The Mighty Murray River!

The Mighty Murray River!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Innisfail to Townsville


Innisfail to Townsville = 253km (Innisfail to Bilyana Rest Area = 72km, Bilyana Rest Area to Ingham = 78km, Ingham to Rollingstone Rest Area = 56km, Rollingstone Rest Area to Townsville = 47km)
Cummulative total = 4975km

I know it has been a while but we haven't actually had powere for the computer lately! so I will start from our ride from Innisfail to Bilyana rest area - we had light rain the night before and I thought that the day would be the same but it wasn't and it only remained cloudy which was nice rather than the hot muggy sun ... we only had the mugginess! So it was a very humid day around 27 degrees and last night only got to a low of 21 degrees. We had bit of a head wind and the road was busy in the morning and then it eased off a bit. Felt a bit lethargic but a cuppa at the rest area in El Arish soon picked me up. Just before we got to Tully we began to see the cycle groups coming up from Townsville to Cairns (in 3 days) as part of the charity fun ride for childhood cancer. There were about 10 groups in all (around 250 riders) all supported and had a support vehicle front and back of each group. So they were waving away to us yelling at us to turn around and tag along! When we got to Tully we went to pick up supplies and would you believe it we got to town and it was yet another public holiday in the region for their damn show days!!! I tell you those show days are following us! the problem is they all have a public holiday with it so you don't really know if when you get to town if they are having a show day or what!!!
We found the supa IGA was opened so that was lucky and as we left Tully we saw the last of the cycle groups coming in to have there lunch and they must have ridden from Ingham to Innisfail today - that is nearly 150km! and by the look of some of them they looked knackered!
I felt okay leaving Tully with 21km to go but died around the 15km mark - I think the heat is beginning to get to me! but I bought a packet of cherry slices at the IGA and the thought of those with my cuppa at the end is what got me through the final 15km!!!
But would you believe it 500m from our Bilyana Rest Area I got a flat front tyre!!! So I got off and walked to the rest area while Neil rode ahead dumped his gear and came back to off load all my gear so it was easier to push the bike.

... and I am still smiling away after a hot tough day!

It went down pretty fast and when we went to fix it it was only the seal around an old patch that came unstuck (must not have fixed it properly before!), so we fixed the patch.
We stayed at this rest area on our way up and it was full and again it was full tonight.
Bilyana rest area to Ingham -
It was a sleepless night last night it was sooooooooooo hot in fact tooooooooooooo hot to sleep!!! It was only a short ride to Cardwell to pick up some water (the water at Bilyana is not the best - okay to wash in but not drink and it is advisable not to drink it so we carried enough for drinking).
The traffic today going south is really light (compared to going North) and I suppose because it is a Saturday so it is really pleasant riding - the shoulder is okay and wide enough for us but the road is alot smoother so we rode on it! It is a very hot muggy day and quite hot to cycle in the sweat is pouring off me and only trickling off Neil! We knew around 20km before Ingham we had a range to go over - it is a hill around 1.5km long but very steep and narrow but this side is alot easier to go over - it has a series of 10% bumps and in between are what I call recovery slopes where you get a breather before the next bump! and fortunately for us there was no trucks as we were going up - as being in Queensland there are no regulations let alone regulations for the roads so the fact that there are sheer drops down from the edge of the road didn't worry us when there was no trucks! At the top I was leaking like a tap with regards to sweat whereas Neil was only slightly sweaty! At this point I was absolutely buggered and I crawled into Ingham!
I was very relieved to get to the campground and the sweating has caused alot of chaffing so it is very tender to sit on the bike seat!
Innisfail to Rollingstone Rest area -
Oh the legs felt a little stiff this morning even Neil said his were a little tight! but it is only a short ride to Rollingstone so we slept in a bit.
I slept better last night as the night was cooler and you can feel the air is drier and not so humid so it looks like we are nearly out of the rainy area!
It was a beautiful sunny day and our washing last night didn't dry at all so we had to hang it from the front panniers and that looked like a funny sight and I forgot to take a photo of it!
Today is Sunday and still not much traffic going South and again everyone is going North. From here to Townsville the road is the best along this coastline it has a wide shoulder all the way (except when you go over bridges).
The terrain is flat and we did stop of at Frosty Mango (37km south of Ingham) for an ice cream for me and a milkshake for Neil - at first Neil didn't want to stop but I think he knew I wanted to since last time we passed it at 9am in the morning when going North we missed the opportunity as it was a little early in the morning for icecream but this time it was around lunchtime and it was a hot day and something cool and refreshing was really nice ... so we stopped!

Here I am enjoying a hazelnut and coconut icecream ... mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

and I got Neil a macadamia milkshake ...

... and Kouta got the bottom of my ice cream where all the coconut ice cream had settled and he really enjoyed that! It cost us $13.00 for both of them way over priced!
We got to Rollingstone and it was crowded as per usual so this time we parked on the outside on along the driveway and that was actually ideal because then everyone left you alone and you didn't have to put up with the caravaners (I would like to point out that although this blog is my thoughts - Neil has just informed me that he is sick of caravaners at rest areas!!! in fact I think he is sick of caravaners full stop!!!)
In the afternoon we went for a swim in the billabong and it was a hot day so that was very refreshing (bugger the crocs!) and that doubled up as our wash!
We stayed here on Monday too and funny enough this morning it nearly completely emptied out and I think the reason why is because around 10am 2 council inspectors came along! They went around to each spot and checked they rego against their records or took down the rego for their records - we were known as yellow tent/pushbikes!!! so maybe that is why there was a mass exodus this morning and only 2 caravans got caught and had to leave - the guy did give us a pamphlet of the council areas around Townsville (all in this area north of Townsville) that is available for staying and how long - but the thing is it is very ambiguous - it allows a 48hour stay at Rollingstone once a week so does that apply to the other areas? Out of the 5 areas can you only stay at any one only once a week or can you stay at one on Mon and Tues and then another Wed and Thurs and another on Fri and Sat but not go back to the one you stayed at on Mon and Tues until later on next week? it is very confusing!!! It doesn't matter to us as we move on! but I think there is alot of abusing this system!
So it was a lovely restfull day and we left it a little late to go to the local general store to get bread and dinner as she had run out of bread and there was very little for dinner in the store so Neil came back with a single tomato ... why he thought the tomato would be enough i don't know!! maybe he thought it would multiply or I could turn it into a spag bol? LOL nah it was to accompany our budgeted bread slices of only 3 each and processed cheese and avocado! In the end it wasn't enough and I polished off half a packet of Nice biscuits, Neil had way too much Dark Fruit Cake (man he stunk the tent out all night!) and we finished it off with 3 weetbix each with fuit and nuts and a drizzle of honey over it! We were quite full in the end!
Went for a walk later on and would you beilieve it last time we were here we found a loaf of bread and Kouta found a sausage and lamb chop for dinner ... well this time we found 2 apples! so we saved them for breaky tomorrow as the local shop didn't even have bananas!
Rollingstone Rest Area to Townsville -
I am glad we stopped at Rollingstone for a rest yesterday as the legs felt good this morning and well rested! Still not much traffic going South so we are hoping this is the norm and the shoulder was good - didn't really hit much traffic until the outskirts of Townsville (just south of Saunders Beach turnoff).
The wind has changed to a west direction but it is still a head wind and it was strong today so we sat on around 15-16km per hour. We had decided to stay in Townsville to get a tent and we were going to stay at the Coral Coast Top Tourist park and we thought it was the first one on the left as you approach Townsiville from the North but it wasn't so we continued along Ingham road which is probably the main industrial area and it was alot better cycling along that road than the main highway! We found the top tourist park and went to book in and Neil said they had no more sites available and the only other caravan park to take dogs was the one we passed at the other end of Ingham road so Neil quickly said - nah we will take the pet cabin for 2 nights ... he got no argument from me!!! Yet again we are blowing this weeks budget! This park has 3 pet cabins where they are normal cabins but they have a fenced enclosure for dogs (the dogs are not allowed in the cabin and no we won't be letting Kouta in this time not like at Millaa Millaa - this park is a weeeeeeeeeeee bit more strict than Millaa Millaa!!!) It costs us $104 each night!!! OMG we are becoming like you dad! lashing out money willy nilly on luxurious accomodations and it is not even raining! I have a feeling that Neil had this in mind all the way along to Townsville - ever since he found out that it has doggy cabins! He asked the owner how they were going as no caravan park we have found has them and he said it has been going for 1 year and they have only had one real mishap with some dickhead and his dog. So he thinks they are a success and are used just as much as the other normal cabins. I think they are great and are so happy to have a normal bed (not a bunk!) and my own shower and toilet and my own power point and fridge and kettle and toaster!!! so bugger the price we are on holiday!

this is me outside the cabin

even Kouta looks happy!

Neil looks right at home in the kitchen ...

and our own table and chairs (there is another set outside!)
and below is the bedroom with the shower and toilet just of it!

It is lovely to be here Neil has just got back from buying a tent and he got a bargain at Kathmandu - our exact same tent again but for $170 - it is normally $459 and Neil mentioned about the poles and zip and she said that we should have bought them back in as it should last the life of the tent but Neil said we were in the middle of no where! so we will send the new aluminium poles back to Colac and continue using our fibreglass ones. So we are happy little campers at the moment ... actually more poor happy little campers!

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