Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Rest time!!

Well, woke early and was on the road by 5am. By 1pm was in Cardwell. Decided to press on. Closed the day at 220km. A bum numbing, leg tiring record day. That distance is via a map - the speedo stops working when the light is on - something that I need to fix..
It was a hot and humid day. Had fun with the trucks passing at one stage - the gust of wind pushed me along. Other times had a head wind and trucks passing the opposite way almost stopped me dead.
Found a leaf blower on the side of the road in the grass. Tried to take it with me, but it was too big and heavy. Left it on the side of the road where it was visible. Saw a car stop and grab it.
But here now and planning on resting for about three or four weeks before heading west at a much slower pace.

Townsville

The day started late due to heavy fog. I started out on a high, but the day had other ideas. Drivers! Met the nasty cases this day. (Some really bad moments - disappointing after so long on the road. But lets not let a couple of drivers taint all the nice ones out there.) Not just them, but it seemed most people I met were unhappy.  Had hassles getting a camp spot in Townsville - the camp option turned out to allow camping - but no tents. Arrggghhh.. By this time it was just before sun down, and I'd clocked up over 100km. The nearby caravan park - I declined politely the $28 tent site option and was abused for that. That was it. I decided to get out of Townsville. Found a spot and while I wasn't sure if I was strictly allowed to be there, no one kicked me out. Even though it was right near the road, I got enough sleep.
Random thought: Do they make special car seats for really fat people?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Boat on the Road

Riding from Belyando Crossing to Charters Towers, the day was hot and still. I was suffering. About midday, I was slowly pedalling along on the idea that just moving was cooler than sitting still. Testing if riding was better than stopping, I stopped. It wasn't.. While under some shade I could see the water mirage effect looking down the road. A semi emerged from the water and roared past. Time to get back moving. I blinked and looked again. Floating along on the water mirage was a ??? Its a boat my brain was saying. I blinked and looked a few times. Still a boat. Wow. I was in a bad way. The boat was growing larger as it come towards me. I thought maybe I should lie down and rest, drink more water, have some salt. Things are bad if I'm seeing things... Arh, sanity. It really was a boat. A really really large boat on a tiny trailer, pulled by a small ute. This boat was big! Think of a baby to the QE2. The sort of boat with a live on board crew, that the owner rocks on board for a bit of sun on the weekend. It was a big boat.
I really suspect that it wasn't legal on that trailer, towed by that ute. After it went past it had a sign hanging off the back "Wide Load" - yeah. It was wide too, and tall. It was also wobblying and swaying all over the road.
Phew, not my mind going in the heat. I had a drink and rode slowly on.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Springsure, Emerald, Clermont, Belyando Crossing, Charters Towers

Been a bit slow on the updates. Part of that is no net acceess, the other part is just lots of space and time and not much to update.
Spent the night in a gravel pit near Springsure. Was to tired to make it into town and the pit turned up at the right time. Gravel is warm in the afternoon, and then all the moisture condenses on it in the morning as it cools. Saw some meteors that night. Next morning the first road I came to was Meteor Downs Road. The next was Orion Road.
Springsure was a quiet town. Had a pack of $2 Tim Tams. Yum.
Virgin Mountain was impressive for its rock formations. No, you cant see the virgin there any more. Aparently once there was a rock that looked like te Virgin Mary, but its since eroded away.
Had a surprisingly good night sleep in Emerald near the main road. Put in the ear plugs and just slept well.
Capella has a look out just before you get into town, but I couldn't for the life of me see what your suppost to look at. The land there is flat, and I couldn't see over the crops.
Clermont as a town - I didn't like. I only stopped there long enough to get some food and water and then left. Slept that night in a cow paddock.
Belyando Crossing. 172km from Clermont and not much in between - well unless you count cow paddocks. Wasn't too bad a ride. Wind ended up being a head wind for a fair bit of the way. Bummer. Stayed the night as need a rest and its a good a place as any.
Broke another spoke next morning 15km out of town. Thats the first in a while. Hope this isn't going to be regular again. I was carrying 20liters of water since Clermont as I was told the creeks where empty. Well, some are, but some do have water in them. Dirty water true. If you want water at Belyando Crossing you have to buy it. They only get rain water so if their tank runs try they have to truck in more water. Thats pricey.
Crawled into Charters Towers this morning. Was up hill the end and a head wind. Stopped and cooked up pasta at the first picnic area.
While sitting there eating I watched a 4x4 drive over the curb, across the park and stop near the play area. Maybe they felt my contempt and loathing of them, they drove off without getting out. Why couldn't they walk the 20meters from the curb to the play area?
Weather is warmer up here. Showers should start soon also.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Moura

Seems like the road is open. Well I decided to go have a look. I won't be the only one there if I'm wrong.
Moura was a small town. Large Donga farm on the outskirts. Guess the miners all fly in fly out. It was odd that all the people crossings in the town had the "Give way to traffic" signs, yet the crossing on the highway didn't.
Stopped briefly on the Dawson River, but was too early in the day to stop. Found a camp by the side of the road in a cow paddock.
My excitement for the day was running over a small live snake! Yiks!! It was on a dirt road, and I was watching the birds and not looking closely at the ground. It seemed okay and slithered off.(What was I going to do if it wasn't okay?) I put my feet back down from the handle bars and kept pedalling. I'd seen a few as road kill during the afternoon. Lots of long grass about with the good rains. I was extra careful about my tent site.
Next morning rode on and met Karl. Karl has traveled over 46000km on his bicycle. He put my kit to shame. He only had a swag, a change of clothes, small tool kit, and water bottle. He averages 25km/hr to my 19km/hr. Neat. But I couldn't stand the noise.
Over another range today. Funny after the last one it was down to sea level and then back up to this one.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Isa Gorge, Theodore

The view from my tent waking up near Isa Gorge. It was a long day getting there. Really was in need of a rest more than anything. The weather as stayed gray with a rare short shower. As I ride, I've seen some go past ahead of me. Once or twice i stopped to let them pass by before I got there.
Arrived in Theodore the next morning. An easy 40k of rolling hills. Theodore was another town that was completely evacuated in the recent flooding. Looking about its hard to find any evidence of it though. I expected to see debris in the trees, or water marks on the houses.I've not spotted anything. A few of the shops are still shut.
Planning where to go next. The road from Emerald to Charters Towers is cut with flood waters, and there is still more rain falling.How long before its open? Do I risk heading there hoping it will open before I arrive? The coast road has also been cut at Proserpine and Mackay, but it doesn't take too long before its open again. I'm not that keen to do the coast road again, so may look at other options to get north. Mean while, I rest my weary legs and try and dry my gear.