Archive for September, 2007

Day 104 Fini

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Route details: Babinda – Cairns 26/9
60Kms; 3hr 45m

Having had a nice relaxing day in the Babinda park yesterday, we were revitalised to make ‘one last big effort’ and ‘push on’ to ‘knock the bastard off’, as it were.  We decided that even though it would be the end of the ride which was a sad thought we would ride to Cairns today and then come up with a new plan.

The day turned out to be a cracker and I just had to get some pics of the brilliantly clear water in the streams we passed.

And then the countdown was on, C50 = 50Kms to Cairns.

C40

Mt Walsh 997m high seemed to have landed on the C30 sign as I did see one.

C20

Things were heating up now!  Smoking even.

And at C10 rural Queensland had all of a sudden turned back into a metropolis.

We had finally arrived, the war memorial outside the Carins RSL, 3200kms and 104 days from Sydney all done by bike, with the addition of 120kms by train to get through Brisbane which isn’t that bike friendly in our view.

In true Kiwi fashion it was time for a haka!

Whiti te rā, hī! The sun shines!

So it would be off to the RSL for a celebration and to work out where to next.  Most likely swimming with the sharks. :)

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps

Day 103 Oasis

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Route details: Innisfail – Babinda 25/9
30Kms; 1hr 43m

Yesterdays ride was one of the hardest to do as motivation for riding has been lost and it was 50Km of misery, we are struggling to ride even 10Kms as neither Colette nor I have any place to be at any particular time.  I am looking forward to Scuba diving course in Cairns but will book it once we get there.

Even taking photos is a chore, but I thought this was worth taking at Innisfail.

We arrived in Babinda and found there was no room at the inn.  And with no interest in riding another 30Kms to the next town asked around for anywhere to camp.  Just to the south east they said, and we found this great little oasis. 

Up with the tent and hammack and then for a little relax.

Weeeee!

Weeeeeee!

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps

Day 101 & 102 Rolling, Rolling, Rolling …

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Route details: Wongaling Beach – Innisfail 23 & 24/9
51Kms; 3hr 14m

Another rest day in the Mission Beach area and why not!  Then on a dank day we decided to push on ever closer to our new destination of Cairns even though moral was low.  It was amazing how it could be hot and sticky and cold and miserable all at the same time but maybe a picture can explain it.

Oh and more sugar cane!

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps

Day 100 Big Bird (not ‘Canary Yellow’ though)

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Route details: Tully – Wongaling Beach 22/9
23Kms; 1hr 30m

We have been on the road 100 days now and after the decision to pull out of the Cairns to Darwin leg and in fact stop cycle touring altogether after getting to Cairns we have lost the motivation for doing long days or decent speeds so today we are traveling just 20 odd ks.  These were 20 difficult ks, as humidity was up …

But one thing was clear almost immediately, we were in Cassowary country.  This is a emu like bird that is known for being rather vicious.

Like with most Aussie wild life you expect to see signs on the road side, but not the real deal.

They were particularly worried about vehicles being attacked by these birds.

Then a few Ks down the road we actually came across a real one. (check out bottom right corner)  It just watch us go by and carried on eating.  U can see they are masters of disguise.

Colette continued her series of photos with the giants.

Check out the beach, no waves but they just seem to get better and better.  But look out for the stingers.

Only minutes from the beach there is fill on over-grown rain forest with amazing trees.

Bob the builder’s 4 wheeler was on holiday at the beach too.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps

Day 99 Sir Richard Hadlee

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Route details: Cardwell – Tully 21/9
42Kms; 2hr 26m

Kiwi cricket fans in the 80s would have stayed up to watch or had seen on a hot summers day Sir Richard Hadlee (just Richard Hadlee back then) batting to his favorite score 99 Out (I was only 10 so my memory may not be accurate) … it was amazing to see how one guy who was such a genius with the ball and arguably with the bat, could fall on the eve of so many superb knocks.

We’d made it to 99 days but we would be battling on in true Aussie fashion (having lived here for 4 years) and tomorrow would be getting our second ton of the trip …

Now to a more serious matter, the existance of God … my mum who is on a church news group and discusses with people the world wide, was chatting with a youngest from overseas who said “he’d be believe in God if someone could prove he exists”.  I think this view is pretty good proof of Gods existance …

But then later in one of the road warrior chapels at the rest areas we frequented for lunch, we found this undeniable proof of gods existance, from the prophet Travis … and I doubt many in this day and age would argue with his logic!

Before we knew it we were in Tully and started to notice the banana plantations where those really expensive Australian bananas are grown.

Now when we visited Noosa 2 months ago we were given a quest to undertake in Tully, Neville Dempsey a fellow computer nerd had googled himself and found that a Neville Dempsey had been buried in the Tully cemetery.  So as we really had nothing better to do we said we check it out. 

So on an extremely hot and sunny day we trekked to the Tully cemetery to preform our road block task (Amazing Race style).  Unfortunately after about an hour of trekking around seeing the history of Tully’s Italian community and how tomb stones can degreed to the point of not being recognisable there was no sign of any Neville Dempsey.

I thought I new what might have happened, and it is my belief after much investigation that Neville D. of Tully like all Tullians had a love of rain water measuring and so in honour of the might H2O he requested that his grave be marked with a unassuming water tap.

Here is Colette with the gaint gumboot of Tully the height of the boot (6+ meters) representing the highest recorded yearly rainfall in Tully.  Interestingly the wet season in this part of the world is from November to March so thats a lot of rain dumped in a short time and one of the other possibilities about Neville D. grave is that it was washed away.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps

Day 97 The Mountain Stages

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Route details: Ingham – Cardwell
53Kms; 3hr 15m

We spent the night in Ingham (no chickens) rehydrating, no beer this time.  And being told about the nasty range we had to ride over to get to Cardwell.

And before we knew it, the range was looming up in front of us, after 800kms or there abouts of reasonable flatness, someone thought it would be funny to chuck in a hill.

The details of the stage, not a major hill unless you chuck on 4 panniers and a trailer

And we made it up and over, Colette pedaled the whole way.  I however dismounted 200m from the top and pushed the bike (I’m still disappointed about that).  But on the plus side I found just after the cool descent that my pedal was coming off, and had I kept going I probably would have ruined the crank.  And I still go to the top first …

The view from the top of the other side.  Finally no cane and a descent view.

Colette looking ragged at the top … it was a big effort to push it all the way.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps)

Day 96 the ‘Build Up’

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Route details: Rollingstone – Ingham
58Kms; 4hr 00m

In the northern part of Australia they talk about the Build Up, which is the period leading into summer and the rising humidity.  Well we have certainly hit the build-up and today was the first day where at the start of a ride I felt good, thinking this will be nice and easy, then mid-way we found our water was super warm, and felt like the wind and heat was actually cooking us like in a fan oven.  By the end we were staring up the road hoping to see anything that sold cold drinks, I was hoping for a pub but we had to settle for a roadhouse and we got 2 cold drinks each.

This picture was taken at 10am which shows a range that wouldn’t have been more than 3kms away, but as you can see the hills are blue, which is the appearance you’d expect of a range 30 -40kms away.  I’m thinking that I this is a visible presence of humidity.  Later in the day I noticed the shimmer you’d see on roads on hot days, not just on the road, but in the tree 3 meter off the ground.  All I am trying to say is the day was hot.

Finally a Cactus patch worth taking a photo of, pity it is man made.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps)

Day 95 Fine dining

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Route details: Townsville – Rollingstone
56Kms; 3hr 40m

After leaving Townsville with our tails between our legs, we left so fast we forgot to visit a Bike shop to get some spare tubes for Colette.  Of course our ride was hot and Colette got a flat, but I hadn’t noticed and so ended up having to wait an hour down the road in the sun while Colette fixed her tire over a Mango slushy …

We made it to Rollingstone and had a power nap caused by the heat, before setting up the tent and then having a candle light dinner with some friends.

The Rollingstone rest area is really quite nice, but I seem to have trouble sleeping in a tent near water after hearing a few tales about others camping experiences and Crocs.

The blue winged kookabura digs in the dirt, for ants I reckon.

Kookie in motion.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps)

Day 94 the FLOGGING

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Route details: Warriors Semi-Final
0Kms; 0hr 0m
The villain who will later get of Scott free from a copy book spear tackle, can’t wait to see all the spear tackle specialist in action in 2008, now they have there defense and precedent …

Colette all excited but getting hot in the afternoon sun.  We were both melting already.

Colette faces off with a cowboy fan.

Things are looking good as the Warriors effortlessly score the first try …

After that it was all over!  The Warriors who can normally put together 70 minutes of good football, today only lasted 20mins before rolling over.  Colette even asked just after the half time if we could leave, but I forced her to put up with the full ramifications of her addiction to being a Warriors fan, and she went away feeling sick.

In the end was it the heat that took down the Warriors?  We agreed no, it seemed that the Cowboys just wanted it more!

Add to that the crazy Cowboys fans, which happen to be the most friendly fans I’ve meet, just got louder and louder and the final ten second countdown, and celebration was a good example of their spirit. So in the end the sunset on the Warriors session as they stood behind the try line and the cowboys fans were ecstatic.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps)

Days 91, 92 & 93 Simply the Best

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Route details: Magnetic Island
0Kms; 0hr 0m

Catching the 10:30 ferry to Magnetic Island (an after thought on somewhere to visit, and to fill in some time), it already looks like a good plan.

Looking north on the way out of Port Townsville.

Once on the island we checked into the Base X backpackers and found some randy fella right outside our door.

The view from the toilet block.

Setting sun back towards Townsville.

There is plenty to do on Magnetic Island with some great snorkeling, maybe a dive course or even combining a ride over the 115m peak (14% incline) and then snorkeling at all the bays … we spent a whole day doing this it was brilliant, getting hot riding up the hills then cooling off checking out the coral and fishes … steepest incline was 22% on a side road.

A view of some coral we didn’t bother to check out …

Colette looks back to the Base X backpackers and says bye bye sadly, but looks forward to the Warriors semi.

Magnetic Island with the route ridden to the snorkeling bays.

GPS Route Map
Data from Garmin Edge 305 via SportsTracks with GoogleMaps)