11.12.2008 - 11.12.2008 34 °C
11th December 2008
So with my limp, I am off on another day's travelling. My new OzE driver for the next 2 days is Squirtle, a Kiwi who seems to have travelled everywhere - useful for getting some travelling tips!!
We're not on as much of a hike across the country today and I'm pleased to hear that I'll get an afternoon to see Magnetic Island - my next destination.
Still, we have about 350km to drive and on the way we take in the fruit-picking towns of Ayr and Bowen. The latter now being nicknamed 'Bowenwood' (they even have a massive container at the top of the hill in the town with the name painted on it a la Hollywood). So called because it was used as the location of Darwin in the 'Australia' film with Nicole Kidman... out in cinemas right now
We stop to get some fresh fruit! Cheap as chips, but much healthier and then onwards to Townsville.
Townsville is one of the major towns in the northern section of Queensland and is home to a major maritime past - it was heavily fortified in WW2 and looks a bit like Gibraltar in the sense that there is a massive rockface dominating the skyline. It is still a major port for importing / exporting and there is also the forces located nearby.
I could have stayed the night here but I chose the option of taking the ferry across to Magnetic Island - the sunniest place in the country apparently - where I was focused on catching some rays on the basis I'd have a whole afternoon to spare! (Trust me, travelling keeps you busy so this was a rarity that I wasn't going to dismiss!)
My accommodation is like a little beach hut - very apt for my surroundings and fairly comfy considering! The hostel I'm staying at is due to hold a full moon party the following night (which starts at 5pm and ends at 5am and draws Djs in from far and wide) but sadly it was all booked up so I only get one night to enjoy! Better make use of the facilities.. namely the beach which is pretty much deserted (I wonder why?? Clearly I'm the only fool brave enough to sit in the sun!) Funnily enough, once I sit myself down, more and more people head down and sit as well... all very odd!
I know you're all hating me anyway because of this 'extended holiday' but it was just lovely to sit and relax on the beach with my ipod and a book - something which I hadn't done properly really for my whole trip - even in Bali where I always seemed to mis-time the weather!
Two Irish sisters were staying in my dorm too so it was funny to chat to them! Its amazing how many people you meet who know where you're from or where you're talking of - they knew all about where my family live in Ireland anyway!!
I was delighted (I'm getting old!) to get an early night - another day on the bus tomorrow beckons - perhaps its just as well I've got an excuse for not getting to the Full Moon Party! I can't take the pace anymore!