Mackay to Townsville

or: hitting the tropics

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img0043.jpg (61567 bytes) The night in the sugar cane fields was the best in a long time. I don't even remember waking up in the middle of the night, sorting my bones. The sun was just about to rise and so I relocated into the nearby located Cape Hillsborough NP. There I spent most of the morning, taking pictures at the fantastic beach as it was low tide at that time. I also took advantage of the campgrounds real showers; I paid the 20 cents for a hot shower and enjoyed the great waterfall; however, they did not specify how long the 20 cents would last - so after about one minute I was there under a cold waterfall. Still, what a feeling.

img0045.jpg (75687 bytes)On the way further north I also had the great opportunity of spotting some exotic birds and trees, very amazing indeed. This is a subtropical rainforest after all, or at least it shyly begins here to get thicker more in the North. The climate, this is for sure, is right - hot and sticky like Florida (Lee Hayes, you would have loved it here). Note that I am still wearing my long pants to save myself further pains.

img0099.jpg (37939 bytes)Between brief and heavy showers, in the town of Whitsunday I could witness the so far bluest sea (unfortunately you don't get that much to see from the highway, unlike in California where CA-1 basically follows the shore) and also what happens to a town when it starts living off tourists. Not that much different from Mediterran or Alpine villages - lots of shops, expensive goodies and the mandatory hot women. Diving or sea tours were never on the schedule for this trip, but I am now very certain I will come back, and be it for the diving's sake. However, I hope the sea gets even more blue, because otherwise it would still lose to the Scottish northern shore, which was as azure as only a computer could paint it - but no diving there, of course.

img0056.jpg (75794 bytes)img0096.jpg (66871 bytes)Now in Townsville, I have reached the most northern point of my voyage. I could go to Cairns, only one easy day away, to see more of the rain forest, but I then would have a hard time returning in time to Sydney. I just prepared a schedule for the remaining 10 days and I must drive 240km each day on average, which is a light schedule and allows for one day each in Brisbane and Sydney - enough since I am trying to avoid cities in general. Since I yet have to see a Koala bear I may follow my email friend Craig's advice and look for them in Brisbane, as I sure won't make it to Adelaide. Still, as told beforehand by Aussies, this trip is way too much driving in too little time, and that even though I dropped the original ambitions.

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