Monday, March 10, 2008

DAY 135: Jamie’s (N of Gympie) to Tin Can Bay

Fri 7th March 2008

45 km @ 15.5 km/hr

Distance to date 8030 km (5019 miles)

Sunny, cloudy later, warm

I had a perfect night’s sleep in this beautifully quiet setting, interrupted only by the Kookaburras at dawn, and I slept on until 8. Breakfast was out on the verandah with Jamie and Deb whilst admiring the gorgeous view to the north over the treetops. This place looks even better in the light - what a gem of a setting for a house! There’s a pool down below too, heated by solar collector panels on the roof of the pool’s covered area. There’s mains electric and a telephone line here but no mains water - that all comes from roof rainwater collection in large tanks.

Soon after 9 I was packed and reluctantly ready to roll, so having said goodbyes to my hospitable hosts off I went to immediately attack a 25% hill on a gravel track as part of the 3km gravel connection road to the Gympie - Tin Can Bay Road. I puffed and strained for 80m or so and actually made it without getting off, but my loud puffing and panting brought a lady out of a nearby house to see what was going on. 1km further on another similarly-sloped rise reared up before me, and this time I had to walk, which isn’t easy on loose gravel with a fully laden bike. Eventually the gravel turned to tar and a few metres later I was on the main road.

The Tin Can Bay road was pretty busy, but everyone was very well-behaved and anyway there was a decent verge.

I didn’t have far to go today so could afford to take my time, so after just 8km I stopped at the local General Store for a Dare Double Espresso iced coffee, which was slowly sipped as I read today’s paper, which was very relaxing after the last two days of concentrated effort. This coffee is actually preferable to Farmer's Union, I compared the two back to back the other day.One ‘dampener’ though is the fact that the saddle sore is definitely back. I could hardly believe it yesterday when that familiar soreness started to make itself felt - after 3 weeks completely off the bike it had apparently healed - but obviously there’s still something going on down there. I think possibly there was still a slight scar / bump there which is now again trapped between pelvic bone and saddle. I may be stuck with this for the forseeable future as there seems to be no solution short of wearing 2 pairs (of shorts).

The 45km ride was through pleasant forest, much of it commercial forestry, with the sun popping in and out for a few minutes at a time. I wore my Assos sleeveless top that I had posted on to Brisbane from Perth, and it really is nice and cool.

In the last 10km there is a large military camp, and the dummy soldier guarding the entrance seems to suggest there have been severe cuts in the Australian Army budget recently.

I arrived in Tin Can Bay around 1230 and checked in at one of the 3 caravan parks here ($16) in a nice shady position. I had a quick look around the adjacent mangrove coast and was pretty impressed - it is very beautiful and very well-kept. I decided to have a big breakfast at the cafe next to the CP whilst I typed yesterdays blog up.

There is a good concrete walking / cycling path which runs for some 4km. The manager of the CP told me that early morning (around 8) is the time to go and watch the dolphins coming into the coast just 2 or 300m from here, so I shall make a point of checking this out tomorrow. This place is so nice I’m already thinking of spending another night here, after just 3 days cycling after the break.

There’s free internet too (although on the slow side) so I uploaded just in time as the library closes at 5. After some more exploring the many types of tree alongside the water (many have name signs for identification), and watching the King Parrots and Lorikeets screaming around in the trees I did a little more shopping and went back to cook dinner in the rapidly-failing light (around 1800).

After dinner my evening in the tent was taken up with blog-typing, reading the paper, then pudding of grapes and yoghurt. I have plenty to do in the evenings and never feel bored.

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