Magnetic Island (part 1: Hiking in the Heat)

I woke at about 6 and waited for Michelle on the common area deck. By 6:30 I was loading and editing photos. Michelle showed up around 8:30 and we headed out. I asked, but she was confident that flip-flops would be fine footwear for the journey.

The landscape on the island is dryer than I expected but that may be because the height of the island isn’t really large enough to generate rain on its own. It’s tropical, but not rainforest. It’s a dry forest, consisting of eucalypts, pines, and many species I couldn’t identify, with fire being a major factor in the ecosystem.

Along the way we spotted this fellow doing what Koalas do best.

The heat was definitely starting to bake us, and Michelle barely made it to the top. She was pretty quiet, and I wondered if she regretted getting out of bed for the hike.
During WWII the ridge was used as a lookout and gunpost, and the wind up there, combined with the cool shade of the bunker was a welcome relief from the heat. The walls inside were covered with comments from the many visitors over the ages. Narrow slots provided views in all directions. Here’s a view to the coast.
forthike.jpg
I think that’s Florence Bay, but it could be Arthur Bay, I’m not sure.
Could one of the Jerds help me out with this?

Rested, revived and hydrated, we headed down…
Next destination: The Beach

So the beach it was. The beach was a five minute walk from the hostel. Coconut palms and Banyan Figs provided shade in the grassy area between the beach and the small strip of eateries and pubs that form the beachfront community of Horseshoe Bay. The water was great; refreshing, but warm enough to stay in for a while.

Australia is home to quite a few stinging jelly-fish. They come in various shapes and sizes, and show up at different times of the year. Apparently, they reproduce in, or near, fresh water so they tend to congregate close to the mouths of streams and rivers. On some beaches they have nets around designated swimming areas.

The information boards that showed the size of each of the species indicated that most of the stingers were MUCH smaller than the holes in the nets; something on the scale of trying to catch a small ball bearing in a net made of chicken wire. I came to the conclusion that the nets were mostly there as a psychological security blanket, with the added benefit that the lifeguards only had to watch a small section of the beach. I could be way off the mark on this, and I should also mention that, aside from surfing, I only went swimming inside the nets.

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One response to “Magnetic Island (part 1: Hiking in the Heat)

  1. now I’ve read them all, so far…waiting for the rest

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