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Fri 8/4/11 Airlie Beach to Townsville

Final leg of the journey

Fri 8 /4/11 Airlie Beach to Townsville
We woke up at the requisite 5.30am but having been woken up by Tank barking in the early hours, letting the boys out to pee and him bailing up a girl coming back from the loos. Not such a great sleep.
the boys and I went for a walk down towards Funnel bay but turned up the road parallel with the main road and next to the airstrip.
Back at the van park, took a quick dip in the pool before we started the final pack up.
We seemed to take a bit longer today and Jimmi was a little snappy - over with quickly. We ended up leaving about 9.20am.
At the rest stop opposite the big mango, we found a track to the beach so took the opportunity to take off shoes and run around with the boys off leash. Back at the rest stop car park we met a couple traveling with three big dogs. The big dog cages taking up half the back of their ute was a giveaway, which is what I saw from the beach track so caught the boys and put leads on to walk back to the car.
A few kms up we stopped at the Caltex roadhouse for breakfast but the orange juice Jimmi got for me at the servo when we filled up in Airlie beach this morning still makes me feel a bit full.
Not a bad steak burger but not also the best so far. Consensus is the proper burger as opposed to the steak burger is the way to go.
Bypassed Bowen township and back on the Highway.
We saw an eagle and a few hawks. The landscape is quite flat and it doesn't appear from the scrub that there is much top soil. Lots of sand and we came close to sandstone outcrops. Another rest stop for the boys and Jimmi to stretch their legs. Disturbed a couple of galahs as we pulled in at 12pm.
Played with coconut husk with the boys - fetch.  Then Tank got something and I stuck my hand in to get it. Unfortunately he was in the process of using  his back molars to bite down when my finger got in the way. The pain was breathtaking to say the least. Turns out he'd dropped a piece of his chewy snack I'd given him when I got out of the car.
Took awhile for the pain to go away and now I just keep exercising my pointer man so it doesn't stiffen up.
We passed my first cattle train. Very cool. It's a hot day today but cloudy and windy so it's not a scorcher.
We passed through Gumlu which is all produce farms where Jim did some picking watermelons, rockmelons and pumpkins, years ago. Still seeing pockets of mango plantations since Bowen.  There's obviously more water or the water table is higher to support the growers. Still some water on the ground but all the creeks are really low.
Lots of cattle, almost all Brahman.
We stopped in Ayr after crossing the Burdekin River which was immense. At the rest stop, Plantation Park, there was a big cement snake. Not sure why! Maybe because of all the cane? Although it was a diamond python. The boys played in the pond fetching another coconut.
Ayr was a bigger town than I expected and Jim remembered. Mor
Driving along passed the Nap mango plantation on a field between the cane, we saw a huge flock of finches. Hundreds of tiny little birds in an undulating cloud weaving around a passel of bushes. Insects?
More cane but we're heading into the hills after passing the turn off to Giru.
Did I say hills? I meant mountains and it's been slowly getting hotter or more humid to be exact. Whew!
The road goes around the base of the mountains and passed the salt flats leading to the town of Aims.
We've passed over a lot of patched potholes and 30kms out of Townsville before Aligator Creek National Park there are still guys out filling them.
Townships has the biggest sign for a town we've seen and it's adjacent to the Information Centre there was a big brolga - another big!
We passed a lot of new development but then we sat at the lights opposite the Best Western where Jim got married!
Then we passed Austrlia'a biggest Army barracks. There was about five magpie geese and then just passed the main entry to the barracks, another 4.
Now starting to see some cyclone damage. Huge trees ripped out of the ground and all fallen over.
We passed the Palmetum where I'd like to go and over the Ross River. We continued passed the turnoff to Jim's Mom's place. I'm hoping we're not staying near the airport! If so that will make number 3!
Wow, what are the chances? Our Coral Coast Holiday Park has lovely gardens - hibiscus, palms, big pool AND wait for it ...... its next to to RAAF Airforce Base - another airport!
We've set up and Jim's gone to reception to print out some forms to fax to Sydney. So it's just the boys and me listening to he big trucks leaving town and the planes!!!

Posted by Jimandtina 03:12 Archived in Australia

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