TUESDAY 16 JUNE TOWNSVILLE
Today, I became an old-age pensioner! Well, an old-age part-pensioner. Did I feel old? No – but I remembered a time when people I knew who were pensioners, seemed old!
Off John and Truck went. I did some more washing. They were back by 11.30 – all fixed. The Landrover man had quickly identified that the brake booster unit – a big, round, thing just under the bonnet – had a couple of almost microscopic cracks in it – metal fatigue. He had one in stock, so it had been quick to replace. All up, cost $360. John was very pleased. He said the brakes felt excellent.
Now that the Truck issues were resolved, I phoned the caravan park at Rollingstone, to book us in there for a week, after our time here was up. We had not been there before, and it seemed like it would be a good base to explore the surrounding country. Also, not too much further on, in case there did turn out to be more issues with Truck. I’d kind of lost some faith, this trip.
After lunch, went for a drive, with the aim of visiting Townsville’s northern beaches. We diverted off to look at Bushland Beach, a site of new sub-divisions, where we were attracted to tour a display home that was open. Chatted with the salesman about building methods up here, land subdivision, and Townsville’s development and spread in general. The salesman estimated that, to build that sort of house, put in a shed for John and a pool – essential in this sort of climate in summer – we’d need about a 750 square metre block, and we’d be up for northwards of $500,000. Yikes! Keeping our Melbourne base. where we had all the above except the warmer weather, still looked the better option. We had a bigger garden at home, as well, to grow our summer vegies.
Whilst in the area, went to have a look at the beach. Thought it looked pretty ordinary, with mangrove stands at each end. To me, mangroves equal sandflies, which equal undesirable place to be. It made a pretty photo, though.
Drove back to town, where we parked at Kissing Point – great name! Later research indicated it was named for a similarly called place in Sydney. Nothing romantic: the NSW version was the furthest point up the Parramatta River that boats could reach before their keels kissed the bottom. I preferred the romantic connotations my imagination had come up with.
From there, we walked along the Strand – Townsville’s wonderfully attractive parklands and path along the waterfront – as far as the Fishing Jetty. This was not much distance. John was very slow today, and needed rests along the way.
Whilst walking we gazed at the assorted beach front apartments, and played the game of saying which one we’d buy, if we won a lottery. A winter holiday apartment…… with seriously magic views over the Strand and out to Magnetic Island and the other islands. But then decided that, if we had that sort of money, we would just rent, short-term, and thus not be tied to any one place. Dream on!
The Council had done an excellent job of developing and landscaping the Strand area and making it a wonderful resource for people of all ages. At intervals, there were metal sculptures of sea creatures – convenient resting places for the slow one. The wild weather earlier in the year had done some damage along the beachfront that was still being repaired.
Even though Townsville did not have the image of a tourist town, there was really quite a lot here to see and do. I found it a very pleasant place.
Back to the van then, and the making of fried rice for tea.
There was an unexpected phone call. from A, a lady from our home bowls club. She and her husband spent some of each winter here, as did quite a few bowlers from our club. She’d picked up from someone from Sunday’s bowls, that we were here. She asked me to play bowls on Thursday, at the Jubilee Club. I assumed it was mixed, and agreed. Then, it became clear it was a women’s only afternoon. Blindsided! John was very amused. He said he’d find a game for himself somewhere else.