it doesn’t inhibit anyone and they are all straight on to the slides and inflatable climbing frames. There is much shrieking and hollering and they are clearly enjoying themselves.
However, within quarter of an hour we have 3 injuries. First of all James Northey is brought over to the side – he had caught his little toe in one of the clasps and it looks like it may be dislocated. While we are working out what to do someone tells me that Cameron Clayfield is injured. It looks like he may have broken his ankle. He is ferried over to the bank and is in pain. Then Adam Williams also has a foot injury. While we consider our options they each apply ice to their injuries to reduce the swelling.
We decide that it’s best to get James and Cameron to hospital for an examination. Adam’s injury isn’t as bad and he feels he doesn’t need to join us.
We call for a taxi – it arrives and then goes because the driver can’t see us. As a result, Neil from the Aqua Park takes us in the park’s wagon – better news, it’s free. It’s a 15 minute drive to the emergency department of Nambour hospital.
We arrive at 12:45pm – the staff are really helpful and after an initial triage examination James is seen first. They give him gas and air and relocate the toe. They will x-ray it to see if there is any more damage. Cameron is sent straight to x-ray. It’s good news for both, James’ toe is not broken, he’s given some strapping and advised to take painkillers if needed. The x-ray confirms that Cameron’s ankle is not broken. He has a grade 1 strain (the lowest level). They strap his ankle up and give him painkillers. Both boys ask about playing tomorrow – both doctors say that it’s best to see how the injuries settle down overnight. Personally I think there is more chance of James making it than Cameron, but we will see in the morning.
I ask if there is any charge, but the doctor tells me that it’s covered under the reciprocal arrangement between Australia and UK – more good news.
We get a taxi back to the hotel at a cost of $50 which comes out of the central tour fund.
Back at camp rumours had been circulating about the extent of the injuries to the lads. Things sounded really bad and at one point the party were convinced that James Northey had fractured his toe nail whilst Cameron had been diagnosed with incurable dandruff.
Nevertheless, the party are not going to be deflected from their number one objective of enjoying themselves and despite their concerns for James and Cam decided to ‘get on with it.’
Mr Lewis and Mr Cullen took a group to the beach and organised three teams into a touch rugby tournament. Recently retired from playing Mr Lewis has always been known as someone who respects the referee’s decision. However, his consternation with Adam Williams’ (refereeing due to his injured little toe) inability to manage the offside line was palpable. Someone said that it was hardly surprising that Adam didn’t officiate the offside line well as he was always offside when he was playing.
Poor Lewis Grove’s bad luck continues. Following on from his throat issues he had suffered a series of nosebleeds. He had avoided injury at the aqua park by removing himself from the firing line when the injuries started to pile up saying, “I’m not going out there again, not with my bad knee!”
He was not so fortunate down the beach. The tide was coming in and one large wave caught everyone by surprise. They all managed to avoid getting soaked apart from Lewis who was sitting down and couldn’t get out of the way in time. He and his bag which held his speaker were wet through.
Mrs O’Sullivan and Mr Thomas took another group on a walk to the beach. As they walked around the lake they could see that it was teeming with a lot of large carp. Mabon Kaniewski spotted a sign that said ‘No Fishing.’ He asked his mates whether it counted as fishing if you used your hands to catch them and proceeded to step into the lake and tried to catch one. He only managed to fall over and get himself soaked. With a smile, one of his mates said “It’s not fishing if you try to catch them that way – you’ve got no chance of catching one!”
Mr Meredith, Miss Morgans, Miss Vaughan and Peter Cort organise a group who are kayaking and canoeing on the lake or just chilling by the pool, whilst Miss Preuss takes a group who still have some energy left after their morning at the Aqua Park, to the gym.
Mr Thomas organises the Donkey of the Day vote. There were 4 contenders – surprisingly not one of them was a member of staff.
Sam Wells was nominated for his ‘racist assault’ in McDonald’s.
Leah Hyatt earned a nomination for thinking that the saltwater lagoon could be heated.
Henry Aiono was on the list again. This time he was nominated for in true Donald Trump ‘election rigging’ style organising a tactical vote with his mates to avoid winning the shirt for his exploits on day 7. When the votes were taken he voted for someone else.
Owen Parry’s nomination came from the day before. He had bought a penknife for his Dad in Brisbane (sorry for ruining the surprise gift, Dad!). When we went to the game at Suncorp he was almost refused entry for carrying a dangerous weapon.
When the votes were counted Owen was the clear winner, but not having been able to do an award the day before we gave a second well deserved shirt to Sam Wells.
In the evening we assembled in the restaurant on the lake for a tour meal. It was up to the normal standard of food we’d been enjoying. As it’s a buffet Mr Thomas organised each table to nominate their best moment of Tour so far with the prize being that, the best delivery earned the table the chance to have first choice.
Miss Vaughan on behalf of the staff nominated two moments – both came on the game drives. Mr Cullen’s brush with death and the notorious Cape Twig and the moment the cheetah cubs emerged from the shelter of a bush to join mum, being the two.
Iwan Jones said that Lewis Grove’s continuing travails (tonsillitis, nosebleeds and getting everything wiped out at the beach) was their nomination.
Lewis Grove’s table seconded that nomination.
Jacob Purcell said his table were still recovering from the trauma of seeing Mabon Kaniewski’s attempt at fishing that ended up with him swimming with the carp rather than catching one.
Leon Bevan’s table agreed with Jacob’s nomination.
Ashleigh Coppin’s table felt that Casey Williams’ efforts to get herself upgraded to Business Class on the flights from South Africa to Australia were particularly noteworthy. There was clearly nothing wrong with her as demonstrated by the way she was to the fore on the assault course at the Aqua Park.
Sam Wells’ table had enjoyed watching the video of their ‘mate’ Webby being beaten up with the pool noodles – who needs enemies with friends like them?
Ben Lewis’ table had been horrified by the injuries caused at the aqua park. The ones to our party have already been recalled but a fourth saw a young lad, who was minding his own business on the inflatable dome, only to be landed on by several of our big lumps. The result was tears and a nosebleed – but unlike our lads, no hospitalisation required.
Lewis Grove’s difficulties saw him rewarded with the opportunity to go first, followed by the rest of his table.
All took the opportunity to refuel on the variety of foods available with chicken, pork and barramundi being the meat/fish option.
It was such a good spread that by the time it came to the staff’s turn there was no chicken or pork left. Never mind, the barramundi was a fantastic option.
When all were finished at about 8pm the details of tomorrow were outlined. They needed to be in their rooms by 10:30pm and we were leaving the hotel at 11am in the morning.
The group go back to their rooms, some organise to do their laundry while others wisely get an early night.
The hotel bring us 2 apple crumble and custard pizzas to make up for the fact that we’d not had any chicken and pork plus a bottle of white wine. We all enjoyed the pizza and Mr Thomas made sure the bottle of wine went to a good home.
On my way back to the room I met Josh the security guard. “All quiet on the Western Front” he tells me. “How have our group been?” I ask him. “Absolutely fantastic” he tells me – it’s great to hear.
I’m in my room by 11pm. Another big day ahead tomorrow – our games against All Saints Anglican College.
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