Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DAY 187: Georgetown to Croydon

Mon 28th April 2008
150 km @ 18.0 km/hr
Sunny, 30 deg C
Elevation of destination 115 m
Distance to date 11074 km (6921 miles)

I slept lightly and woke up a few times, so at 0530 I got up so as to get an early start - this will be a long day unless I bail out and camp in the bush, which I am allowing for re water etc. just in case.
I was on the road at 0645, my earliest ever I think, and it’s a nice time to be riding - cool, colours look more vivid, and more wildlife. Birds were plentiful with Galahs everywhere, going around in packs of a dozen or two, and I saw the odd Roo / Wallaby. Black Kites were stalking me continually - I kept seeing their shadows on the road as they hovered above me - maybe they hope I will soon be a meal. I also noticed some Yellow Robins, and almost every tree contained a flock of birds I haven’t identified yet - the voice is similar to Mynahs i.e. startled screeching, but they have a bigger tail and are mostly grey and black.
For the first 20km the road undulates somewhat but then settles down to almost flat (actually it descends very slowly). The wind was light and variable for much of the day and not a great deal of help to me. The sun blazed away all day with no cloud cover. For the most part today it is fairly easy to find some shade and somewhere to lean the bike - even a log or stone to sit on if you’re patient and wait a few minutes. I had taken 8 litres of water in case I camped in the bush, so I had plenty to keep wetting the sock-covered drinking bottle to keep it cool. However late in the day I detected a funny taste to the water from the 6 litre bag, and I remembered that I hadn’t rinsed it out before filling this morning - that’s very careless, especially as I already have the trots, and I don’t want a double dose thank you!
After 21km the Cumberland ghost town ruins lie just off the road so I went to have a look, but only the chimney stands, and there’s no interpretation to inform what it’s all about. Behind the chimney is a small lake / wetlands, where a flock of Magpie Geese were nesting, as were the Egrets and some Herons.
From here there’s nothing to see of significance until the Gilbert River, which is about 300m wide in the wet but reduced to a trickle today. I stopped to take a couple of pics but it was very hot and I soon got back on the bike for the cooling breeze. There are no houses or other building visible from the road anywhere in this section, although there are some farms well away from the road judging by the few drives I saw. Just near the Gilbert River was a fruit stall sign and I got all excited at the prospect of a fruit ‘treat’ but it was closed (:-<) - cruel. I only had biscuits as I was unable to buy bread in Georgetown and forgot to look for some nuts, which always make a good snack. After Gilbert River the scenery is all the same, mile after mile, and it takes a special brand of concentration to avoid this getting tedious - I tend to think about what I want to do in the future, or tonight even...that kind of thing. The odd wave from a motorist helps. Funnily enough, I rarely get a wave from anyone towing a boat, but usually get one from someone towing a caravan - why is that? Some 75% of today’s road has been modernised; the rest still single track. Still less than 15 vehicles per hour I’d say, so pretty peaceful. My saddle sores were not so painful today thankfully. I went through a bad patch after 100km when I still had another 50 to go, but rode through it and got motivated again with only 20 to go. Camden looks much like Georgetown - 1 pub, 1 store etc and first thing was to get an iced coffee that I’d been dreaming about for hours, before setting up in the CP ($11/nt for 1 person). There’s a nice 25m pool here and I was in as soon as the tent was up, but boy was it cold - refreshing though. It has been getting quite cool at night lately - probably down to 7 or 8 degrees - and I’m glad of my 3-season sleeping bag. There’s no heavy dew though like there was on the Atherton Tablelands; it’s much drier down here. All the smaller creeks are bone dry and only 2 rivers had water, and not so much at that. I managed to get some cash at last, from the pub bar, and hads intended to go and have dinner there with a couple of beers, but my digestion system was in overdrive and I just didn’t feel like straying far. I have to get this sorted, but there’s not even a chemist for another 150km at Normanton, so unless I can get to see a doctor here I’ll probably have to wait a couple of days. The water in the CP tasted awful after the water co. had done something, and no way could I even drink tea made with the stuff - but the manageress showed me her rainwater tank so I helped myself to that, which was a dramatic improvement.

No comments: