Thursday, March 10, 2016

queensland: mission beach, townsville, bowen, horsehoe bay

Breaking the rhythm of travel can be a good and a bad thing. It's nice to just relax for a bit, soak in the surroundings, have a few days where everyone isn't racing around packing up, planning meals, doing the grocery shopping, filling the water tanks, emptying the toilet, refuelling the car, packing up the car and the caravan and shutting every last thing away before driving for hours with the kids in the car arriving at a new place and starting over.

Breaking the rhythm can be good.

But it can also be bad because once you lose the rhythm everyone finds it harder on those pack up and driving days. It was a while back when we drove from Mission Beach to Townsville but I seem to remember it being a long day on the road. It was over three hours driving (which we usually break in to two stints) but the roads were long and there was a huge increase in traffic. For months we might have seen twenty other cars on the road and a few road trains and suddenly there seemed to be hundreds, in a hurry and doing dangerous stuff.

I was hugely disappointed as we left Mission Beach because I knew we'd run out of time to visit Paluma and the National Park out of Ingham. I knew we couldn't go to Hinchinbrook. We were running out of time and we also knew the limits of the kids and their ability to keep up with us walking. The kids had definitely covered some kilometres and some of the walks we'd taken them on were demanding on their little legs but Hinchinbrook would have been pushing it. Another one for the next list!

When we pulled in to Townsville it was hot and dry and dusty. It was an instantly charming town. We stayed the night on the oval of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. It was cheap and comfortable and our friend Rachel came over for beers once the kids were in bed. That was fun!

From Townsville we drove to Bowen so we could stay at Horseshoe Bay. Famed for it's mangoes we arrived at the beginning of the season and didn't get one! The weather was pretty crazy with strong winds which blew out the beach but we did get in the water a couple of times. We had two nights in Horseshoe Bay. J quite liked the place but it wasn't my favourite spot.

A little run up from the caravan park to the lookout gave a great view of the coast and out to the jetty off-shore.

P freaked out a few tourists with this specimen that she found in the caravan park. Imagine - a young woman hops out of the shower block and sees this smiling assassin in her tutu frufru and wanders over "Hello," she says and then all you hear is this shriek across the caravan park as she sees what's in P's hand. You've got to hand it to P. She's a crack up!

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