East coast part 1
Updated 14 years, 9 months ago
Gor Blimey! The last month has flown after I finally dragged myself away
from the comfort zone of Cairns and began the trek south to Sydney. My first experience of the Mcafferty's bus was long and drowsy, broken up by numerous stops at servo's and small towns on the way to Townsville. Arrived at Townsville in glorious evening sun and made my way straight for the ferry jetty to go to Magnetic Island as I could not get hold of Joey Moore(an essential part of any visit to Townsville).
Had a ball on the island, staying in Horseshoe Bay at Geoff's Place(you know Geoff?) in a wooden shack on stilts. Had a couple of great dives on the cheap, to a wreck and some coral in Alma Bay. Saw loads of fish, beautiful coral, loads of rays and swam next to a huge turtle, so it wasn't bad really. Went hiking round the bush trails, the highlight being the walk up to the site of the old WW2 gun emplacements. Scoured the trees as I ambled up, finally spotting what the area is famous for- a Koala! It didn't look too overwhelmed by my arrival, blearily opening one eye to survey me bleakly, then turning round to sleep. The whirring of my camera, as I
excitedly snapped away, woke him up again and he eyed me bitterly now,
clearly peeved. Giving me a nasty look, he then proceeded to empty his
bowels and urinate in my direction. Such critical eloquence on my
photographic skills(or lack there-of) could not be ignored, so I took the
hint and pushed off. Glad i did as I arrived at the top of the hill, to the
old HQ for the guns, just as the most fantastic sunset was unfurling. The
orange/gold light washed warmly over the island gilding the stupendous views from my vantage point as the sky moved through pinks, to reds and purples.
It was spectacular and the few other people at the viewpoint stood
transfixed. By direct contrast to such beauty, I returned to Townsville and got in touch with Joey Moore, spending the next two days plastered. There is not much I can add about Townsville, except to say that the bars have great deals on Bundaburg Rum- an old friend I'd met before in London, as those at my leaving do will testify. To give you some idea of the way I passed the time, Joey's Mum(whom I had not met before) found me asleep in the gutter outside her house at 6am, on her way to work. Not the best circumstances in which to make her aquaintance, but i did my best to sound lucid, bright and alert. I suspect i may have failed.
After another long bus journey, i arrived at Airlie Beach drained, a broken
man. This place is the jumping off point for the Whitsundays sailing trips
and consists of a main drag entirely made up of hostels, booking offices,
internet dens and other backpacker acoutrements. Ugh! All the backpacker
hostels and bars claimed to be "Australia's Party Capital" with flyers of
the same inanely grinning, drunken rent-a-mob all giving the thumbs up, that appear on every flyer in Australia. This kind of crap is designed to suck in the dumb young Brits drinking round Oz, but entry to such establishments proves ultimately unsatisfying. I mean, how much of DJ Otzi's odious "Hey Baby" can you, or should you, take? To be continued; as Dan does the Whitsundays, Fraser Island, loaf about, nothing much and more!!!
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