helping keep hungry backpackers fed:

Friday, 9 March 2012

Epic Aussie Adventure: Day 5 and 6

Best signpost of the last 24 hours:
Speeding has killed Cassowaries

Today's Travellling Track:
Eliza Doolittle- Moneybox

I don’t know if you, my loyal readers have been awaiting the return of the Epic Aussie Adventure ™ quite as much as I have but if somehow you bizarrely have then today is your lucky day. My employment on Hamilton Island ended on March 7th and therefore we have severed all ties, packed up our apartment and are now officially ON THE ROAD. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom when you realise that everything you own is packed into a van, you have no obligations, no job prospects and are basically able to do whatever you like. To celebrate this freedom we had a suitably drunken and disorderly farewell in Airlie Beach (a town where every day is like a weekend; I would hate to see how packed the clubs are during peak season considering the mayhem that was a random, off-peak Wednesday) and spent much of the next day recovering. In case anyone is interested, the following are my top hangover banishing techniques:
1. Water. An obvious one I know but the classics are always best
2. Bacon and eggs. Not sure why but they make a massive difference
3. Naps. Don’t be tempted to lie in all day- it will make you feel worse, just find time for the occasional catnap.
4. Keep busy. Doing nothing just helps you to focus on how awful you feel.
5. Swimming. The cold water does wonders.
6. Time. Just remember it will all be over soon.

Anyway, after we felt human enough to proceed we hit the open road and headed north on the Bruce Highway. Due to the organisational structure of Australia it’s pretty difficult to get lost on a long distance journey. It seems to me that basically there is one long highway and anywhere you may want to visit is off of it somewhere. We’ve barely been off of Bruce since Brisbane! This part of the journey has already proved more interesting than the last section of the previous one where there was occasionally nothing to see for over 200kms. Yesterday we passed through Bowen, Home Hill and Ayr, all decent sized towns, as well as a handful of smaller villages and hamlets. We noticed that the scenery became increasingly more tropical as we travelled- the trees were more exotic, the land was greener and the air was muggy. We camped overnight at Alligator Creek Campsite in Bowling Green Bay National Park. These National Park’s campsites are pretty prolific and, despite being relatively unpredictable in terms of what facilities may exist, have a standardised (and extremely reasonable) pricing system. Our favourite aspect of the campsite was all of the wildlife- turkeys, wallabies and mosquitos (the least favourable of the 3) being the most prolific. Noticing that our phones had no signal we felt like true explorers! Still suffering slightly from the excesses of the previous night, we whipped up some pasta and retired to Turk’s extremely comfortable interior. During the night a rain storm hit and The BF was happy to find that his previous waterproofing attempts had been a complete success!

Bowling green bay national park is only about 30 minutes’ drive from Townsville, so this morning we headed in to check out the regional capital of north Queensland. We were pleasantly surprised by what we found. A lot of the guide books we had read described it as somewhat characterless but I thought it looked like a bit of a frontier town. I could almost imagine cowboys strolling out of the pubs and restaurants in the place of the tourists searching for cheap scuba diving and the bleached blonde locals pushing babies in strollers. We drove to the strand; a marina area right on the beach with all the facilities backpackers in a van would want- toilets, showers, picnic tables, BBQs, even a pool! It’s a shame we weren’t allowed to camp there as it would have been perfect. The BF has a friend who lives near Townsville, so we went to visit him. I was having a particularly bad-with-directions day, which for me means I can no longer tell my left from right or follow a simple map, since I’m always pretty lost. I think that by the time we eventually found our way to the random suburb the BF was very close to murdering me.

The rest of the day was somewhat uneventful. We made it to mission beach (as planned) just before 6pm and I was particularly entertained on the road here by signs explaining the dangers of colliding with cassowaries (large native Australian birds) tomorrow we are going to go for a hike to hopefully see some in the wild. We chose to stay in a backpacker’s hostel today to charge up electrical devices, have a shower and use laundry facilities. Tomorrow we may move on or remain somewhere around the area! Stay tuned…

Turk Visits....A Mango Themed Double Feature:
The Big Mango

Frosty Mango

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