Yungaburra to Mareeba = 50km
Cummulative total = 4559km
The day started with very grey clouds that were threatening to just pour down ... instead they just let out a slight drizzle all the way to the town of Atherton. It was a narrow and busy road to Atherton and there was no shoulder for us to ride in and again there was a series of undulations but you could feel that you were generally climbing. It was very difficult riding.
The township of Atherton is a very busy place and we only passed through it and didn't really stop there to have a look ... but the funny thing about this place is that it is a town of 2 halves - the south half which is were we approached it from is grey and drizzly and the north half which is were we headed for to go Mareeba is grey and dry!!! It was like crossing some sort of freaky weather zone!
On the way to Tolga the road even becomes different - wider and with a shoulder and most of the way to Tolga (which is about 8km away) you are riding through a very dense bush either side of the road - it was lovely - a bit like the Waitakeres!
Beyond Tolga to Walkamin which is about 15km from Atherton you are just going on a very gentle decline from the hills - Atherton is about 800m above sea level while Tolga is about 700m and Mareeba is about 400m above sea level. So the down hill is spread out over the 35km to Mareeba so it was great cycling and coupled with a very strong tail wind we hardly had to pedal at all ... but we go back that way early next week!
As you a cycling down you can see it is so different between the South tablelands which are very green and wet while North of Atherton it is drier.
there are heaps of avocado, banana and fruit farms around here and we stopped at a roadside stall to pick up 7 bananas for $1.50 lucky Neil found $2!!!
At this point we were excited about getting to Mareeba - the place where Neil and I met 15 years ago.
As you can see from the above photos Neil and Kouta are both smiling away ... but this is short lived - I suppose Neil and I thought the place would be like it was 15 years ago - small but now the township of Mareeba is huge and the population is alot bigger and crowded and to make matters worse the campground where we first met is a real dump! It is very run down and we have decided that we are very disheartened with the Tablelands - I suppose it has just grown to accomodate the expansion of Cairns.
We are at the Riverside caravan park and below is a view from the camp kitchen ... but don't be fooled by this view ...
There are alot of permanents here and seasonal workers - at least the lady didn't put us in the general unpowered section which is full of backpacker seasonal workers and instead she gave us an unpowered site between 2 caravans away from the seasonal workers ... instead of listening to the backpackers we got to listen to 2 disgruntled seasonal workers living in a caravan!
It is a public holiday today here in the Tablelands and Cairns due to their show day and we are hoping to move tomorrow to a campground that (hopefully is better!) is about 10km out of town - but there is forecasted heavy rain for Sunday and more than likely the rain will begin tomorrow.
So this is how far we go North and now we start to head back down South.