The road to Townsville is quite uneventful, and only a few isolated mountains here and there provide some scenery. The number of mango stalls increases proportionally as I drive further north, as does the number of sugarcane fields. I most certainly have been here back in 2016, but I'll be damned if I remember any of all this. The region is probably worth taking a closer look... unfortunately, I can't spare the time. Some other day (or some other year, more likely).

The land of the sugarcane.The land of the sugarcane.

It takes me a while to find the way to my new camping spot; but, after a few false starts, a few kilometres of sandy beach road finally take me there. I can't access the beach from here (not that I need to), but a wide stream encircles the area and gives me some lovely views across the water. It's called Salmon Creek, and it's a part of the Bowling Green Bay National Park, which means that it's going to cost me $6.50 per night to camp here, and the Queensland's Department of Environment and Science website requires a ridiculous amount of effort to go through with the payment. Easily the worst website of this kind across all the states and territories.

The place looks nice, though.The place looks nice, though.

The sunset looks nicer.The sunset looks nicer.

Salmon Creek.Salmon Creek.

It's Saturday, and in the evening a couple of school kids decide to camp nearby. They visit me and ask for permission to cook their food on my stove (they forgot theirs at home), so we have a little chat in the meantime. Both of them are soon-to-be mechanics, and they tell me that this is the most popular camping spot in Townsville (which they unanimously regard as “shithole”), and that the crocs are definitely a thing around here, and could I please lend them my frying pan, so that they can cook the rest at their camp? The kids seem nice, so I lend them the pan, which comes back to me a few hours later completely blackened. Well, at least they genuinely tried to clean it up.

One of the locals.One of the locals.

The tropical Queensland.The tropical Queensland.

The following morning is the time when I become introduced to sandflies (a.k.a. midges) for the first time in my life. The blood-thirsty insects are so tiny that they easily go through the mesh of my tent; they attack in large quantities and leave rather nasty bite marks that take forever to go away. Burning mosquito coils seem to deter them at least somewhat, though, and in the afternoon they disappear. In exchange, I'm treated with a few rather awesome sunsets and sunrises; they definitely have some of the best clouds out here in the tropics!

Now that's just beautiful.Now that's just beautiful.

Love the messy clouds.Love the messy clouds.

Sunrises aren't too bad either.Sunrises aren't too bad either.

Morning reflections.Morning reflections.

More morning reflections!More morning reflections!

Pretty soon, however, I discover that my secondary battery appears to be completely dead, and that one of my solar panels is also dead: looks like a short circuit somewhere. Ugh! This leaves me no choice but to hastily pack up and retreat (bye-bye, sandflies! not going to miss you), and I even manage to bog down a little in the sand on my way out. Good thing I'm carrying a spade. Once that's done, I arrive to Townsville and book a few nights in the local caravan park for $36 per one – as soon as I do some shopping and replace my dead battery, of course (bye-bye, $280! definitely going to miss you).

The place is quite nice, and the local pool is certainly a relief amidst the tropical heat; however, there's not much to photograph here, and my new battery doesn't quite seem to keep up with my laptop either, discharging faster than my one remaining solar panel can replenish it. Ugh-2! However, the weekend is almost here, and on a Saturday morning I take off and embark on the last leg of my journey: time to cross the Gulf Country for the second time and visit Darwin. Will the famous local thunderstorms be worth the (very long) trip? Let's find out!

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