October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Malanda to Millaa Millaa

Malanda to Millaa Millaa = 24km
Cummulative total = 4657km
Our days are getting smaller and smaller!
We woke this morning hoping the showers and rain would break and there was promising signs of it lifting this morning but alas it was short lived and the heavy rain showers descended on Malanda and the Atherton Tablelands. We had to make a decision on whether or not to leave Malanda and head for Millaa Millaa which would be just as wet and rainy but we were hopin the caravan park wasn't as boggy as what the Malanda caravan park was becoming - around our tent is now just boggy red mud and it is beginning to splash up and onto the inner tent so we made the decision to go to Millaa Millaa.
We took care to pack up and tried to keep everything as dry as possible and I even sort of shower proofed Koutas basket and little trailer hut...

...but it wasn't too successful the days rain was just too much for my makeshift rainwear for the basket! Even Kouta was trying to keep try as we packed up and found a very warm dry spot behind Neils front wheel!

and there is laid until we were ready to go at 10am (we waited for a heavy shower to pass). We got about 4km up the road and the heavy rain showers became more frequent and by 10km everything was saturated even Kouta! and he was not happy!
It is very hilly terrain and the undulations were longer and steeper. We only had a small shoulder to cycle in and it was very dangerous the conditions to cycle in and in hindsight we thought it was a bad idea to move and should have stayed at Malanda ... the weather report to say the rain showers would ease by the afternoon but they didn't let up at all the the rain that did come was alot heavier than what we thought.
I struggled with todays conditions they were atrocious for us especially the trucks which don't seem to slow down in wet conditions! and the heavy rain showers limited my vision with my glasses and at times I couldn't cycle on as I couldn't see for all the raindrops on my glasses so we had to pull over until it eased and poor ole Kouta tried to see shelter during the heavy rain!
We got to Millaa Millaa and Neil decided to ask if we could have a cabin as it wasn't exactly camping conditions up in Millaa Millaa either! Lucky for us he let us have a cabin ... actually more like a worker donga - it is tiny and has a small kitchen/dining area and a small bedroom with bunks - off which I have to sleep on the top one! but at least it is dry and warm and sure beats a tent - actually the donga is quite big compared to a tent!

here I am chatting to NZ on skype.
Just outside the donga is a huge carport so Kouta has to sleep out there tonight and he can't come inside and he is not exactly happy about it but at least he will be dry.

as you can see when this photo was taken there was a light drizzly shower passing through.

We have certainly spread out under the carport trying to dry things out. We managed to do our laundry and had to use the drier to get them dry.
There are 2 other bigger dongas next to this one and there are 2 families in them doing the same as us - sleeping inside as it is too wet to camp.
Throughout the afternoon the rain continued and it doesn't seem to be clearing. In fact talking to the locals in Malanda and Millaa Millaa - it has been like this the past 6 weeks! so much for their dry season! In fact the caravan park owner said that so far this year Millaa Millaa has had 3.5meters of rain so far and will have more to come with the oncoming wet season!
I tell you I can't wait to get out of the tablelands - I haven't enjoyed this part (north of Townsville) at all - it is very dangerous cycling up here (even if it is dry) and with the wet conditions lately it is near impossible to enjoy the cycling up here. I am hoping things will change south of Townsville.
Looked at the radar and weather forecast and tomorrow is isolated showers so we are not too sure if we will move - I am reluctant to go down the Palmerston highway to Innisfail in such wet conditions - it is the B double truck route and they make it obviously clear that they don't want cyclists on the road up here and in wet conditions is might be a little dangerous for us to make our way down.

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