12TH – 16TH June, 2013

Well, here we are in Townsville Australia’s largest tropical city which has one of the highest residential growth rates in Australia.

Townsville was established on the banks of a crocodile infested mangrove creek to serve pastoral development in the hinterland.

The first land sales for Townsville were held in Bowen in 1865 and a year later the settlement was officially named “Townsville” in recognition of its financial benefactor Captain Robert Towns.

The Coral Coast Van Park where we are staying is still much the same as it was four years ago when we were here, although they have put in a lot more cabins. It is about 7ks from the centre of Townsville and right at the end of the RAAF/ARMY Base, much to Blue’s delight.

The sites are well positioned and fairly large with a nice covering of trees and plenty of grass.

We have done the run around the city then out onto The Strand which was man made and has views across to Magnetic Island.

We had fish and chips for lunch from Harold’s. The best fish and chips in Queensland so they tell me. It was quite nice and the batter was very thin and not at all fatty as a lot of fish and chips are.

Walked from one end of The Strand to the other and you can bet your life if there is a playground or water anywhere within miles Blue will find it. He had such fun ducking the water fountains and the bucket in the kiddy park along the beach front.

It is a very nice walk, lots of palm trees, green grass and in the middle of the street some rather large Morton Bay figs with all the roots coming down out of the trees and anchoring to the ground.

We have been shopping to Woollies at Stockland, what a bee hive that place is and also to the Centro area where a lot of places have their outlets. Happy to say that apart from buying a new set of leveller ramps for the van we didn’t spend very much money at all. Oh, of course we went to Bunning’s….LOL

We went to the markets at Willow Shopping Centre, run by Rotary and a variety of stalls and some lovely fresh fruit and vegies.

We also went into the city to Flinders’ Street. One of the main streets in the city where they close off two blocks on a Sunday morning for markets. The stalls here weren’t as varied as those at Willows. Some of the shops open on Sunday mornings as well to take advantage of the people around and about.

I bought a back pack for $15, a red and grey one, which will be much easier to manage rather than the shoulder bag I have at the moment.

After the markets we went back to The Strand and walked the southern end.

While we were there we decided to have a Gelato…………. Rather nice and a real treat as we don’t normally eat things like that.

We left The Strand and went for a drive along Pallarenda Road which is along the beach front and out to the furthest point north.

There are some lovely homes up that way and I was very impressed with the retirement complexes they have. The RSL has a huge one ranging from self-contained villas to nursing home.

On the way back we bought a pineapple, some bananas and a pawpaw all for the princely sum of $6.

On the way back to the van park we stopped outside the gates of the RAAF Base so Blue could have one last look at his beloved Caribou.

Back at the van I cut up all the fruit, the pineapple is really nice, the bananas……well, they are bananas, nothing much different than the ones you get anywhere else. The pawpaw was a different matter………………smelled to me like sweaty socks and didn’t taste much better either. The Gnome (Greg) says he likes pawpaw so guess who got it.

We have spent the afternoon quietly and also doing some organising and packing ready for our departure in the morning.

It has been a nice four days here in Townsville but I am ready to move on now.

We are heading for Cairns but it could take us a week or two to get there, so many interesting and nice places between here and there to see.

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