Posted by: glenswatman | August 12, 2010

20100801-10 AUSTRALIA Qld

SUNDAY 1 AUGUST – Jim
takes us ashore for the last time.  We
sit by the lagoon and watch Nice N Easy head out to the ocean.  Airlie Beach is like a ghost town early morning;
think all the backpackers are sleeping it off from last night.  It is very pleasant by the lagoon and I even
manage to fit in some proper swimming as they have blue lines painted on the
bottom marking out a 50m length.  Today
we are heading to Townsville and the Premier bus costs $44 each but a
backpacker has advertised a ride in his car for shared petrol costs.  We meet up with James, from Liverpool, and
share his car with Irene from Canada. 
James enjoyed a bit of a leaving party last night so is happy for Steve
to drive.  His bought the wrecked Ford
Falcon station wagon in Perth in February for $1000 (£600), has driven it on
dirt tracks through the centre and over to here and is now heading to Cairns to
try and get $500 (£300) for it.  Although
it looks really rough outside it drives pretty well.  Steve enjoys talking football with James as
he also supports the reds.  Arriving in
Townsville Corry comes out to pick us up. 
It is great to walk into the shed and see the progress on their home
built catamaran.  When we last saw it 5
years ago it was just pieces of pre cut wood whereas now it is a boat with the
hulls and bridge complete.  Hard to
believe they have done it all themselves, such a mammoth task.  Our new plan is to borrow their campervan but
chatting through the evening we find it only has 3rd party
insurance.  Whilst we know Steve is a
competent driver we cannot be sure about things like kangaroos hopping out so
don’t feel so sure about taking it.

TOWNSVILLE 1, GEORGE AND CORRY’S

 

MONDAY 2 AUGUST – After
a sleepless night pondering our options we still don’t have a firm plan but
many ideas.  Steve helps George and their
worker Gregg with some sanding on the boat. 
It is a 3 man job with a huge plank covered in sandpaper which they all
hold and slide along.  We’ve decided it
may be an idea to buy a vehicle so Corry takes me round the backpackers to see
what’s for sale on the notice boards.  We
phone up many numbers but either no reply or the vehicle has sold.  One couple bring out a van for us to look at
but it is in poor shape and the bigger problem is it is registered in New South
Wales, the hardest state to transfer a vehicle from.  We contact James and tell him we may be
interested in his car if we can ride with him up to Cairns then buy it from him
there so he will bring it round tomorrow morning. 

TOWNSVILLE 2, GEORGE AND CORRY’S

 

TUESDAY 3 AUGUST –
We’ve both had a good sleep with our new plan in place.  James arrives early afternoon and after an
initial set back where he has to go to an Internet café to print out the
licence documents everything else seems good. 
We share the $40 (£24) petrol costs to get us up to Mission Beach.  Arriving as it is getting dark we quickly
have to chose between the 2 backpackers and opt for Absolute.  The staff is really helpful and Steve and I
take a private room with bunks and a sink whilst James and Irene go in a
dorm.  When Steve goes back to get the
stuff from the car he finds it won’t lock. 
We knew the driver’s door had been replaced (the fact it was grey instead
of red was a bit of a giveaway) but James had forgotten to mention it did not
lock.  He offers to drill holes in the
door and fix a padlock system but we are not happy with this.  Having already compromised many things to
settle on this car this is the last straw. 
We have an amicable chat and realise it was a genuine oversight on his
behalf and when he realises we had no intention of visiting Mission Beach and
must also pay bus fare back to Townsville he offers us $100 (£60) towards our
costs.  Can’t say fairer than that under
the circumstances.  Steve & James
have some good games of snooker to round off the evening.  Luckily last night we made a backup plan
using public transport and staying in a cabin at Taylorwood for a few weeks so
at least we are not back to square one!

MISSION BEACH, ABSOLUTE BACKPACKERS

$55 (£33) DOUBLE BUNK ROOM

 

WEDNESDAY 4 AUGUST
We get up early after little sleep. Although we had our own room
there was a dorm behind us and we could hear people talking and someone
snoring.  On line we check the buses but
none go place we want and we can’t book on line as you have to print the
ticket.  The ticket office opens at 10am
but the first buses leave before that so we would have to hang around until
11am.  We head out to the main road and
begin hitching a ride.  Just about to
give up when a mother and daughter pull up and drive us into Tully on the main
Bruce Highway.  From them dropping us off
it is only about 5 minutes before we get a ride to Townsville.  Liz comes from an English family but has
lived most of her life in Australia, is a backpacker and traveller and very
interesting to talk to.  In fact we have
a really nice journey back and she insists on dropping us at George &
Corry’s.  Luckily we can tell them about
the car but that we have already a new plan leaving tomorrow for
Taylorwood.  Once we get there we will
settle down for a few weeks and really consider our options properly rather
than rushing things.  On Wednesday Corry
looks after their grandson Kaydon aged 5 months and he is really cute.  In the afternoon I join Corry walking the
pushchair along “The Strand”.  It is a
really pleasant walk along the water front past the pool, beaches and marina.

TOWNSVILLE, GEORGE & CORRYS

 

THURSDAY 5 AUGUST
We’ve booked the Greyhound bus to Proserpine and George & Corry
take us to the bus stop.  The 10.45am bus
has cost us $111 (£66) for the two of us at backpacker rates.  It is a comfy coach with slightly reclining
seats and a DVD for you to watch making the 4 ¾ hour journey pass quickly
including a ½ hour lunch stop.  In
Proserpine I head into Woolworths then Rogin meets us to drive us back to
Taylorwood.  We’ve taken one of the
cabins and it is just perfect for us with a bathroom, kitchen area, table and
chairs, TV and Queen sized bed.  This
will be the first time since April last year, when we sold Harry, that we have
had our own place for more than a few nights. 
We join a few others for happy hour by the fire then retire to our cosy
home to watch TV.

TAYLORWOOD 1,

 

FRIDAY 6 AUGUST – We
settle in and enjoy a relaxing day, eating when and what we want and
socialising when we feel like it – bliss.

TAYLORWOOD 2

 

SATURSDAY 7 AUGUST
Babs & Alan give us a life to Airlie Beach for the market.  They come from Wigan but now live at Lakes
Entrance in Victoria.  We stock up on
fresh fruit and veg and use MacDonalds wi-fi. 
With a stop at Woolworths on the way back we figure we have enough food
to last at least 2 weeks.  In the evening
they hold a casserole night and I take up curried sausages with apple and
sultanas.  There is a real variety of
food and all of it is delicious.

TAYLORWOOD 3

 

SUNDAY 8 AUGUST – It
is a really hot and sunny day so we spend the morning by the pool.  In the heat of the afternoon Steve plays pool
with Brownie, Alan and Dave whilst I play cards with the ladies. 

TAYLORWOOD 4

 

MONDAY 9 AUGUST – I
join Babs, Pat and Val for a yoga stretch session and do feel the benefit.  This is offset by lots of lounging around and
another afternoon of card games. 

TAYLORWOOD 5

 

TUESDAY 10 AUGUST –
It is a cloudy but warm day.  Val
& David have just bought a Telstra dongle for their laptop ($89 for 2 Gig
starter kit) and I help her getting it all set up and finding motorhome
exchange sites.  At night a storm brews and
we get torrential rain and quite a lot of wind. 
Hope the guys are Ok on the boat but very happy that we are not still on
it!.

TAYLORWOOD 6

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