I'd always intended on making the journey south from Carnes to Melbourne on the Greyhound but taking the camper up north for a week changed my mind.I'm not sure if it was the fact that I missed driving so much or that I loved the freedom of being able to stop wherever I wanted, not being restricted by bus timetables and pre planned routes.
So I negotiated a good deal with the camper rental company and started the epic drive south to Melbourne.
The drive out from Alice to see the rock taught me how vast Austrailia is but I stuppildy assumed that once I was out of the out-back and on the coastal road the drive would be a little lest monotonous. The first leg of my Journey took me through 600km of sugar cane plantations to Townsville. There were a few stop off points along the way, none of any excitement or intrest.When I arrived in Townsville, I managed to tour the town on foot in about twenty-five minutes.After seeing everything Townsville had to offer I parked my van down at the marina and went for a run along the river.The problem with running along the bank of a croc infested river is that you tend to run with one eye looking for the damn things and the other looking for trees, fences, cars, posts, boats etc. that would be the next refuse point if Mr Snappy was to show himself.The rational part of your brain knows that you are never going to see a croc so close to town much less be attacked but the irrational part of your brain, that part that makes you keep a baseball bat under the bed in case of burgalars takes over when you come across the 'danger crocs' signs.
I felt quite prepared though, since visiting Singapore zoo I learnt that that the muscles in a crocodiles mouth are very strong when closing but un like the alligator it has very poor muscles to open the mouth.In short you would be able to pop an elastic band around the crocs mouth and it wouldn't be able to bite you.So armed with this information I always ran with a pocket full of elastic bands and hoped that if I did have to wrestle one to put a lacky band around it's mouth that I hadn't got my crocs and alligators confused!!!
Anyway, Townsville a small town in the middle of nowhere, with not much to offer.
I had another500km to drive to reach my first planned stopped of Arlie Beach gateway to the Whitsundays, so I stayed the night in the Marina and headed south at 7am.