Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Archive for August 5, 2015

Townsville – 5th August

This morning we left to catch the 8:00 ferry to Magnetic Island. Schoolkids came off the ferry. I wonder how many days during the year they can’t get to school because the seas are too rough, probably not enough from their point of view. The crossing today was very smooth and took only about 30 mins.

The car hire place was just opposite the ferry terminal and I was thrilled when the lady brought out a lovely yellow one for us. Yellow is my favourite colour for cars! It’s years since I drove a manual but it all just fell into place, except once when I was going into a park and forgot about the clutch so stalled it. Our initial enthusiasm was squashed all too soon. I drove through “the town”, up the twisty, hilly road to Picnic Point. That was only a short drive. We stopped for a photo op and after that I had problems getting the gears. At first it was difficult, then I could only engage 1st gear by switching the car off but I couldn’t get out of 1st so I phoned the company. It probably took the guy less than 10 mins to get to us in a replacement little blue Moke.

Some interesting things about a Moke though, suspension is very primitive, the gear lever is long, the dashboard has only 1 dial that shows speed and fuel, the steering wheel is a thin ring of metal and you can’t really interpret the engine noise because it’s swamped by a multitude of other noises. You can barely turn the wheels unless the car is moving but most importantly of all, it’s fun to drive! Maybe you have to have been young in the 60s to really love a Moke.

We visited Picnic Point, Horeshoe Bay, Forts Walk, Alma Bay, Arkie Pool and Picnic Bay Jetty. We found caches at Horsehoe Bay and Forts Walk but there were people fishing off Picnic Bay Jetty so we couldn’t search for the one there.

Throughout the day we kept coming across participants in the Queensland Tropics XPD 2015, we don’t know exactly what it involves but when I asked one guy if he was having fun he said, “For the time being but ask me in 100 hours”. We saw them in ocean canoes, running/walking, swimming, and clambering up boulders but we also found a big box hidden in a cave that was marked “fragile” and had the challenge ID on it.

Tomorrow we leave here for Mission Beach it will be very interesting to see it again, the place was devastated by a cyclone and so much will be new since we last saw it in 2002.