Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Visiting The Strand

I’ve had a couple of lazy bloggy days thanks to finding a few drafts still waiting to be published, but today I thought I’d show you a bit of The Strand, as I’ve mentioned it before.

The Strand is the sea-front of Townsville, redeveloped into a bit of a modern promenade. There is a path for cycling, walking, skateboarding – whatever you fancy that isn’t motorised really! 

A visit to The Strand pretty much guarantees that you will get to see these cheeky chappies - gorgeous Rainbow Lorikeets, one of my new favourite birds :)

The path meanders along the palm- and fig tree- studded waterfront, leading you past the grassy park areas, the water attractions and the various bars, cafes and ice cream places along the way.

There are also - this is Australia after all - municipal barbeque areas all the way along The Strand, and often there will be groups of families and friends having get-togethers, making use of the barbie facilities.

Another great past time on The Strand is getting an ice cream,

But you have to eat it pretty quickly as the tropical heat melts it to milk shake in no time!!

The water attractions include the Tobruk Memorial swimming pool, which you have to pay to use – they have lane swimming and lessons there, it’s a nice pool but I don’t have any photos.

Nearby is the water park, this place looks brilliant!! It’s free to use, and there are always kids there having a whale of a time. I’m looking forward to my friend visiting with her kids so that I can have a go there myself!

Then there is the rock pool at the far end, this is a salt water pool that I think gets its water direct from the sea, though it’s filtered for jellyfish and things! 

The rockpool is where I meet my friend with her baby, so we can do our baby-friendly work outs. We park the baby in his pram under one of these shaded picnic areas, and then we can use the space for exercising while watching the baby.

We make use of the little wall as an exercise bench, as well as for step ups and dips, and we use the nearby grass for ab exercises. A kettlebell and some hand weights, plus the ground and the little wall, mean that we can have a lot of variety to our static exercises.

We alternate running around the perimeter of the pool area, with staying with the baby and doing the static exercises (so the baby is never on his own at all). 

Such a beautiful view to accompany our running!

Then afterwards we get changed into swimmers, and take it in turns to have a dip in the sea. It’s ‘Stinger Season’ here, the time when there are most jellyfish around – some of which are potentially deadly, so stinger nets are put out to create jellyfish exclosures in which you can swim in relative safety. There’s still some risk, but it’s hugely reduced.

The photo below is taken from where we had a beach tent set up so that the baby had plenty of shade while we were relaxing after our workout. The white rectangle thingy from the beach into the sea there is the top of the stinger net.

In the same picture, the hill you can see in the background is Castle Hill – this is the one I walk up a couple of times a week. It is really hard work, and I still have a way to go fitness-wise before this becomes a comfortable walk!

So there we are, now you know The Strand a bit, which is where my picnic blanket will get most of its use once it's finished :) 

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