Sparky Travels

January 31, 2010

Townsville

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 11:38 am

We left Airlie Beach on the 30th and headed North. The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Laurence were affecting Northern Queensland and there had been lots of flooding further up the coast. People we’d met lately had all been travelling down to escape the weather but we had to drop off the spaceship in Cairns so had no choice.

As we travelled up towards Townsville the rain got persistently heavier and at a few points we had to stop and pull over due to the lack of visibility. We soldiered on and the only really hairy part was when we reached Townsville. On the outskirts of the city the floodwater had almost cut the road off completely to non-4×4s. A car in front managed to make it through so I managed to sail us across without too much trouble. It was only then that I noticed the breakdown services helping cars that had made it across but flooded their engines. We suffered no such problems and made it to a campsite for the night. We joined the other travellers (2 Germans and Kyle and Kirsten an nice English couple) in the camp kitchen for some goon and story swapping.

The Germans had been up near Cairns for the week and said the weather was atrocious. Unfortunately for them but not for us, the weather continued to move south the next day so we were greeted to a beautiful day in Townsville. The city looked completely different in the sun and dried up pretty well. We quickly toured the few sights that Townsville had to offer before continuing North again. The Perc Tucker regional gallery had art ranging from the sublime (6ft painted shields) to the ridiculous (quilted fabric paintings) and Castle Hill gave good views of the city and nearby Magnetic Island.

In the mid-afternoon we reached Big Crystal Creek which was home to the surprisingly busy Paradise Waterhole, a scenic swimming section of the creek free from crocs and other nasties. There were carloads of people enjoying the cool water on this sweltering day. Our campsite tonight was another free rest area that went from empty to packed in a couple of hours. We sat chatting to a variety of people while the numerous toads and geckos munched on the swarms of insects attracted by the lights. We even got to see a snake hiding in the rafters of the picnic shelter.

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