Tuesday 11th June 2013
Day 49 - Cardwell to Townsville, Qld - 163 kms.

It was a mild to warm night and we slept shithouse, some dick rang my mobile at 2:45am and when I answered it they hung up. Pricks. We had trouble getting back to sleep, so hopefully, an early night with good sleep, tonight.
Before we started packing up, I walked over to the side street and took some photos of the sunrise over Hinchinbrook Is, there were no rainclouds there at that time (6:48am). They did appear before we left. We had brekky and packed up and left camp at 8:52am, for the 2.5 hour drive to Townsville. As we left Cardwell the road conditions sign said 'Delays', and sure enough there were many roadworks. There were 3 before Ingham with stops of 2 minutes, 5 minutes and 1.5 minutes then we stopped in Ingham for a rest stop, then more roadwork stops of 3.5 minutes, then 2 minutes, then we stopped at Rollinstone for a rest, before driving the final 51kms to Townsville, arriving at 11:28am.

I introduced myself to Mira the owner and asked if my new mirror had arrived? No it hadn't and then we discussed Eddie the 'deceased' emu. I also told her that my rego will be coming here sometime over the next 2 weeks. I paid for our 2 week stay ($540 in total) and off to site 20 to setup.
As we are staying for 2 weeks, it is a full setup, power, water, full awning with side and probably ends as well, the Sat Dish, so I can record shows. Marg's room was a bit tricky as the sites here are on concrete with a bit of grass for the awning pegs, I wonder where I could find bags of rocks to anchor Margs room. Problem solved there were at least 10 Woollies bags containing various amounts of rocks that served the purpose well. I know fossicking would come in useful. It took a good hour and a half to fully setup and again the sweat was glistening on my toned body. hehehehe.

I forgot to mention that all sites at this park have their own private en-suite, so after setting up camp and with the sweat STILL glistening on my body, it was tubby time. The shower had excellent water pressure for both hot and cold. I will definitely enjoy my showers here for the next 2 weeks.
As I am writing this update, Marg is having a nanna nap and I am having a couple of chilled refreshers by myself outside under the awning. It is very pleasant.

Dinner will be chook on the BBQ with vegies. It will be YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we plan to do 'Sweet FA' or less, cause we can.

Our route from Cardwell to Townsville,Qld - 163kms.

They are building new High Voltage powers.

Resting at Rollingstone.

We carry our own High Voltage power.

Wednesday 12th June 2013
Day 50 - Finding our feet in Townsville.

It was another mild to warm night and we slept better than last night. I awoke at 6am, rolled over and the next time I looked at the clock it was 7;00am, so I put on my headphones and listed to the radio, until Marg awoke, which wasn't long. We then laid in bed and watched Sunrise.
We had brekky and headed off of Castletown Shopping Centre for a walk around and some Woollies shopping, but on the way, I checked out the roads to Ross River bikepath, it was safe enough for me.
We continued onto Castletown Shopping Centre and parked undercover. We walked around the complete complex, stopping at many shops, some interested me, most didn't, we had coffee and donuts at DonutKing then went to Woollies for some food shopping then drove back to camp, where we had lunch.

I unhitched my trusty treadly off the fiver, gave the chain and pedals a squirt with WD40, I then changed into my cycling lycra, instantly becoming 'Cycleman'. By this time, it was nearly 2pm, so I kissed Marg goodbye and off I rode. Down Hugh St to Gulliver St to O'Reilly St which leads to the Ross River bike path. The traffic was light and well behaved. On the bikepath there are numerous signs stating "Police patrol these paths" I didn't see any but maybe sometime in the next fortnight, I might see one. I rode along the river and the scenery was great, today was a reccy run and tomorrow I will take my camera. In actual fact, I forgot to take my camera today. I ended up riding a tad over 27kms, so I was happy.

I really enjoyed my shower after my ride, but the humidity is still in the air, YEP you guessed it, the sweat was soon glistening on my toned body again. I spent the rest of the arvo, sitting outside with a chilled refresher or two.
Dinner was BBQ steak and hamburgers, I cooked them, so naturally, they were very YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we plan to do 'Sweet FA' again except that I will go for another ride along The Ross River bike path.

Thursday 13th June 2013
Day 51 - Trying to chill in Townsville.

It was another mild to warm night and we slept well, still not using a blanket, just a sheet and doona cover. I awoke at 6am but went back to sleep until 7am, Marg awoke about 8am and we watched Sunrrise that I now record.
I had brekky and changed into 'Cycleman' and left Marg at 8:30am and headed back to the Ross River bike path. I decided to ride further upstream to the Ring Rd bridge which is a couple of kilometers past yesterday's bridge. I took my camera and managed a few photos, there are some nice 'shacks' along the river, plenty of bird life and many nice vistas. I returned back to camp about 10;30am after riding 31.4kms, the weather was warming up and was getting humid. I showered and within a few minutes, I was wet with sweat.

For the rest of the day, we stayed around camp and just relaxed, we also had a nanna nap but the humidity is getting to us. Sitting outside, we were being attacked by bugs, so we lit our mozzies sticks which worked well.
Dinner was our leftover hamburgers with vegies and they were YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we plan to do 'Sweet FA' again except that I will go for another ride along The Ross River bike path. Very similar to today.

Parts of the Ross River path.

Parts of the Ross River path.

Parts of the Ross River path.

Mt Stuart in the background.

This sign appears many times on the path.

One of the nice 'shacks' along the river.

Alpin's weir.

An egert.

Beware of the 'snapping lizards'.

Today's ride - 31.4kms.

Friday 14th June 2013
Day 52 - Marg visits Jupiters Casino.

It was another mild night and we slept well, still not using a blanket, just a sheet and doona cover. we both awoke about 7am and watched 'recorded' Sunrise.
Today, I was dropping Marg off at Jupiters casino at 10am, so she could get her 'pokies fix'.
We had brekky and I changed into 'Cycleman' and we left about 9:50am to drive to the Casino, after a small disruption in Townsville CBD, there was a march of sort description, which slowed us. I parked in the casino carpark, Marg walked off to play the pokies, while I unloaded my bike and then rode off the Info Centre in the mall, looking for a map of the bike paths, but the info centre couldn't help me. I then rode off to the Port of Townsville to check it out, I rode up to various security gates, then headed over to The Strand. The Strand is approx 3 kms long with numerous cafes and a magnificent water play park, plus great views. I rode past each cafe and checked them out and on my return I stopped at Juliette's Gelateria, they make the best coffee and they make ice cream to die for. While I was sitting in the shade drinking my coffee, looking out over the bay, Marg rang to confirm our meeting time (12:15pm), I arrived back at the mighty Navara at 12;12pm and tied my treadley into the tray. Marg arrived after losing $9 on the pokies. We drove back to camp along The Strand and as we past Juliette's Gelateria, I told Marg about their ice cream, so at the next roundabout, we parked out the front of Juliette's Gelateria and Marg had a 2 scoop ice cream, while I had a 4 scoops. I think I had, rum and raisin, lemon sorbet, blueberry and banana something, it was bloody YUMMA. We will definitely visit them again, worst luck. Stuff the diet.

After arriving back at camp, for some strange reason, we didn't feel like or eat lunch. During the afternoon, I drove to Anaconda to buy another pair of cycle shorts, my existing pair have lost their stretch. I wonder if it has anything to do with eating ice cream. Nope.
We also rang up Aquascene Charters spoke to Adam and booked a tour for next Monday morning. The tour will circumnavigate Maggie Island, stopping for snorkelling and other good stuff.
Dinner was Pizza Hut pizza, we walked about 200 meters from our camp to Pizza Hut and ordered pizza. Within 300 meters of camp, I think is every take away fast food in the world, there are heaps from memory (maccas, sizzlers, noodle box, pizza hut, subway, red rooster) so just the odd fast food shop.

Tomorrow, we plan to do 'Sweet FA' again except that I will go for another ride along The Ross River bike path.

The Sugar shaker.

Maggie Island barge.

Castle Hill in the background.

The tugboats.

The little boat that could.

Tide is out and the birds are in.

We may visit Reef HQ while here.

The Strand water fun park.

Maggie Island across the water.

My view while drinking my coffee.

Part of The Strand.

Part of The Strand.

Part of The Strand.

Marg at Juliette's Gelateria eating her ice-cream.

Today's ride - 19.14kms.

Saturday 15th June 2013
Day 53 - We tried to visit Mt Stuart.

Well, that's it, we are now heading homeward.

It was a cool night, believe it or not, we had to pull on a blanket each in the 'wee' hours. I awoke a bit after 7am and Marg woke closer to 8am, we both watched 'recorded' Weekend Sunrise.
I left for a ride about 8:30am, wearing my new cycle pants and gloves, both worked very well. I rode to Ross River bike path and headed along to the Ring Road bridge, where I crossed over and visited the cafe in Douglas for a coffee. The owner also rides to work and we chatted as he made my coffee. He said that when I hit the bike path, that I should turn left and head towards the CBD and eventually, I should arrive at the Strand. I might try some of that tomorrow. While I was riding, Marg eventually got up, but was still in her jammies when I arrived home. I showered and changed and Marg got dressed, then we headed off to Mt Stuart about 20kms inland from camp. Mt Stuart is higher than Castle Hill and the view of Townsville should be spectacular. After 15kms, we turned right from the Flinders hwy onto the Mt Stuart road, only to come face with face with a road sign, saying Road Closed from 14th to 21st June, we were unlucky. So we turned around and headed to The Willows shopping centre which I pass on my Ross River ride. The shopping centre has over 125 specialty shops (I read the advertising), after we went into some shops and walked passed the rest, we did some food shopping at Woollies. We arrived back at camp at 2pm.

During the remainder of the afternoon, I washed the mighty Navara, while Marg did her crosswords, she is into them in a big way. I recorded today's round of the V8s in Darwin, so I hope that Lowndesy goes well, do you remember that we met his parents in Yowah. (Our new best friends).

Dinner is curried sausages which Marg is currently cooking under the awning and sharing with the whole caravan park, her cooking smells. It was YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we plan to do 'Sweet FA' again except that we are off to the Sunday market in the Mall, and I might go for another ride along The Ross River bike path.

Sunday 16th June 2013
Day 54 - Relaxing in Townsville.

It was a cold night, around 4am I pulled on my 2nd blanket. What is this weather doing? Currently (8:06am), it is sunny with no clouds and should get to 26°. I awoke at 6am and listened to Macca on the ABC radio, while Marg is still sleeping.
When we get organised, we hope to drive over to Flinders St - Sunday markets.
Talk later.

We have been to the market, nothing out of the ordinary, it consisted of a lot of the shops in Flinders St, just opening on Sunday with numerous stalls selling vegetables and a few stalls selling market stuff. We left and drove over to The Strand to 'our' ice cream shop, shock, horror, we couldn't get a parking space, no drama, we will come back tomorrow, when it is easier to park. We headed home, but called into Castletown Shopping Centre to do some food shopping at Woollies, we arrived just on 10:40am and the car park was nearly empty, obviously, not many people shop first thing on a Sunday morning. we parked and walked into the shopping centre, first thing, we realised why no one was here, the joint is closed. It doesn't open till 11am on a Sunday, so DonutKing was open and we had a coffee and donuts while we waited. It was the first time, that I had to queue up to get INTO Woollies.

Finally, back at camp, I turned into 'Cycleman' and told Marg that I would be 2 - 3 hours, as I wanted to see if the bike path made it to the CBD. The weather was sunny, no clouds, gentle breeze and 24 degrees. I started from our Caravan park, down to the river, headed towards the CBD along the bike path, got sidetracked at the site of the Townsville V8 track, rode through the pits and behind the stands, stopped in at the Townsville Rail Station, which is just behind the track, rode back to where I saw the Diesel and continued along the bike path which took me to approx 1 kilometer from the Mall in Flinders St. I didn't need to go any further, so I retraced the path back to Bowen Rd, where I crossed over the river and rode to the end of that path, before completing the circuit by riding to Mocha Mecca for a coffee. Mocha Mecca is one of 2 cafes on the river path. After coffee I rode past the Riverway Lagoons, which are swimming pools open to the public, with NO fences. It is weird, BUT looks great. Eventually, I made it back to camp. A ride total of 51.75kms.

While I was away enjoying myself, Marg was slaving over a hot stove, preparing today's dinner, a casserole with mash potato, actually, she used the slow cooker and dinner was YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we have booked a boat tour that circumnavigates Maggie Island with some snorkelling thrown in, I hope we don't meet any 'Noah arks'.
Talk later, hopefully.

Some of the Market stalls.

The Diesel that made me stop.

At Townsville Rail Station.

The Pits - Townsville V8 track.

View from a rail bridge.

The Mocha Mecca.

My coffee at Mocha Mecca.

The Riverway Lagoons. (No fences).

There are BIG, colourful snakes in the Tropics.

Today's ride - 51.75kms.

Monday 17th June 2013
Day 55 - Aquascene tour of Maggie Island.

We are back with the same number of arms and legs that we left camp with, so we didn't encounter any 'Noah arks' or sharks. Thank God.

Another cool night, around 4am I pulled on my 2nd blanket, but the days are beautiful. I awoke at 5:30am and listened to the radio on my headphones, the alarm went off at 6am. We are doing a tour with Aquascene Charters, based at Nelly Bay, Maggie Island just near the main ferry terminal, so we had to catch the 7:45am ferry from Townsville to Maggie Island, which we did with about 15 minutes to spare. I tried to buy 2 'seniors' tickets, but Marg didn't bring her purse, so I could only produce one seniors card, consequently, we only got one concession. Marg's cost $32 return while mine cost $16 return. In future, while we are away, I will also keep Marg's seniors card with mine. The ferry trip was smooth and beautiful with no breeze. We arrived at Nelly Bay at approx 8:15am, and I had to ask some local where Aquascene was, it was only 50 meters away. There was another couple with 2 kids (8 and 11) who looked like they were also lost, so I asked them if they were doing our tour, they were, so we all walked together to the SS Minnow, where we were met by the skipper and Gilligan, actually, just Adam, the owner, skipper and everything else. There were another young couple joining us. That makes 9 including Adam. After the safety spiel, and working out what we all wanted to do, snorkelling was the popular choice, so Adam steered a course to the South East side of Maggie where we hand fed Bat Fish about the size of a family pizza, they were big. We then got in the water with them and swam about 10 meters to the coral and more fish. I took our underwater camera, but it was playing up, but we managed a couple of photos with it. After whatever time there, we upped anchor and motored past a couple of deserted bays and then had morning tea, consisting of cake, fruit, coffee and biscuits. It was YUMMA. We then headed off to another area to snorkel amongst the coral and more fish. It was low tide, and this area was about a metre deep in some spots, after I don't know how long, we motored over to a point about 20 meters off the rocks and fished. We caught 7 fish, I'm not into fishing, so I can't remember the names, but the one that we kept was about 18" and an Emperor or Trevally?? After that we motored back to the dock.
In summary, the boat tour lasted 4 hours and cost $105 each, Marg and I loved every minute of it and will do it again, when we next stay in Townsville. It was then a bit after 12:30pm, and the next ferry leaves at 1:35pm, so we bought some chips for lunch and walk over to the Topless Car rentals, and booked a car for Wednesday, so we will be back on Maggie Island, this time on dry land and motoring everywhere in a 'toy car'. We walked over to the ferry terminal, sat down and ate our chips while we waited for the ferry to arrive, which it did on time and left on time. Again the trip back was smooth as the breeze was still light, it did build up stronger after we arrived back at the dock.
On the way home to camp, we just managed to stop at Juliette's Gelateria for some ice cream, I had 4 scoops and Marg had 2 scoops. After sitting outside Juliette's and watching the water, we eventually headed home. By this time, it was mid afternoon and we just relaxed around camp.

Dinner was frozen pizza, which was quite YUMMA.

Tomorrow, I will ride in the morning and do 'sweet FA' in the afternoon, while Marg enjoys doing 'Sweet FA' all day.

Leaving Townsville.

Approaching Maggie Island.

Marg on the ferry.

Our SS Minnow.

Away we go.

Feeding the sea bird.

Marg getting ready.

Big Batfish.

Me. excuse Marg's thumb.

Free Advertising.

Chunk of coral.

Morning tea.

Back at Nelly Bay.

Marg at Juliette's Ice creamery.

We only go there for the view. Believe me.

Tuesday 18th June 2013
Day 56 - Taking it easy in Townsville.

Another mild night, around 4am I pulled on my 1st blanket, but the days are beautiful. I awoke at 6:00am and listened to the radio on my headphones, I was in no rush to do anything, so I laid in bed, Marg awoke just before 7am.
Today, I plan to ride in the morning, while Marg does her thing around camp, which we did and maybe in the arvo, we would walk to Castletown Shopping Centre.

I turned into 'Cycleman' and left camp at 8:14am and headed along Hugh St to the bike path at the Ross River. There I turned left and headed towards the CBD. After 6.1kms I left the bike path and cycled along a back street (Railway Ave) which takes me to Boundary St, here I join another bike path which I follow to and then cross Rooney St and back on the path running along side the river to the Victoria Bridge (this is very similar to the old Sandridge Rail Bridge in Melbourne's Southbank). After crossing the Victoria Bridge, this brings you close to the Info Centre, near Stokes and Ogden Sts. I then decided to follow Flinders St, past the old Northern Rail Station back to Boundary Rd, then along Boundary Rd, past the Townsville V8 Supercar street circuit and back to Railway Avenue and retrace my route back past the Townsville Golf Club, then I crossed over the river at Bowen Rd/Stuart Drive and rode North Easterly to the end of that path, where I turned around and followed the path the whole way to Mocha Mecca, where I stopped for a coffee. After coffee, I continued my circuit by riding down to The Ring Rd past the suburb of Douglas. Here I noticed George fishing with his cormorant mates, he was a cheeky bugger, the cormorants would find the fish and George would steal them, I watched him for about 10 minutes, and tried to take some photos. After leaving George and his mates, I crossed back over the Ross River and rode past the Riverway Lagoons, where I stopped and took another photo, as this pool amazes me, that it is open to the public, with NO fences stopping you accessing it. Unreal. Eventually, I made it back to camp.
Today's ride distance was 49.26kms. Total distance ridden, so far, in Townsville is 208.8kms.

Back camp, Marg was quite content doing what she wanted to do. We had lunch and then drove to Castletown Shopping Centre, as some drunk (I don't know who that could be) had finished all HIS beer and his stocks needed replenishing. At Castletown SC, we called in at DonutKing and had a coffee and donut, as one does.
Currently Marg is having a nanna nap and I am sitting outside in the shade writing this.

Dinner will be leftover casserole. Which will be YUMMA.

Tomorrow, we have booked a Topless toy car to drive all over Maggie Island.

The view towards Victoria Bridge.

At the Victoria Bridge.

The old Townsville Staion - Great Northern Rail station.

View up one of the side streets of Castle Hill.

Another spectacular view of Mt Stuart.

Closer view of Mt Stuart.

View from Mocha Mecca with Harry hema (my GPS).

This public pool absolutely amazes me. No fences at all.

This is the main road that I ride along. Not much traffic.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Various shots of George stealing the fish from his mates.

Today's ride - 49.26kms.

*2013 - Index page*

Still in Townsville.