It was a six 6am start this morning as we were leaving Cairns and going to Townsville. We have bought a two month bus ticket which allows us to stop off as many times as we like all the way to Sydney, and today was our first journey. After using buses so often in Asia we had gotten used to our bag being thrown on, everyone piling on the bus, and sitting in dirty uncomfortable seats. So this in comparison seemed like luxury. We were ticked off the drivers list, everyone boarded the bus in a queue, and we strapped ourselves into our seatbelts. Even the stops were good, rather than waiting for everyone to finish the cigarettes after the departure time the driver just closed the door and set off!
The roads are exactly how you'd imagine, long and straight with miles and miles of nothing. Then you'd hit a "town" which wasn't more than a small village, pass though in a few seconds, then back on the long and straight.
We landed in Townsville and went straight to the tourist information hoping they would advise us on hostels. They gave us a list of about four which considering Townville is the "capital" of north Queensland we were disappointed with. We set off to the two nearest ones, only to be told their cheap rooms were fully booked for the next two days, the same story round the corner. Apparently there was some sort of festival on this weekend which is why we were struggling. We were forced to book into an expensive "Motel" room, which was in fact a dormitory with a TV. One of the girls we were sharing the room with had done a very similar trip to us, we swapped stories for a while then headed out to try and find somewhere cheeper to stay for tomorrow night.
We tried a few other hostels but they were all charging more then we wanted to pay, so we came up with a plan b.... camping! In Cairns we had seen tents for sale in Woolworths for £18 so thought this would be a great way to try and save some money. We went back to Tourist Information, who supplied us with a camping and caravan brochure for Queensland. She marked the nearest site to town on the map for us, which looked like it was within walking distance, so perhaps getting a bit ahead of ourselves, considering we still didn't have a tent, we booked in for tomorrow night. We then went to Woolworths to buy the tent, only to find this store didn't bloody sell them! We tried a few other supermarkets but they didn't sell tents either. We found a camping shop selling tents at £30, but decided we'd have a think about the camping idea over night and buy one tomorrow if we still fancied it.