Monday, September 10, 2012

Travelling south

After four days in Townsville we decided that if we were going to make it to
Melbourne by November we had to start the trip south. We have enjoyed our
visit and we were quite impressed by the city. So we packed up the caravan
yet again and travelled from Townsville via Ayr and Bowen to Airlie Beach.

Ayr was much bigger than either of us anticipated and as it was Saturday
morning the shopping area was busy. We continued on and pulled into Bowen
and stopped off at the esplanade where there was a mini market to celebrate
the opening of the children's water park. We were chatting to a local guy
who was happy to tell us that Bowen was originally named Blowen but that the
"l" got blowen away and now it is just Bowen. Obviously the wind that was
blowing was a regular occurrence.

We have travelled through many mango growing areas during the last few
months and just outside of Bowen there was "The Big Mango" prominently
displayed. However we are still waiting to be able to buy fresh orchard
mangos. Everywhere we have been told we are out of season. This is so

The rural area around Townsville and now travelling south is sugar growing
area and on both sides of the roads are sugar plantations of varying
heights. From time to time we had to stop at the rail crossing for the
sugar train to cross. We are interested in finding out more about the
processing of the sugar and have found that we may be able to visit a sugar
processing plant in Mackay which should be interesting.

We arrived in Airlie Beach mid Saturday afternoon and have set up camp at
the Seabreeze Tourist Park. Bowen is the northern tip of the Whitsundays
and from Airlie Beach the boats leave to travel to some of the 74 islands
making up the Whitsundays. On Sunday afternoon we drove the further ten
kilometres to Shute Harbour where there is a marina for the many yachts
visiting the area. We also saw some very damaged yachts in the bay -
perhaps damage caused by Cyclone Yasi which caused so much damage in this
area in early 2011. Some of the local islands are still closed being
renovated after the cyclone which gives an indicator as to how much damage
was caused.

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