Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Townsville and Magnetic Island

So our friend Elizabeth lived in Townsville for 6 months and loved it and told us we needed to see Magnetic Island off the coast there.  Both were fine, but, I'm sorry to say we were a little underwhelmed.  If we hadn't already seen the beautiful islands along the reef or the rainforest city of Cairns, we might have appreciated it more, I guess.  Plus, we were getting tired, which made it a bit less interesting.  Still, there were some highlights.  Like Airlie, they have a large saltwater lagoon for swimming (even more important since you can't swim there because of the jellyfish), but it was closed for maintenance, so we didn't get to swim.  They did have a nice beach we walked along and there was full moon.  Katy tried a couple different night settings on her camera, and got a good picture:

They also had a gigantic golden orb spider sculpture along their main street.  Katy and I both thought this was a bit creepy.  Here is her "squishing" it:

The next morning we got up early so we could have some time on Magnetic Island in the morning before driving back to Airlie Beach for the night.  The ferry was quick--only 20 minutes.  Magnetic is different from a lot of the islands we visited because it's not a resort island.  About 2,000 people live there so it just looks like a small suburb, nothing fancy.  We took a bus to Picnic Bay, where they had the largest section of beach that was netted to keep out the jellyfish.  Daniel got really far out and yelled for me to take his picture while doing the Oscar wave:

We took the bus around the island to the different bays.  The biggest was Horseshoe Bay.  Here's a picture:

I spent most of my time there drinking coffee at a cafe and looking at the small selection of shops on their main street.  As you can see, it didn't take me long:  

I found a second hand cookbook, so I spent some time reading that.  Eventually Katy and Daniel caught up with me and we decided to walk to Acadia.  We took some pictures of the frangrant frangipangi that are all over the island and are a popular scent here for everything from hand soap to laundry detergent:

About 10 minutes into our walk we realized this was a very bad idea.  It was in the nineties, the sun was high overhead, and no shade.  But we had to persevere on until we could at least get to a bus stop and wait for the bus to come around again.  Luckily, we met a pleasant Israeli couple to talk to while we were waiting for our grumpy bus driver.  We ended up taking it right back to Horseshoe Bay where Katy and Daniel got right back into the water to cool down and I got an ice cream bar.  Eventually we called it quits and headed back to Townsville to drive back to Airlie.  We had a nice surprise waiting for us.  Because of our kangaroo issue, we were arriving a day later than we had originally scheduled.  Our bed and breakfast was kind enough to let us stay a different day at short notice, and because the inn part was booked, let us stay in a beach house they rent out, too, across the street.   It was swanky.  We got a good night's sleep and then drove back to Hervey Bay.  We then spent the next few days recovering.  That was a lot of excitement and we were tired. Katy stayed a few days and then was off to continue exploring Australia before flying to New Zealand at the end of the month.  She's be there for at least a month and might actually still be there when we get there, so there's a slim chance we might catch up with her again.

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