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Returning to Townsville After Fun on Magnetic Island
Tuesday 5th April 2011 – Townsville, Australia
My few days on Magnetic Island had come to an end today, and I was headed back to the mainland, back to the hostel of hell that is Adventurer’s Backpackers. It was very hot today and I wished I had another day here on the island, but it was all pre-booked and I had to leave.
I packed and left the hut this morning and sat in the reception area waiting for my bus to arrive. I had to kill some time first and decided to have an ice cream whilst talking with some of the guys in the hostel. As I opened my wallet for the money to pay for the tasty treat, a big gust of wind ripped the money from my grasp sending 300 Australian Dollars into the air. There was a big gasp from the shop attendant, the other guests and myself. The next few minutes saw everyone scrambling to his or her hands and knees in a frenzy trying to stop the money from disappearing altogether. Thankfully, and with the help of everyone around me at the time, I managed to retrieve all of the money. I considered it a lesson learnt.
My bus arrived and I said my goodbyes and began the journey off the island. I was a little sad as I often am when I leave a place that I have enjoyed, or a place in which I have made a lot of friends. Having met a lot of people here, and having seen a lot of faces that I have met previously in Australia, it makes the place seem more familiar, more like home. I grow more attached to a place in this instance and it is hard to leave. I starred out the window of the bus as we went to get my last glimpse of the island, then all too quickly we had arrived at the ferry port for the next stage of the journey.
The ferry was a little rough this morning and turned my stomach at times. I was glad to be at the other side, and back into Townsville. Then I realised I was back in Townsville, and as I completed the walk back to the hostel, I had constant reminders of why I dislike the place so much. The boats in the harbour were a pleasant site though, and if you look past the city and to the backdrop, the hills and mountains offered welcome relief to the greys and blacks of the city foreground. I arrived at the 24-hour reception of the hostel only to find nobody there again. Again, I had to ring for assistance, and again the girl was both unwelcoming and unhelpful. Whilst talking to me she stopped to talk to somebody else in the reception area. This guy was built like a tank so there was no wonder her attention gravitated towards him. Their conversation lasted a good ten minutes, leaving me standing there like a plum. I took my key and left.
In this huge hostel I was surprised to receive the key to the room next door to that which I had previously, and was actually thrilled to see I was the only person in the room currently. I bagged the best bed – albeit the best of a bunch of four beds destined for the scrap heap – and sat on the chair to relax and regain some energy.
Later, I walked into the city for a walk about, stopping occasionally for food or for a better view of my surroundings. I just couldn’t shake off my dislike for the place though, as much as I tried. I spoke with my friend from home today over the phone, who is also in Australia with her boyfriend, and we have all arranged to meet in Airlie Beach tomorrow which should be good fun. I was looking forward to that.
I saw out the day as I often do, finishing off little things before settling down to a good movie this evening on my laptop. I had the room to myself tonight and so I was happy to just relax with my movie and snacks.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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