Thursday, March 27, 2008

DAY 155: Day 2 off on Magnetic Island

Thurs 27th March 2008
Distance to date 9322 km (5826 miles)
Hot and sunny

After a chatty breakfast with a French chiropractor I remorsefully left the bike locked up (don't like walking!) and headed off to explore secluded tropical beaches. At the east end of Horseshoe Bay a well-signposted walking path starts that climbs over the hill to Balding Bay (1.4 km) and Radical Bay (another 1.4 km). The path is built from large boulders and although stable it is somewhat irregular and takes care, as it passes through a steep gully of fairly dense rainforest - so is quite shady. It was very peaceful with hardly anyone else around, just the reverberation of birdsong around the silent and narrow valleys. In the last 200m you start to hear the sea gently slapping onto the beach, before the 300m-long curved Baldwin Bay suddenly appears. I parked myself by a shady rock at one end and had a splash around for a while, keeping a wary eye open for stingers. After a hard Sudoku later I walked back up the valley and over to Radical Bay, which is just as beautiful and framed with palm trees. I must have stayed here a while but since my watch has packed in I’ve no idea of the time. It's no use t
The hunger pangs told me it was time to go back to Horseshoe, and I treated myself to a Cajun prawn salad and glass of beer to celebrate another wonderful day in paradise.
In the afternoon I explored around Horseshoe Bay a little more before cooking dinner back in the camp kitchen, eaten with large helping of chat. I couldn’t resist cycling back to the pub for another cold Guinness though.
Tomorrow I’m heading off back over the water to Townsville and somewhere north (probably).

Trying to describe just how beautiful this place is - all I can say is if you ever come to this part of Oz don't fail to come and see Magnetic Island - it's a magical place.

The island was named by the way by captain Cook, who thought that the island had some sort of magnetic interference with his compasses - which doesn't appear to be true in fact.