I left airlie beach on friday 27th november and was very glad to move on. The plan was to head to bowen- another fruit picking destination- for a few days york (eugh) then on to townsville. I got dropped off the bus by 'number 3' a new oz experience driver who was on his first journey and a little bit sketchy on the drop off point. I was literally left in the middle of nowhere- in front of 1 shop, the only thing in sight the large -'bowenwood' sign on the hill. Ok i thought. which hostel? It was a couple of minutes later i panicked. My small rucksack with my books, toothbrush, clothes etc was still on the bus.
I quickly rang the oz ex office in sydney as i had noones number on the bus. I imagined that the driver would leave my bag at the next stop in townsville where i would pick it up in a few days. But no, the guy on the phone told me the driver was turning round. FINALLY i felt the extra 300 dollars i had paid for oz experience was paying off!! The next five minutes waiting for the bus gave me time to ponder...was bowen really the place to be? or would i end up in another bundaberg-esque nightmare?
When the driver returned i told him i was getting back on!! he joked that i had left my bag deliberately to check out bowen (which come to think of it wasnt a bad idea!)
I headed on to townsville. My plan was to meet up with morgan, ben and dave from oz intro who were camping there and working. However i culdnt get through, my phone kept dying and my bags were extremely heavy due to the 6 value soaps i had purchased back at airlie. (6 coles own brand are cheaper to by than one dove!)
The bus driver left me at the ferry terminal and by the time i walked into the town i was so exhausted and hot that i checked into the first hostel i came to.
Townsville is a strange place. It isnt a tourist town but simply a gateway to magnetic island. It is however a big city and there are a lot of homeless people/ alcoholics roaming the streets.
My hostel however was lovely and i made my christmas presents.
The next morning i walked into an art gallery only to discover they were having a papuan new guinean/ figian morning tea- complete with dancers and most importantly- free food! i must admit i ate a lot and packed a few scones into my bag for the road.
After this i met morgan dave and ben and spent the next 2 nights camping with them. I didnt really like living out of a camper van and im glad i opted for the bus now. We went to an irish bar and i payed 4 dollars for a coke which upset me no end. Then we went to the cinema to see 2012 which was alright- something different i suppose. my first cinema experience in oz and going by the price my last for a while.
The next morning i headed to magnetic island. I have been here for the past week. I managed to get a job woofing- which means working for free food and accomodation in base- the hostel i had been staying in. To be continued.