I’m a bit behind – the adventures are coming fast and furious, so I’ll do two this morning before we drive down to Mossman for our show tonight.
We had two more nights in Townsville after the SCQuilters retreat. Way back in 2002 we did a house concert in Babinda for a couple of folkies, and we have kept in touch ever since. Ted and Carolynne have since sold their property at the top of a steep and winding road (but in the beautiful rainforest!) and bought a sailboat, where they now live full time. We got to sleep in their spare cabin for two nights and explore the city.
Townsville is a port city, exporting sugar, nickel, coal, and various other essential metals that are mined in the hills behind. It’s also very beautiful. The Strand is the street along the beach, and it’s very well used by everyone.
My friend Michelle (who occasionally comments on the blog) spent some time living in Townsville, and the one thing she wanted to do while she was back was to climb Castle Hill, the most recognizable landmark in the city.
On Thursday, just before the retreat started, she did the walk – there and back again – and was happily knackered at the end of it. She said it was challenging, but worth it. I decided I would do the same, so on Monday (instead of going on the bus shop hop with the rest) I headed out with my camera, wallet, map and a bottle of water. It was a warm day, but not hot, which made it very do-able. I set out and climbed my way through city streets until the beginning of the track.
The track basically goes straight up the hill to the top. No switchbacks to add distance. It’s a very good track, with rough steps about a foot high, going inexorably – UP.
It is necessary to stop occasionally to smell the – um – gum trees. Just as I was taking an extended rest to get my heart rate down, a young sillybugger RAN by me!!! I’ve learned a useful term here for this, useable in polite company: Richard Cranium. (read: dickhead) At least, it felt that way to me, gasping for air and trying to get to the top. But, I made it! And yes, Michelle – it was worth it!
At the top of the hill there’s a 360 degree view, and it’s magnificent. The toilets block up there is quite nice too, done with aboriginal paintings on it. (Yes I took a picture of it!)
John met me at the top with the car (boy, was I glad to see him) and took this picture.
We drove back down and had lunch by the beach. Ran into this dugong as we went – I hear he was just yarnbombed a while ago….
That’s it for Townsville. Next up: the Atherton Tablelands.