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Saturday 10th June, 2017

Cooktown

semi-overcast 24 °C

What a week. We left very Windy Bowen and was in Townsville Saturday. Wasn't sure what to expect but it is a very big city, about the same size of Cairns. The Cowboys and Gold Coast NRL teams were playing and the town pretty much booked out, so we decided to see what there was to see and then move on. We drove up the big hill called 'Castle Hill' that is in the middle of the city. Very popular with locals getting fit, walking and running up and down, but we did see a couple get a taxi up so they only had to walk down. We managed the lookout stairs, that was enough for us. After a Pub lunch we went to the Museum and Aquarium in Townsville which was both very interesting. The Museum detailed a ship that was wrecked of the coast that was sent to find 'The Bounty' and Dinosaurs and their bones found in the area.

No where booked to sleep and getting late, so we decided to head for Ingham, about an hours drive north of Townsville. We called ahead to realise that the van parks were booked out but a sign post gave us directions off the highway to 'Rollingstone' where a Big 4 van park was and it was an oasis in middle of nowhere. First when we rolled up we could hear music and thought that it was going to loud and noisy but it wasn't. It was the Saturday night entertainment and wood fire pizza were available for dinner, it was like hitting the jack pot. Decided to stay 2 nights and enjoy the pool, and walks along the beach. No Crocs sighted yet.

Moved on Monday morning and booked into the Flower House B&B at Mena Creek, a 10 minute drive from Paroella Park. This is a place I wanted to see. It is in ruins now from it's origins in the 1930's as being a tourist park with tennis courts, swimming, waterfall that generated power. It was the only place to have hot water and a ball room. Better Homes and Gardens TV show filmed a segment a few days before we were there and it will be on TV this Friday 16th June so you can see what we saw. We visited in the afternoon for a guided tour and then did the night tour at 6.15pm when they turn the lights on to the castle ruins. It was very interested and the garden is fabulous. History of a love story and the dreams of Joes Paroella to build his own castles came true but at a cost. It was destroyed by fire and then by 3 floods and cyclones over the years but wonderful to have been bought by a family while they were on holidays and are bringing it back to life. One day the ball room may have people dancing again if the funds can be raised.

Moved on from the Flower House where Dan tried and bought with him some of the tropical fruit that they grow there. Sarah, the owner, sells the ginger flowers to florists in Sydney and Melbourne. She picks them and boxes them up and they organise the pick up and flights. They get 4 metres of rain a year so we were very lucky to have 2 days of sunshine.

Arrived in Cairns and did our shopping and visited Mirella, Dan's godmother. Palm Cove was where Dan proposed to me back in May 2012 so we had a great Thai dinner and then drove down to the beach and had a Gelato on the same spot were he popped the question. It was lovely but very windy.

Yesterday we arrived in Cooktown. It is were Captain Cook landed his Endeavour to be repaired when it hit the reef in June 1770. They have a festival every year in June and that is why we are here. Last night we sat by the river and watched the local 'Fire Dancing Group' do their thing and then it was fireworks. As it's not crowded we were able to stand virtually right under them and it was fabulous. All the locals though it was great too. Must be the highlight of their year. Today was the Street Parade where the locals all walk down the street and when they passed us we followed them down to the park. So relaxed. Tonight the Indigenous Warrma Performance will be across the road from us so we will be able to watch if from our balcony. Tomorrow with the re-enactment for Capt Cooks landing which we will watch from our balcony too. We check out from our accommodation here and move to Milky Woods, a self contained accommodation a little out of town in the rain forest so we can go on walks and visit the gardens before we leave on Wednesday. From Wednesday we head north to Weipa, 5 days of camping! hope it doesn't rain.

More later, thanks for checking up on us. Love to all. H & D.

Posted by Scotta's safari 22:02 Archived in Australia

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Sounds like loads of fun but also relaxing. We arrived in sunny Queensland yesterday, leaving Urunga wet and cold. Beautiful here this morning however raining this evening. Visited Martin today - he's in good spirits & improving. Hit IKEA afterwards for the hell of it - been over 25 years since we went in one! Even had lunch there. Alfs got a roast pork cooking and smells amazing! Ant, Ang & Nic are home/pet sitting.Keep well & lots of love, The Princess 👑

by MargieC

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