After Bribie Island, we stopped for a few days in Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is a small town, right on a long stretch of beautiful sand beach. There's a sad story on a plaque about how the beach got its name. A friendly rainbow was struck down and killed saving a beautiful maiden from her abusive husband, and led to the many colors of sand on the beach. We took several morning walks along the beach, and played some in the waves.The funny thing about the beach is that it is also a road. Occasionally, 4X4s would race past at 80 km/hr, which detracted from what otherwise would have been near solitude out on a beautiful stretch of beach. At first, we were a little surprised that more people didn't get stuck, but the small local grocery store has a bulletin board filled with pictures of stuck vehicles, and we were assured that it was far from uncommon.
Rainbow Beach is also a hang gliding site, and one of the pleasures of hanging out there was seeing all of the hang gliders and paragliders in the air over the beach. It always brings back good memories to see gliders. One of the evenings, Tom and I made the short hike to Carlo Sandblow, the launch site for the gliders. It's a great location with wonderful views both toward and away from the ocean. We went up for sunset, which was too late to see anyone launch, but we did get some sunset pictures. A few of our days at Rainbow beach were rainy, but we did manage to get in a surf lesson. Our instructor, Spot (“Yeah, Spot, as in Spot the dog, you know. Call me anything but late for dinner”), picked us up in front of the caravan park where we were staying, and drove us a short distance up the beach for the lesson. The waves were bigger than the ones that we had been exposed to on Kauai, and even though there was a sand bar so you could walk, rather than paddle out, I felt like I spent most of the time getting pummeled and drinking and inhaling a lot of ocean. Fun. Challenging.