Saturday, March 22, 2008

DAY 149: Cape Hillsborough to O'Connel River CP

84 km at 18.0 km/hr
Fri 21st March 2008
Distance to date 8957 km (5598 miles)
Very warm / sunny

The Kookaburras were very vociferous indeed at dawn this fine morning, and they made sure everyone was up early - thanks guys (but I forgive your enthusiasm)! One came and sat on a branch right over our heads as we had breakfast, hoping to share I expect. I went and sat on the beach and absorbed the idyllic tropical scene for a while as Norm finished packing - this is a beautiful place indeed, Lyn would have loved it. The tide goes out a long way here, and at some 7m these are some of the highest tides in Oz, but it happened to be high tide at this time, the gentle waves quietly lapping on the sand.
We rolled out of camp at around 9 and enjoyed quiet roads to Seaforth where we topped up our water bottles, before returning 2km back down the road to the right turn onto the Mount Ossa road. This runs for 15km to connect to the Bruce Highway for northbound travellers like us, and although the first 8km is gravel it’s in pretty good condition. The Highway itself was fairly busy but with tourists more predominant than lorries, which were few on this bank holiday of Good Friday.
We stopped for a break at noon at a roadhouse and my sausage roll was returned as it was utterly inedible - hard and dried-out; disgusting. A little further down the road Norm disappeared from my rear-view mirror and I went back to find him mending a puncture in his little Bob trailer wheel. The tube was repaired easily enough, but the little metal splinter we could feel sticking inwards took about 20 minutes to dig out as it was so tiny and well-embedded in the tyre. It may have been a piece of tyre steel core from the many pieces of shredded tyre found on the shoulder. While we were doing this a really nice young couple stopped to chat with us - they also have done some touring on bikes in Alaska and were interested in what we were doing.
Underway again, we slowed down somewhat as the road bent to the north and east and put the SE wind on our right side. It was pretty hot too, pushing 30 I’d say, and we were glad to top up water again at a filling station, not to mention some Rocky Road and ice-cold Gatorade reviver. We got a toot from a train driver hauling cattle (pic) and ploughed on towards Proserpine, starting to think about where to camp - neither of us was keen to pay big-town caravan park prices unless really necessary.
As it happened we soon came upon a CP in a very nice location by the O’Connel River, and we were only charged $6 each for the privilege! There was a pool here too so once the tent was up I cooled off for half an hour before dinner. A fellow camper gave us a fish he had caught and cooked (Bream) which was kind and which we added to the spag concoction. Afterwards Norm blagged or bought a couple of beers from someone so we had a wee drink and blather on the dark riverbank with unseen fish splashing around below us.
I think I will give the Whitsunday Islands a miss - it’s a 40km detour each way plus I would have to leave the bike somewhere if going over on the ferry for a day tour, which I’m not keen to do. If I don’t do the WI’s I will probably try and make Bowen tomorrow, which seems like a nice place from what I’ve been told.

1 comment:

Niallo said...

Big mistake skipping the Whitsunday Islands sir, possibly some of the most stunning sights on the planet! You could negotiate a place to store your bike in one of the hostels while you go sailing.

Safe Journeys,