Published: January 18th 2007January 18th 2007
Sunscreen on, Sunscreen off
It wasn't this hot in The Great Thar Desert in India
We haven't updated the blog (thanks for the prompting JFK) for a while (since Murwillumbah) but have travelled quite extensively since then. After much chopping and changing of our plans we decided our first stop was Brisbane. We intended to go to the Water Park "wet and Wild" but decided it was too much hassle. Our accommodation was fantastic (and has been since escaping Sydney), located in New Farm, a suburb of Brisbane. Amy questioned me that the room pirce was correct and not per person, incredulous that we could have a tv, ensuite bathroom and fridge for less than a Melbourne dorm bed. Unfortunately we had only time to spend one day there. Our plans were altered again as we decided to opt out of plan B which was visiting the Castlemaine XXXX brewery and go for a nice bottle of wine instead. We spent the day walking around Brisbane enjoying its laid back atmosphere and beautiful scenery. We visited the usual touristy spots of the South Bank, botanical gardens and one of the highlights was the indigenous exhibition in the public library. The only jittery event happened on our walk back from town to New farm when the bridge
started to sway. I didn't realise it was a floating bridge! The horror on the water in the Philippines is still taking its toll.
Soon we had to jump on board the Greyhound again, next stop Magnetic island. The journey lasted almost a full 24 hours but wasn't as bad as we feared. Stocked up with our favourite jellys, crisps, Ding Dong peanuts from Phillipines and cereal bars we avoided the rip off food on offer in roadhouses along the way. On one occasion we were sharing some food in an eatery when the greyhound driver approached us and enquired did we purchase the food at the store. We said we didn't and he said it was impolite and created a bit of a fuss. He had a point, I know but where are you to go if they're no facilites to eat outside. So we finished our meal on the side of a motorway. I'm not whinging but Greyhound chooses some horrible places to stop at where there is nowhere to eat outside the restaurant and filthy toilets (amazing how fast you come to expect proper facilities again!). There are a lot of nice establishments to stop at,
if they got their act together. Amy took a dislike to him after that, with his state law this and federal law that, he even threaten to charge a girl 2,000 AUD for carrying a closed can of beer on board...now thats an expensive drink!. Amy hilariously knows all the coach drivers we've had on the way. They were named Ian, Ray, Robbie, Glen, Cory, Darren I believe as Amy rattles them off to me. Her favourite was Glen, bless him. My favourite was Ian who pronounced coach like cage. I thought that he seriously saying cage, until Amy corrected me.
Boredom was broken by films along the way. Probably the best bit of the films is the anticipation that it may be good, but usually you're let down. We arrived in Townsville weary after managing to catch a little shut eye, but in better shape than expected. We were both struck by the humidity.
The following morning we caught the ferry to Magnetic island, known affectionately as "Maggie island" to the locals. Our accommodation was spot on once again, we stayed in "Bungalow Bay". It was one of the prettiest places we have stayed the only complaint
was the food was a little bit pricey for a backpacker (what a whinger eh!). Magnetic island is famous for its variety of wildlife. We spotted possums or ran away from them afraid they would nick our sandwiches, lorikeets, peacocks, unfortunately no koalas who were hiding and fortunately no snakes or spiders. There are many walks and trails for those wishing to explore. We decided to take a walk from Horseshoe bay to Nelly bay. Straight away we went wrong, I believe I was leading the party, not a good idea with my poor sense of direction. I asked a man perched on a boat cum house where the walking trail was. He introduced himself as Bob and entertained us with stories and enjoyed taking the mick out of our accents. He is a nice fellow if a little bit eccentric, he seemed to have a way with the animals as a hawk flew over to him looking for some steak.
Our trek was fantastic as we followed the trail through the bush, both a little bit scared that a snake might pop out, such scaredy cats, I know. The heat was incredible as we both struggled with the
humidity. Amy showed her coaching potential as she urged me on in the last Km to catch the bus on time, with a burst of power walking. To top off the fantastic day we dipped into the sea which is the warmest sea we've both swam in. It was like a hot bath, luxurious.
The following day we just chilled out and enjoyed relaxing by the pool. Sadly we left Maggie, wishing her well. The end is nigh now and we have to keep reminding ourselves that what we have left of this trip is your average Irish workers total annual leave.
There are more photos below