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A Hike up Castle Hill in Townsville
Saturday 2nd April 2011 – Townsville, Australia
My first impressions of Townsville have been not so great as yet. The bad weather, the unhelpful people and negative experiences are clouding my judgement somewhat, so I wanted to get out today and see more of Townsville. I figured there is no better way of seeing Townsville than from a high vantage point, and Castle Hill was just the place.
I spent the morning using the free Wi-Fi in the local McDonald’s outlet, and wanted to book my trip to Magnetic Island over the Internet. There was a particular deal that I could get for one hostel that looked particularly interesting from the pictures, but I had to phone up to get this deal. With this in mind I packed up and decided to take a walk up to Castle Hill.
I had read somewhere that there may be in the region of 1300 steps to the top of the hill, and as I started out I could see only steps in front of me. It would be a hard slog, but I was more than happy to go for it. With numerous joggers and fast walkers passing me, I didn’t think the walk could be that bad. The ground was wet from the recent rain this region has had, and the weather throughout the day was changeable, but there were no problems getting up the hill. I was a little worn out upon reaching the top, but the views that greeted me were well worth the 1300 steps. From here you could see all of Townsville and surrounding areas. Although there was a lot of cloud cover today, you were still able to see Maggie (Magnetic Island) off in the distance. The rain gave a dramatic feel to the surrounding backdrop.
A cool water tap at the top of the hill was a welcome surprise, and needless to say I filled up my water bottle ready for the descent, but the hike down the steps would turn out to be much tougher on the legs than the trek up the steps. My legs were already heavy from the uphill climb, and as I negotiated each step, I fell onto the next with a thud. This put a lot of strain on my legs, and I had to stop regularly for breaks. I must be very unfit.
I walked back to the hostel via the supermarket, and by now it was raining continually. I was soaked through upon getting back to the hostel. I wanted to book my stay in Magnetic Island through the hostel as it was cheaper to do it by phone, and apparently cheaper still if done through the hostel, but this turned out to be more hassle than it was eventually worth. The girl in reception – the same girl who was suppose to be manning the reception last night but was hungover – could not have been less helpful. There seemed to be nothing going on inside her head, and she was evidently incapable of booking my hostel for me. In the end she handed the phone to me and walked away, much to my amazement, and of the guy on the other end of the phone. As it turned out, I may just as well have booked it online as I saved next to no money at all doing it this way.
After sorting out the ongoing journey I had to call the receptionist back from the office behind the reception to help with information regarding the bus I had to take and the times etc. She didn’t have a clue and just fed me a lot of useless information about nothing. I half wondered if she was drunk, or on drugs. I had to go back to McDonald’s again to use the free Wi-Fi and obtain the information that I should have received from the receptionist.
My stay in Townsville had been plagued by frustration to date, and the hostel I was in hadn’t helped in this matter. The constant thud of dance music from the other hostel guests was the icing on the cake, and I was looking forward to escaping as soon as possible. Tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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