Day 85 - Tuesday 30th June 2009
Wonga Beach to Cardwell - 278kms.

Warm again, the AirCond was back on, pleasant sleep.

Left Pinnacles CP, Wonga Beach about 8:30am, that would have to be approaching a record. Drive to Mossman, uneventful, as we like it. Mossman to Cairns a little eventful, as there were some roadworks where we had to stop, and also the windy roads were exciting, but taken slowly, there was no drama. Cairns to Cardwell, probably about 4 separate areas of road works, but no real drama, just need some patience. We arrived at Beachcomber Tourist Park, Cardwell it fronts the water with views of Goold Island and Hinchinbrook Island. The CP is very nice.

Our current itinerary:
    1. Cardwell - overnighter
    2. Townsville - 7 nights
    3. Belyando Crossing - overnighter
    4. Sapphire - 5 nights - more fossicking.
    5. Bundaberg - 2 nights - Marg has finished all her Bundy Liqueur.
    6. Don't know yet - 7 nights.
    7. Dicky Beach - 11 nights
    8. Southport - 42 nights.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we can get in at Townsville - 165kms.

Good bye Pinnacles CP.

Roadworks between Mossman and Cairns.

Our overnighter - Beachcomber Tourist Park, Cardwell.

Beer garden.

Life is tough, just ask Marg.

Sunrise at Cardwell.

Day 86 - Wednesday 1st July 2009
Cardwell to Townsville - 165kms.

Mild night with a cool sea breeze off Hinchinbrook Island.

Left Beachcomber Tourist Park about 8:30am, stopped at Ingham for fuel and after a couple of road works, we arrived at the Rowes Bay CP, Townsville. This CP is a bit of a pain because they do not take bookings for caravan sites, you have to ring them about 8am and they put you on a list, as someone leaves, if you can fit on that site then you get that site. Very frustrating for me, as I like to book and be organised. Anyway, we are all setup, even if it is beside the BBQ, two CP in a row where we have been camped beside the BBQ area. The advantage is that we have shade for most of the day.
Marg has booked a hair appointment for tomorrow, but to save some money, we have to print the advert and bring it with her tomorrow. We don't have a printer so we are off to Marg's sister Kitty after dinner to print the advert.

Tomorrow, doing Sweet FA.

Day 87 - Thursday 2nd July 2009
Relaxing in Townsville.

Mild night with a cool sea breeze off Magnetic Island.

Just buggered around the camp this morning, because Marg is booked in for a hair appointment at 11:45am and I have to drop her off and pick her up when finished, so my day is a bit curtailed. I have taken my bike off the van and it is ready to ride.
I picked Marg up about 2:30pm, a new blonde woman. About 3pm I decided to go for a ride along the Strand. I ended up riding 16kms down to the river along the bike paths. It was great, tomorrow I may have to ride again.

Today, the temperature varied from a low of 14.9° to 28.3°, a magic day.

Tomorrow, we may drive to Home Hill, so Marg can buy some gem stuff.

Day 88 - Friday 3rd July 2009
Visited Home Hill.

Another mild night with a cool sea breeze off Magnetic Island.

Left about 10am for the 100kms drive to Home Hill, to visit Ashworths Gem shop. Wow, it was enormous, had heaps of gems and rocks and everything that we needed. Marg bought some odds and sods, but we had to order a Vibrating Tumbler, as they didn't have a complete one in stock. This is going to cost an arm and a leg (over $500). While we were at Home Hill, we stayed for lunch at the local cafe. The toasted sandwiches were very nice. The drive back to Townsville was enjoyable, as I didn't have the fiver on the back.
After dinner tonight, Marg's sister Kitty and Julian came over for a visit, it was great catching up with them. The Offshore power boats are racing this weekend between the Strand and Magnetic Island. I want to see them race.

Today, the temperature varied from a low of 19.6° to 27.0°, another magic day.

Tomorrow, we need to do some food shopping and I want to ride down and check out the power boats.

Sunlander at Home Hill.

Thunder Eggs(like ours) from Mt Tambourine, Gold Coast hinterland.

Zebra Stone only found in Kununurra, WA.

Day 89 - Saturday 4th July 2009
Riding around Townsville.

Another mild night with a cool sea breeze off Magnetic Island.

We went to Castletown for food shopping and a coffee. Marg wanted to go to the casino to play the pokies, so after lunch I dropped her there. When I got back to camp, I went riding along the Strand and out along the breakwater. The offshore powerboats were based at the marina and the big Class 1 boats were awesome, 44ft long and monstrous motors. Townsville is a beautiful city to ride around. I picked Marg up about 5:30pm, she lost. We had fish and chips for dinner, they were yumma.
It's great being able to receive digital TV, I will be able to record the Tour de France cycling race. It starts tonight at 11:30pm for 5 hours, I plan to record it and copy it onto our 1TeraByte external Hard Drive.

Today, the temperature varied from a low of 12.8° to 24.5°, another magic day.

Tomorrow, I plan to ride upto the Townsville V8 track and then go and watch the Offshore PowerBoats.

Power boat practice.

71 Valiant Pacer - Car Cruise around the Strand.

This is how the boats get to and from the water.

Acme Racing - pit area.

Global racing - Pit area.

Simbad Racing - Pit area.

Day 90 - Sunday 5th July 2009
More riding around Townsville.

Another mild night with a cool sea breeze off Magnetic Island.

I planned to leave camp about 9am and let Marg have a sleep in.
I left camp at 9am, it was a beautiful morning, no clouds, no breeze and blue skies. It was quite funny watching the Townsville cyclists wearing arm and leg warmers and me, just shorts and t shirt, they must feel the cold. I rode along the Strand and half way along, I came across the car show, there were approx 100 cars on display, so naturally, I stopped and took some photos. Next I went past the marina and the power boats were been lifted into the water, in readiness for their 11am race. Onwards, I rode through Townsville CBD, but being Sunday, there was hardly any traffic, which is good. Upto Boundary St and Charters Towers Rd, which is where the track is, there were no signs saying "No Entry", so naturally, I rode into the pit area and out the back, I even rode along the track out the back of the pit area, where the chicane is, I didn't push my luck riding too far along the track, as the workers are still setting up. I eventually left the track area and rode along the streets beside Ross River and got back to the Strand, it is now crawling with people. I visited the power boat pit area and all the boats were in the water about to go out onto the race area. I carefully rode along the shared path along the Strand looking for a good spot to watch the race, I picked a spot, which had the turning mark about 300 meters off shore. The race was great, the noise was just awesome. I rode along the road as there were just too many people on the shared path.
During the afternoon, I took Marg to Spotlight, she is making jewelled thongs for your feet.

Townsville has gone beserk with attractions leading upto the V8 Supercars this weekend.

Today, the temperature varied from a low of 9.2° to 23.6°, another magic day.

Tomorrow, we are meeting Kitty and Julian for breakfast at Odyssey on the Strand.

Red Ford Bucket - Car Show and Shine on the Strand.

Memories - I had a XB GT Coupe in a previous life.

Cobra replica - Beautiful.

I checked out the V8 Townsville track.

Start/Finish - Boundary St.

Castle Hill in the background.

Flinders St, Townsville.

Pre race area.

Simbad in full flight(upto 250kph).

Day 91 - Monday 6th July 2009
More sightseeing around Townsville.

Another mild night with a cool sea breeze off Magnetic Island.

We had planned to meet Kitty and Julian at the restaurant Odyssey on the Strand at 9;15am for breakky. This restaurant has some magnificent views through the plam trees and over the water to Maggy Island (Magnetic Island to you foreigners, us, locals call it Maggy) At 9:30, with no sight of our breakfast guests, I rang Kitty, typical, she had forgotten, even though, it was in her blackberry and the alarm notified her, she still forgot. Typical.

Anyway, Marg and I had ordered our breakfast, before they arrived, but no drama really. While we were waiting and while Marg went over the road onto the beach, she saw a whale out in the water. Lucky, it wasn't there yesterday, the power boats would have scared it shitless. Breakfast was yumma, I had a Big Breakfast and Marg had ham and tomato croissant, we said our goodbyes and headed to the Flinders mall, in the CBD. I wanted to buy a polo shirt with Townsville 400 V8 logo, the merchanising shop is in the mall, luckily, they had a large size, so $65 later, one top and a stubby holder, we left the show. In the mall, which is being refurbished there are a couple of souvenir shops, strange, when we left the mall, I had a pelican figurine in my hands.

Next on our way home, we stopped at the Reef HQ aquarium, which was very interesting. Not finished yet, we drove upto the top of Castle Hill, which has some magnificent views.
Now we are home for lunch and a rest. The urge has got me, I have to go for a ride, so I did. Off along the Strand upto to the casino and back, did I tell you that the Strand is magnificent. Marg cooked roast lamb cutlets and vegies in the Turbo Oven, did I tell you, it was yumma, as usual.

Today, the temperature varied from a low of 10.1° to 24.6°, another magic day, don't you get sick of yet another magic day, I really think that I could move to Townsville.

Tomorrow, I will be dropping Marg off at the casino and while she is there, I will go for a ride.

Odyssey on the Strand.

View of the Strand.

Reef HQ aquarium.

That's Castle Hill.

The V8 track from Castle Hill.

Marg at Castle Hill.

Day 92 - Tuesday 7th July 2009
Just bumming around Townsville.

I dropped Marg at the casino, while she was there I went riding along the Strand and then over the Ross river to South Townsville, and checked out the industrial side of Townsville. I had fun. Picked Marg up about 1:30pm, she lost. Spent the rest of the afternoon, packing up the van, ready for tomorrow's departure. We went down to Gregory st and the Strand and had fish n chips for dinner, Marg finished off with a lovely mango ice cream.

Today, the temperature varied from a mild of 15.3° to 25.1°.

Tomorrow, we head for Sapphire, but overnighting at Belyando Crossing.

*2009 - Index page*

**NEXT - Heading to Belyando Crossing**