Magnificent Maggie Island...
I got a lift up to Townsville today with Daniel, an American guy with whom I went on the dive boat. A really nice bloke, and very hospitable. On top of this, at $7 for a 4-hour journey up the coast, very cheap too! He dropped me off at the ferry terminal in Townsville, from where I caught the 3.45 (with all the schoolkids) over to Magnetic Island, so named because Captain Cook's compass went wonky. I stayed at Geoff's Place, a hostel which is a collection of wooden A-frames set in amongst tropical forest. I arrived to here some quality drum 'n' bass flowing from the bar - good karma. Then some peacocks walked past my front door. Then I looked at the kitchen - bad cleaner, or none at all, as it turned out. A place past it's former glory.
I got up today at about 8.30am, a minor miracle since I had no compelling reason to do so. The day was spent walking around the coast of the island, from Horseshoe Bay to Balding Bay (the unofficial nudist beach). I'd talked to Leo, a Dutch guy in my chalet, who'd told me that instead of going on the path to the next bay - Radical Bay - he'd gone around the rocks on the headland. Seemed like fun so I gave it a go. Not recommended, and I realised my mistake about halfway around when I had to start climbing. And it was baking hot. However, I eventually got to the other side, only to be confronted by an English girl in a very sparse bikini. "Are you all right?" she asked, as I was looking a bit tired. "I am now!" I thought, but didn't say.
I had a spot of lunch there, and read a bit more of my book by Solzhenitsyn, then continued past Florence and Arthur bays via the Searchlight tower, until I came to the path to the old WW2 fort. I got to the top eventually, and found the following poem inscribed in gold pen on a pole on top of the Signal post:
All the magic tales which keep the fire alive
Lost in a memory when I died
Keep whispering to our souls
Patiently pointing the way
Rejoicing with out hearts for another day
Power on EARTH
Power to EARTH
For us to find on day of birth
As we inhale the stars zipping through our whole
Challenged to remember our spirits goal
Whirling around us in a bold air of fear
I can't decide who's me but I think I'm near
Hiding in that corner which is never used
building up courage to stop my abuse
Taking a last deep breath no time to hesitate
Blow down the walls of my deepest hate
I thought it was quite cool; at this point I met an older couple from Victoria, who quizzed me for a bit, then gave me a lift to Nelly Bay in their moke (beach buggy-type thing). After getting some tea in, I was waiting for a bus and was bitten 60 times in 20 minutes by mossies! When the bus pulled up, it was full of the guys from the dive boat in Airlie, and a good night was had.
I spent the day on the beach - nice. Reading Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago", all about systemic torture and imprisonment in the Soviet Union - not so nice. I also miscalculated my finances, and was left with $11 (about GBP#4) to last until I left on the fifth. I now know there are no banks or cash machines on the island. But I still managed to fit it a fine drinking session with the (mostly Danish) guys from the dive boat. I can now say "Spank me hard and long!" in Danish - you never know, it might come in handy, but not for me, obviously.
Did nothing except read, an easy life. I couldn't do anything - I only had 35c on me!
Back to the main page