After spending one night only on Mission Beach - again because of the weather, we heading further south to Townsville. We arrived at around half seven in the evening and instead of the usual backpacker hostel, had booked into a cheap hotel. The place was really spooky with long dark corridors and hardly anyone around. It then became a mission and a half to find somewhere to get some food - even McDonalds was closed. Our conclusion was that Townsville was one of the crappier places on the East coast but as a gateway to Magnetic Island, was a necessary stop. Advice to all though is not to bother staying there but hop straight onto the ferry and get over to Magnetic Island.
I think Captain Cook named it Magnetic Island though I am not entirely sure why! Anyhow, we rocked up the following afternoon and booked into one of the main backpacker hostels BASE (Nonny - you should know this one!). It's really great here - the ocean is amazing, though you cant swim unless you wear a stinger suit! Quite scary creatures, apparently you can die from the pain of the sting. Ouch! The first night was spent boozing of course, at our bar which is really cool. It turned out that it was one of the guy's (Iain's) birthday so that seemed good as reason as any to indulge in a few drinks. Before we knew it, we had the entire bar around our table playing Ring of Fire. We also managed to recruit the bar manager who kept bringing tray after tray of freebie drinks, which is of course always a bonus!
The following morinng, obviously feeling a little groggy! However, went kayaking with Iain and Ben (a guy in our dorm) in an attempt to feel better. Kayaked past a nudist beach but unfortunately (or fortunately) there was noone around. Spent the afternoon working on the tan around the pool, feeling too ill to do much else! Drinking really does take it out of me these days. Magnetic island is a lovely place, definitely worth a few days stay but with our hectic schedule pressing we left the following day for Airlie Beach.