The week after my return from Port Douglas is absolutely delightful. It flies past in a blur of coffee shops, travel guides and exercise both light and…heavy? I very much like the City of Townsville; it is friendly, full of energy and of a size that means you bump into people you know just often enough.
I lack transport during the days, but Derek is kind enough to lend me his bike (the same one I carried during Adventurethon) and I use it to cycle the 5km into the city. I start most days at Cafe Dominion – where they serve the best coffee in Townsville – beneath a mountain of Guides to Queensland. There is much to do and not necessarily a huge length of time in which to do it all.
I spend most the remaining daylight hours tapping away on my laptop, ordering burritos at Zambrero and eating burgers made into wraps at Sweatshop, where the walls are plastered with local artwork.
When Sweatshop closes, they let me sit outside and take advantage of their Wifi to get online. Although there is free community Wifi in the City Centre (amazing!), my electronics simply won’t connect to it. I postulate that the Wifi is racist.
Come the evenings, when it is finally cool enough to venture outside for any length of time, I often take to the Strand; a 2km strip of path right next to the beach and sea. Here people stroll, run and (in my case) sprint up and down, enjoying the evenings in peace or pain, depending on their personality.
When Alli arrives home from work, we typically head out to do some form of exercise, whether it be running on the Strand, doing chin-ups by the beach or walking up Castle Hill, alongside hundreds of other active Australians. Seriously, the approach to exercise here is simpy inspiring.
On Thursday evening, Alli takes me along to her yoga class – Live and Breathe Yoga. This is the first time I have done yoga and I enjoy it so much that I decide to write about it seperately. Suffice to say, Alison – the teacher – is remarkable and manages to make inflexible old me realise how much I can get out of yoga already!
On Friday night, after enjoying the happy hour at the Brewery (a pub serving locally brewed craft ale) we make our way to a free music event, which turns out to be an open mic night. I refrain from playing, luckily, and spend th night enjoying the acts – especially Ella G.
The next day, we meet with some folk from the yoga class who have been doing a back bending workshop. After a splendid morning of coffee and story-telling, we head to an exhibition on photography from the Afghanistan War. It is somewhat harrowing.
That evening, to cheer us up, we visit the cinema to see Samsara. Little do we realise that, as well as stunning filmography of the world’s most breathtaking views, it is also a grim insight into Western consumerism and the meat processing industry… We all leave feeling like terrible people, apart from Amanda – who is vegan. Even she feels pretty bleak; a tribute to the movie that belies its genuinely staggering beauty.
That night, we have a vegetarian dinner and drink wine to cheer ourselves up. It works a treat. Life is good…or rather life feels good at the moment, despite the fact that it quite possibly isn’t for most the word, is Samsara is accurate.
Perhaps I should rephrase that entire sentiment. My life is good…and today I feel I should be grateful for that fact and enjoy it to the utmost.