31.08.2010 - 12.11.2010
We arrived in Townsville an hour after leaving Ayr & were dropped off at the bus station which was luckily below our intended hostel. The Transit Hostel was in dire need of repair & a paint job both inside & out but still felt homely right from the start. We checked into a reasonably priced inner double room without a window & explored a bit. The hostel although above the station was not noisy. The main corridor from our room led down past the toilets to a small kitchen & then further on a lounge/t.v. area, complete with free pool table & an outside dining area where most of the backpackers were. We stayed there 2 months, getting to know some of the people quite well, particularly Sietze & Harriet who we took a gruelling hike up the infamous Castle Hill one of many green mounts sticking up out of the Townsville region, & the Kiwi cleaning couple Justin & Becky who were to later become our flatmates.
We found Townsville a dramatic change to the sleepy little Ayr. The city was filled with hostels, shops, bars & expensive restaurants to entertain & drain the wallet. The centre was small but the city stretched out into multiple suburbs each with their own malls/shopping centres dotted about. The area we were attracted to though was just outside the city centre in an area known as The Strand. This prime piece of real estate consisted of one long main road running along next to the beach with several smaller roads leading off to another main road with a small shopping centre. The beach although evidently man made was long & golden if a bit dirty & behind it joggers & families comfortably followed the concrete trail in the shade of a big barrier of trees down to the 'lagoon' saltwater swimming pool at the far end. The modern three storey buildings all along the road & behind were a mix of nice restaurants, hotels & apartments. Thanks to Justin & Becky we were lucky enough to stay in one of those apartments near the lagoon (which they had found as a short lease on gumtree website).
Our days were spent looking for work as we drifted from one job to another - Vicky starting in a kebab kiosk working late night into the early hours then moving onto the posh Bennies Hot Wok on Palmer Street the pleasant palmtree-lined road in the cbd filled with restaurants & some hotels that led to the habourside & our old hostel. Finally she got work at the cafe in the Lifesaving Club, a small 'hut' building by the beach across the road from our apartment. Unlike Vicky I couldn't handle the pressures of hospitality so after a brief spell doing just that at Jupiter Casino for Manpower temp agency I moved back into my newly discovered success of door to door sales. Responding to an online ad I joined Insight Marketing Group in the cbd & was taken under the wing of the kind, bubbly Aussie Les who showed me the technique for selling satellite t.v. The small office fluctuated as new people started & then left but I stuck at it getting promoted to the same level as Les after a few weeks of team leader. He became an amazing friend & we found ourselves sharing our lives with him either hanging out at his as he made his infamous beef burger patties or at our classy 2 bed apartment that came fully furnished with everything including big t.v, kitchenware, sheets, sofas, etc.