Day 90 Traffiking

September 12th, 2007

Route details: Giru – Townsville
55Kms; 3hr 30m

While waiting up the road for Colette I thought that I would get a few pics of the traffic, check it out, this guy would be doing 100 – 110kms/hr and is between 1 -2 meter away.  While riding they get even closer … we’ve experienced drivers who overtake others while overtaking us, overtaking coming from the other direction (thats car doing 120+ one way us doing 20 the other, luckily theres no contact to date), drivers who try to get a close as they can and even missiles from hoons.

While we may still be 6 Kms from the coast there are still mud flats visible, maybe thats why the mud crabs are so big up here …

More Mango plantations, sheltered by the ranges …

We’re planning to visit Magnetic Island while waiting for the Warriors to come spoil the party …

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

Day 89 the Grind …

September 11th, 2007

Route details: Ayr – Giru 11/9
40Kms; 2hr 30m

Australia is certainly a big area and as we set out today there is a feeling of ‘when will this end?’.  It is not a torture (our hands might think differently if that had the ability to think) but more a on going grind.  Not helped by the sugar cane scenery, that has seemed endless for the last 600kms plus some …

North Queensland does have some good examples of Lilly ponds though …

Another interesting site recently has been the gliding Kites in the skies over the cane.  Difficult to get a good photo while on the move … but the way these guys circle to gain altitude, using only there tail as a rudder, then scoot off over 100s of meters is impressive.

The route today took us under Bowl Green Bay, probably worth a look in but the problem with cycling is that you can’t just take off on a 20km side trip on a whim, especial not in this heat.  The cane fields are clearly visible in the route map.

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

Days 87 & 88 Fishee

September 9th, 2007

Route details: Gumlu – Ayr
47Kms; 3hr 50m

Following the decision to stop in Cairns, both Colette and I lacked speed and motivation to get to Ayr and these long straight roads were punishing.

We rode past a free camp area (rest area) which Colette had marked as an option for and overnight stay, only to find it was a complete mess and no water source.  Gumlu had been a god send …

Colette crosses Saltwater creek.

Some luck angler had left the filleted remains, I had not time to get the rod out and we rod on to Ayr.

Colette got a puncture 500m from the info centre and in the process nearly ended up under a car from the sudden loss of control … we got the info centre mid sunday and had a great chat with the locals on duty …

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

Days 86 Game Over!

September 8th, 2007

Route details: Bowen – Gumlu
67Kms; 4hr 10m

As we left Bowen we planned a big ride of 120Kms to get out base fitness up in readiness for the Cairns to Darwin ride we are planning.

But first thing is that it is now getting hot, even at 7am in the morning.  This is meant to be the Don creek, try and spot some water … all the creeks after this were very similar, only the foot prints and motorbike wheel mark patterns were changing.

The Mango trees don’t seem to mind the heat, but it was wearing us both down.

Waiting for Colette to catch up, I sucked back on the H2Os and all the shade was well off the road.

Hello Possiums!  Bright Eyes, burning like fire …

But as I got to Gumlu, I decided with 50Kms to go that I would give Colette the option of going on to Ayr or staying here.  Colette chose to stay at Gumlu.  But the bigger outcome of this decision was I decided the lack of speed, the heat, the prospect of hours of unchanging landscape and the lack of commitment to make it to Ayr was a clear indicator that we should not contemplate an attempt to ride to Darwin at this time of year so we would be riding to Cairns and reassessing what and where to next.

This I think is a good decision as without both of us committed to the task then it would have probably ended in tragedy.  We wish the Germans well and the best of luck, but we would not be following them this year.

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

Days 84 & 85 Rainbow Connection …

September 6th, 2007

Route details: Airlie Beach – Bowen
77Kms; 4hr 10m

We were glad to be leaving Airlie Beach as it is a bit to touristy with Jugs of Beer cost $4 more than anywhere else in Nth Qld.  This place sole purpose is to grab your money, so does it provide value?  From the general view was that it was a rip.  Pity cause it has lot to offer.

On the road to Bowen we passed lot of cattle.  Who often run along with you as you ride by.

Outside the Bowen Info centre, the Giant Mango (or giant decorated egg?)

Queens Beach, hot as had to take a dip in the pool …

Later during dinner Kermit turned up to check out what was going on and belted out a continuous bass line …

On our rest day we searched out the Bowen pie shop that gained celebrate fame with their Hugh Jackman pie … it was rubbish and I would advice Mr Jackman to send his PA south to Mt Larcom for a  real pie.

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

Days 78 – 83 We are sailing, We are sailing, …

August 31st, 2007

Route details: Proserpine – Airlie Beach
26Kms; 1hr 53m

After a short but slow ride we were at Airlie Beach and glad to be having a rest for a few days, and a trip to sea also …

Colette looks happy to be getting a real break.

In Airlie Beach we were surprise to meet Cheryl (our host from Sarina) and her daughter on the street, so surprised in fact that I was like a stunned mullet, having just finished our ride I must have come across as rude, even to the point that Cheryl asked if I knew who she was, I was just in shock and coming down from the solitude of riding was only able to say Yes.

The next day we were glad to get out of the Magnums Backpackers (a noisy very commercial place) and onto the boat.  Pity about the weather.

The deck hand steers the course …

Finally we made it to our first stop and it was time to get into the sexy stinger suits and in for a quick dip, I was joined by a crazy senior Canadian lady who was excited to join me in jumping off the boat’s roof.

The next day we passed the luxury resort island (Hamilton Island) that has an international airport.  These buildings look either impressive or silly being that this is a island in the middle of the Whitsundays.

Hold your course captain … on the way out to the diving spot.

Finally the sun came out, notice the $20 sunnies have broken already …

Middle of the Whitsundays, anchored off White Haven Island.

Some of our fellow passengers, time for a sleep, Jo and Linda (crazy Canadian, reminded us of my mum)

Lauren and Ele

Lapping up the sunny after a long day.

Feeding time … Emma, Rachael and Aunty

In front of the blue chillies, May, Chris and Lorraine (with the badly burnt feet)

Enjoying the sunset

On the final day we found a spot to snorkel and feed the bat fish ($34K fund being caught with a bat fish on board), Kevin does his best imitation using his mohawk.

Then it was back to Airlie in the rain, but the trip had been a lot of fun.

Team photo time.

David (middle back row), Danny and ? (middle row 4th and 2nd from right), Telroo, A’n'O, Aiko and ? (front row from black nike jumper)

The boat then tries to get you to leave your last cash bit in the Airlie bars and organises a gathering.  I however left my bag containing camera, passport, new sunnies … in the courtesy van.  But still had such a good time I was sick twice in the night.  And with out my new sunnies (in the lost bag) braved a pretty bad hangover and went in search of it at 11am.  We found the bar only opens at 2pm, just enough time to get most of the feeling bad out of my system (NOT)!

But all ended well and I got all my belongings back.  The bag was where I new I’d left it, in the back of the Reefos courtesy bus.

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

Days 76 & 77 Thats a superb knock …

August 28th, 2007

Route details: Seaforth – Proserpine
100Kms; 6hr 30m

Having left Seaforth with a couple of destinations, we soon got a great tail wind up the Bruce Highway and so we decided to go for the 100km ride.  Can as we cruised into Proserpine we were on 97Kms, so a warm down of 3Km put us over, and Colette racks up here first ton, Congratulations!

On the way the Proserpine sugar train.

Held up but not for long.

The sugar snakes off into the distance …

Again Qld gets very wet even without rain …

We decided we had days up our sleeves to get to Airlie Beach so hung out in Proserpine to get my Drivers Licence renewed.  Drama!  Had to have a permanent address in Queensland so had to use the Hotels address.  Rules are Rules I suppose.  Then we celebrated getting the license for the rest of the day …

The boiler stacks at Proserpine sugar refinery

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

Days 74 & 75 Once bitten, twice bitten, …

August 27th, 2007

Route details: Alligator Creek – Seaforth
75Kms; 5hr 30m

We left Alligator Creek and passed more cane field being prepared for next season, apparently the straighter the lines the more kudos the farmer gets, this is a poor example.

This is a Pineapple plantation … I’d always thought pineapples would have grown on palms, guess not now.

A Qld creek …

Come on…!

The view on the run down to Seaforth

The day before the Luna eclipse, clear skies and full moon …

Just some of the birds in Seaforth

These guys run in packs and are very noisy at times

What I do to get the Aussie Idol viewable for Colette, a make shift aerial using cooking pots.

These guys are the coolest birds around, (Curlew) they pretend they are wearing invisible cloaks, so run a few steps stop, stare …

Run a few more stop, play a game of statues …

The Luna Eclipse which seemed to be so visible to everyone else.  Was covered by cloud for us, and a couple of amateur astronomers we met, they were very disappointed …

A nasty fella that could have been responsible many of the bites that Colette and I both received in the 2 days at Seaforth.

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

Days 73 Turn around and go back

August 26th, 2007

Route details: Sarina – Alligator Creek (via Hay Point)
36Kms; 2hr 15m

Sawampy had suggested that we go out to Hay Point and check out the Coal terminals (he had worked in Gove in the mines, and now worked for Qld Rail, who mainly deal with coal transport).  So we did, apparently it is the biggest port in the universe for exporting Coal.

Pictured are the coal freighters being filled, that is four at a time and there were another 30 odd freighters sitting waiting out at sea.

The caravan park was full, likely workers for the coal company.  So we rode down the road passed the big pond to find other accommodation.  There was none so it was back to Alligator Creek for a tent site.

Colette thought she heard a snake in the grass and has been freaked out since. (there were lots squashed on the roads, so could have been.)

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

Days 71 & 72 ‘Mickey Mouse’

August 25th, 2007

Route details: ‘Grinning like a shot fox’ in Sarina
0Kms; 0hr 0m

Having looked around Sarina on another rest day … we decided to visit the RSL for a quite one. And this was one of the luckiest moves we had made … I got invited to make a four for a game of snooker and in the process of playing a few games with Darren (my partner), and Sawampy one of the opponents who had been unwinding from a week long course at work, Sawampy invited us on a fishing trip the next day, so in our present state we couldn’t do anything but accept, and by the time we left Sawampy had invited us to stay it his place too.

Who could turn down the offer from someone you greets you with ‘the bird’, a smile and the line ‘Why don’t you call Lifeline! Tell someone who cares …!’, I guess I shouldn’t have critiqued a shot in his hearing range …

So after racing back to the camp site packing up and finding Sawampy’s place we were shown to the guest quarters, more space than we’d had on this trip … and it was soon to bed for the 5.45am start the next day …

The sunrise over Sarina and Sawampy’s boat …

Superb creek view on the way out to the fishing spot, this creek was just next to Darren’s Cane farm.

Darren and Sawampy hoping for good luck with todays fishing …

We first checked out the view out to sea, to choppy so it was back to creeks for some fishing.

Mangroves in the creek system.

I got the first fish of the day, a toad fish (a rubbish fish which has a nasty bite …)

The fishing spot …

Darren gets the first keeper, a nice Bream.

I quickly followed with one of my own and using my own rod.  And good Queenie.

A Sea eagle grabs some breakfast.

I help Sawampy get he boat out of the creek.  This demonstrates the height of the tides, at high tide the water line would have been above where I was standing.

The result of the fishing trip was that  Darren had landed most the fish, Colette and I had a great time and Sawampy had fun show us.

On the way home we came across a transformer, this is one of the newest cane loaders … check it out

So in the end it was a great visit to Sarina, one of the best experiences on our trip.  Sawampy and Cheryl (original complete strangers) were so generous and we were extremely grateful for allowing us to stay and giving us the complete Sarina experience.  They also sent us on our way with full bellies and a bottle of Sawampys home made Peach schnapps.

So what is the ‘Mickey Mouse’ about, well that was Sawampys way of saying something was good, better than good … the best …

So for us this stay was Mickey Mouse!

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