Monday, November 4, 2013

There were fruit bats, too

It's been a military day today. We started off with Toby's Military Tour of Townsville, which is a very thorough 4-hour look at the town's Air Force and army history. Does that sound dull? It wasn't, even though my knowledge of things like the Kokoda Track and the Coral Sea battles was pretty sketchy.

There were code breakers, a Black Hawk crash, a couple of museums, some video and a whole heap of movie-worthy stories about individual airmen and soldiers. We saw relics of the Burmese railway, German machine guns that cut down enemy (our) soldiers by the thousand, medals, models, plans and photos. There was due weight given to the NZ in Anzac, and Toby's enthusiasm and opinions made him just the sort of guide I like to have. We also made a short visit to the Gardens, where a huge colony of flying foxes - fruitbats - were making a suprising amount of noise for nocturnal creatures.

Then we took the ferry to Maggie Island - Magnetic Is to us outsiders - where we drove a (manual!) toy car around the bays. We climbed up the ancient and artfully weathered boulders to the gun emplacements and lookout points at the top of the island, and we saw blue sea, green bush and orange rocks, but no koalas or rock wallabies, sadly. But the huge and lovely pool at Peppers Blue on Blue Resort cheered us up, and the really delicious dinner afterwards sent us to bed happy.

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