If you are in need of fuel in Cairns, go to the BP at Earlville. Troy is a customer service gem, and he can keep his cool when it’s busy and he’s the only staff member there!
It’s a pretty drive down to Townsville from Cairns, back in banana and sugar cane country again. As we were going back through Innisfail, we had to stop and get some of those sweet bananas again. This time Kirstine also spotted a stand for sugar cane juice nearby, so walked back to investigate. The vendor told her that the sugars in the cane juice are unprocessed, and therefore better for you. She added fresh lime juice to cut through the sweetness, and it is now one of Kirstine’s favourite refreshing beverages – not that you can find it very often! The machine used to squeeze the juice from the hard green cane looked incredibly vicious, not a juicer that you might find in your kitchen or local café. This one had toothed rollers, and seemingly no gap in between them. They were incredibly effective though – you certainly wouldn’t put a finger in there. The kids had a taste of the juice, but the vendor also sent me on my way with some pieces of cane for the kids to chew/suck on. That was a new experience for them!
We were very happy to arrive in Townsville and meet the staff at the Coral Coast Top Holiday Park. Marijke is a delight, and made us feel very welcome. They generously provided us with a powered site for the duration of our stay. There is a small resident possum family at the park, and that night Marijke brought the children some apple slices and carrot to put out at the tree they like to hang out in, just behind our camper. Whilst the children were in bed when the possums came out, Kirstine was still up and about, and was pleasantly surprised to be able to handfeed both mama & baby possum. Granted, mama possum mistook her finger for a piece of apple and gave it a nibble, but soon realised the error when the real apple was offered.
We ventured up Castle Hill, not on foot, and enjoyed the views, and were most amused to get back in the car and be listening to “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran on the way back down! Paul was having a difficult afternoon with flashbacks to recent nightmares and past events, so it was a quiet afternoon for him and Luna. Kirstine took the kids to visit a long time friend, and our kids got along famously! It’s like they’d known each other for years!
Before leaving, we were invited to an interview with ABC North Queensland radio. That one went live to air, which was a first for Kirstine. It was wonderful to be so warmly received.
Townsville has several groups that are focussing on suicide prevention, and though their calendars didn’t align with ours, we find it very positive to follow their activity on Facebook. The fact that we had a total of three caravan parks offer us a site while we visited, is indicative in our opinion, of the strong community drive towards better mental health for their residents.