Thursday, July 17, 2008

DAY 262: Day off in Fitzroy Crossing

42 km @ 18.2 km/hr
Sat 12th July 2008
Sunny, 29 deg C
Elevation of /destination 125 m
Distance to date 15763 km (9852 miles)

After breakfast with teachers from Taiwan I set off on the 20km ride to Geikie Gorge NP. The road is fairly flat Savannah woodland and very quiet of course. 3km from the end of the road one enters the NP and a few mountains hove into view. I was half an hour early for the 1100 1 hour cruise on the Fitzroy River run by the NP Rangers ($25).
The gorge through which the river runs was formed from limestone, laid down millions of years ago when this was an ocean bed. Erosion and geological forces have crafted a diverse range of patterns in the rock, which is a whitish colour as far up as the ‘normal’ flood level in the Wet i.e. around 15m. We saw dozens of freshwater crocodiles swimming and lying around in the sun, which as a rule do not bother man, unlike the saltwater variety that are much bigger.
After the cruise I went off on the 4km round-trip river walking trail, which runs along the base of one side of the gorge wall, where it’s easier to see the eroded and weathered patterns of the rock face than from the boat. There are plenty of interpretation panels describing the flora, fauna and geology of the gorge, and a variety of birds and butterflies flitting around. Very enjoyable; but hardly anyone else from the cruise did the walk too, which is a shame. Anyway it was all the more peaceful for that! As usual it was perfect weather - blue skies, sunny, nice and warm - I shall really miss this climate!
It was somewhat harder work cycling back, and for a while I though the wind was in the west (oh no!), but it must have just been a local anomaly because the SE-er returned later.
I felt pretty whacked on returning, and was quite saddle sore too again. Nevertheless I collected the bag I had left with reception at the caravan park and rode the 2km down to the Fitzroy Lodge to use their internet ($6/hr). Blogger was playing up and kept refusing to upload my images, but eventually it worked and I was up to date again.
I nearly had a disaster coming back to the CP in the dark when I hit a bump in the road on the Fitzroy River Bridge and the bar bag flew off and landed in the road in front of me, whereupon I ran straight over it. I almost lost control of the bike at speed, but managed to hang on, then I was concerned in case the contents were damaged, but the camera and other stuff were OK.
I had been planning dinner at the (only) pub tonight but was just too tired to be bothered, and anyway it being Saturday night the place would be very busy, so I resorted to a very nice sweet pepper tuna / mashed potato / fried veg combo made by moi. Shame I have no wine, but all off-sales have been banned in Fitzroy Crossing due to all the trouble with drunkeness here. It’s a hotbed of aboriginal problems from what I have gathered. As I type there’s a party going on in the township behind the park with VERY loud music to boot. Ear plugs at the ready, and a lovely peaceful bush camp tomorrow!

No comments: