Thursday, October 1, 2009


This morning I climbed an big hill then caught the bus up to Cairns.

The big hill was named Castle Hill. The town of Townsville sits at the base of the hill. The hill part of the name is accurate, but the castle part is not. Well, I suppose it looks a bit like some castles, maybe, but there aren't any castles in this part of the world.

Anyway, I really had to scamper up the hill and back down in order to make it to the hostel in time to check out. You should have seen me. I'm a much different hill climber than I was back in WA. No breaks till the lookouts in hot, humid morning weather. There were many other people doing the climb too because people in coastal cities love to stay in good shape.

I'm really glad the 6 hour ride to Cairns will be one of my last on a Greyhound for awhile. I'm just sort of tired of moving around and I'm really looking forward to staying in one place for a bit. I did see some interesting sites on the drive though. This is a banana and sugar cane growing region. All of the towns smell like corn on the cob. I think the busdriver said that's because the refineries use a lot of oil in the sugar extraction process. I wasn't really paying enough attention though because, man, the busdrivers down here chat a lot.

At one little town called Tully we pulled in right beside a giant gumboot! It also had a giant frog on its side. Here's a bad picture of it. I wasn't supposed to be off the bus, but I had to snap a quick photo.

Then, to my delight at the next little town near Mission Beach was parked beside a giant Cassowary. Here's its backside. I really hope I see a real Cassowary in the wild (twitch).

Other than that, Cairns isn't really my scene. It does seem beautiful, but it's just too busy and crazy with bright lights and crazy people at night. The hostel I'm staying in is huge and really impersonal. I have located a wool shop, however, (the last thing these people need) so I will be dropping in tomorrow before the person from the research station picks me up. I also need to find some shorts because I didn't pack mine. That was sort of silly. I will say that I did a pretty good job in the packing department (thanks everyone for all your advice). I've used everything and have had things to wear for every occaision (thank goodness I packed that fleece because I wore it every minute awake and asleep for the first month of my trip).

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