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Kim’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 08 Apr 2007

Location: Townsville, Australia

MapAnother day and another new place -

We spent the day yesterday in Rockhampton, a town that once hoped to be the capital city of Queensland and had the buildings for that position, some wonderful examples of early victorian design and was in its time a major port for the area with shipping leaving loaded up with coal, silver, copper but the harbour mouth was hard to find and the sandbanks claimed too many lives. It is now a quiet sleepy place. A wander around the malls and buildings and back to the YHA for a quiet afternoon in the sun with tea and the papers. We have to catch the train at 20.25 but be there 45 minutes bfore it leaves to check bags in.

It is a bit of a buggar but we have discovered that there is a rodeo on in town tonight but it does not start until 7.00 so a lift is cadged from the bus driver to the station as we can evidently walk from the station to the Great Western Hotel and maybe just get a glimpse of the guys practising.

Station is out of town and when we arrive, totally closed and locked up - our train is the only one in or out tonight and no-one needs to arrive until 7.00 - a bit stuck with too many bags to carry and no lockers but a solution is found in the shape of a really nice guard who agrees to look after our gear and off we trot hot footed to the hotel. This hotel was orginally owned by Russell Crowe but he has sold it on. A really comfortable country and western pub with a great atmosphere, a purpose built rodeo out the back and great food. We managed an hour there and did get to see a little of the bull riding before legging it back to the station in plenty of time to catch th train.

We have a berth as it is an overnight train and are not too happy to discover that the third bunk has been sold, so there are three of us sitting in the smallest berth you have ever seen, made the journey from Chaing Mai seem like a ride on the Orient Express in terms of room but it is all part of the grand plan and it was not long before the ice was broken and we were all chatting. Come bed time, bunks were lowered and here came the fun part - Sandra was in the middle bunk and the space was so small is was impossible to turn over unless you lay totally flat, legs could not be bent or arms raised - a long night was had by all and it did not help that the third party was getting off at 5.00am and we all had the wake up call at 4.30ish!!! but we made it and are now in Townsville, yet another port but this time on the reef and heading up to Cairns and Port Douglas tomorrow again by train.

Like the UK, it is Easter here but unlike the UK, most of the shops have closed for the long weekend and it is a bit of a struggle to find things open but we can cope. I was really chuffed as the Easter Bunny did not forget me either and I got two eggs this morning and they are all mine!!!!!!

Next page will be from under the water at the Barrier Reef and you will all be totaly bored with my descriptions of fish!!

Happy Easter everyone