Friday, July 16, 2010

maggie and townsville

i'm finally getting around to posting about our queensland trip (feels like it was ages ago we got back but i guess it's only been 6 days). our flights up were ok. we had a 3 hr layover in the gold coast which we spent just hanging around the small airport. when we took off on our next flight we realized a nice beach was just across the freeway from the airport. we could have gone to the beach!
this was the view from our balcony at the hostel we stayed at on magnetic island:

we stayed at magnums at alma bay. there was some confusion when we arrived and the hostel had been overbooked. they put us in a room that cost $10/nite more than what we reserved but it didn't really matter. we had the best room at the place (the one the manager stays in when he/she is there). it was the only one with fly screens on the bathroom and entry way windows and i think the only one with a (small) full sized fridge and some plates/bowls. the only annoying thing about the hostel was the hiring of pots, pans and cutlery for use in the shared kitchen (if i had brought my camping cutlery set i'd looked at when i was packing we would have been better off). basically to hire a pot set and 2 sets of cutlery (which had bowls/plate included that we didn't need cuz our room had some) it was a $70 deposit every time (and they didn't have enough to go around so it's best to return them when finished).
we did a lot of hiking during our stay. i worked it out one nite and figured we did around 10km each day the first 3 days of hiking/walking trips (and that doesn't count the bits we walked around town). we did see some amazing views though:
the forts walk:
nelly bay:
the reason we didn't end up snorkeling:
we had even borrowed snorkeling gear from friends in melbourne that we hauled up for the trip but we found out about the croc with a google search the day after we arrived. that sign was the only sign we saw on the trip (and i think we found that on our 4th day). we saw this sign after we had walked about a km along the waters edge of the beach this sign is posted on.
wild rock wallaby:
rock wallaby and joey:
the rock wallaby's lived at the edge of the bay across the road from our hostel. at dusk they come out and people feed them.
horseshoe bay (one of the furthest beaches from the crocodile siting, the only one we saw a lot of people swimming in. we went swimming briefly twice here):
a kite (i can't remember what kind):
it was sitting in a tree and i took a couple photos. just as i was adjusting my position he took off and i just managed to catch this shot as he flew over me.
picnic bay:
on our last nite we went for dinner at a restaurant that had mexican food (as well as an international menu). all the write ups i saw about the place talked about the wildlife around while you dine. i was assuming they meant curlews and other birds. there were possums as well:

the staff encourage them to hang out by feeding them tortilla chips. probably not the best thing for them. you'd think they could get some proper possum meal (or even veggies) for them but it was kind of cool to see that they were keeping the wildlife around the restaurant instead of trying to get rid of them (and the animals didn't bother anyone).
our last 2 days we spent in townsville. unfortunately we found out as we were trying to book accommodation that the v8 races were happening while we were there. it made townsville a not very fun place--especially since a huge number of out of town bogans seemed to be staying at our hostel and just hung out drinking and squawking all day and night. i had wanted to book nice accommodation in townville but everything was either booked up or had tripled their prices for the weekend. this place sounded nice and had kept their prices normal. i'm sure is normally a nice hostel when it's filled with international backpackers but it was a horrible place with the number of aussie bogans.
boats on ross creek:
the strand at dusk (i didn't have a tripod with me but this shot isn't too shaky):
the view from our hostel pool in townsville:

our flight home ended up taking a couple hours longer than it should have. we had an hour layover in syney but either because melbourne was having bad weather or there was a fault with the original plane that was coming from melbourne to sydney for our flight (we had 2 different stories for repeated delays) our flight kept getting pushed back and we ended up leaving sydney about the time we would have arrived at our house if the flight had gone on time. virgin was nice enough to give us all free in flight tv service (normally $4.90) so at least that was a little compensation for the delay. we ended up getting home just before 9pm (instead of just after 6pm) and having to cook a late dinner (we didn't know how long our flight was gonna be delayed so we didn't eat in sydney and just snacked on muesli bars and rice crackers and nuts all afternoon). it was really nice just to get away for a week to somewhere with warm weather. another month or so of winter here and we should start getting some warmer days (maybe a possible "t-shirt weather" day or 2)
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Slow news day

This was the headline poster for one of townsville's newspapers today. I think they must have been desperate to get inxs in the headline but they couldn't ignore the airport drug bust.

Friday, July 02, 2010


we decided to surprise zac's mum, nanna and aunt by coming to afternoon tea at the winsor hotel with them today (it was an extension of nanna's 90th birthday which was in april). me, zac and lea all had the day off work so lea called and added 3 more people to their booking (and she made sure they would provide vegan food for me and zac). we showed up 10 minutes before they opened the doors just as denise, glenda and nanna were walking out of the cricketer's bar towards the room where afternoon tea would take place. they were very surprised. the surprise was made even bigger when nanna's brother showed up just after we sat down (which explained why when lea changed the booking they said the original booking was for 4 not 3). i was impressed with the vegan option. there was an initial mix up where they brought out a vegetarian platter for us (filled with egg sandwiches and very not-vegan looking desserts) but they fixed it fairly quickly (when the server had sat us down she had asked who the 2 vegans were so they did know we were vegan). zac and i each got a vegan 3 tier tray with 2 scones on top, 5 sandwiches on the bottom (2 cucumber ones and 3 really nice eggplant and chutney ones) and some really nice sweets, fruit and jam in the middle (the dessert that is hidden in the photo was the best-- a sadwhich made with 3 small waffers with 2 filling layers in the middle of blueberries and a creamy chocolate sauce).
they even brought out a special dessert platter afterwards for nanna:

the 3 of them were all staying at the winsor tonite in 2 really nice ajoining rooms looking out to parliament house:
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