Saturday morning I waited for the train in Bowen. The evening before I took the evening bus back from Collinsville. I was the only passenger in the bus, and the bus driver dropped me off at the fuel station, and even managed for me to stay at the “truck driver” room, so I could have my dinner there. For the night I pitched up my tent at a Mango plantation directly opposite to the railway station and the tracks. Apart from some trains which passed during the night, it was ok for one night to stay there. In Townsville my host Jarrah picked me up from the railway station. He lives with his German girlfriend Marina, but actually she’s already since more than ten years living in Townsville. Due to the next cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria, which is about 1000 km away, there’s also a very large downpour along the East Coast due to the influence of the cyclone. Hence, since I arrived in Townsville it started raining for the next three days, just with a few breaks in between. At Saturday evening, in one of the rare breaks, Jarrah & Marina took me to Castle Hill, which is basically the main peak in the town. Even with the low hanging clouds I could get a 360° glimpse which included also Magnetic island. The town is pretty much surrounded by different mountain ranges, and is expanded in the flat areas between them.
Sunday morning we went to a local market and met some friends of them. As it was raining the whole time, we haven’t been in a hurry. So we took our time for an extended brunch. In the afternoon we went out of town, as we wanted to do some swimming or floating on a creek. The first creek was pretty full of water, as it rained 150mm the last 24 hours. Nevertheless, Jarrah wanted to give it a go in one section, which looked a bit more calm. After he finished he said one section was pretty rough, but the end was fine. But as we wanted to head a police car came by and told us not to swim today in the creek. So we went on to a campground and another creek. In this section swimming was allowed. The current was pretty strong, and to cross the creek you need to take into account your downdrift. Each of us had one drift on the mattress. Unfortunately, there were just too much mosquitoes. Hundreds of them were flying around your head, even as it was raining and you’ve been in the water. So eventually after the three floats in this section, we hurried back to the car in order to escape from the mosquitoes. On the way back we stopped for some ice cream made from tropical fruits. I went for Jack fruit, which is not pretty usual somewhere else, and it tasted quite nice.