October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Charters Towers to Reid River Rest Area

Charters Towers to Reid river rest area - 77km
Cummulative totals - 3257km and 23,258km
Reid river rest area = free!

Hi de hi campers, we had a lovely 3 day break at Charters, apart from eating copious amounts of pull apart chocolate bread we really did nothing at all.  I read all day on my first rest day and on the 2nd day just a few chores and mapping.  We had a little visit from Ludo from Belgium ...
 I think I mentioned in the last post that we had cycle tourers behind us ... well Ludo was one day behind us and the French tandem couple and the single american woman was one day behind him.  I can't remember if I mentioned that Ludo is an amputee as you can see from the photo he is  missing the lower part of one leg.  Now this guy started out in Belgium (not sure when) and has done 37,000km - so through many countries he has cycled to get to here and is continuing on!
Onto todays ride, I bought a spare pair of cycle shorts at the cycle shop in Charters (he has been opened 3 years) and he was chatting to me and mentioned that the road between Charters and Townsville has been redone, if I remember correctly last time we cycled this the road didn't really have a shoulder but today clearly they have widened the road and the shoulder is wide enough for us with the cars.  Being a Sunday I didn't think there would be much traffic on the road and I was right ... traffic wasn't heavy at all, there were even less trucks around, just the odd one here and there (going both ways).
We crossed over the Burdekin river at Macrossan - heaps of people at the free camping area there!)
 This would be a great river to see when it is full of water or when it is in flood ...
 There was a group of tents camped on sand right beside the river and well away from the caravans - it would have been an ideal spot.
So up to Mingella (at 50km) the road is rolling, we had a cuppa at Mingella rest area and you are riding along looking at the surrounding area and there is not a mountain in sight all except one that was in isolation.  Now if you didn't know the area you would be surprised to find this ...
 basically we had been riding up to the Mingella range and then you just drop down and while you are dropping down a 3km gradual hill you get the feeling you are going through a valley with mountains either side which a few kms before you didn't know were there!
I am not sure what the name of this mountain is but I thought it was pretty spectacular
 So at the bottom of the hill you are still going down a bit.  We did have a head wind for most of today at 9am but the legs coped okay.  It wasn't a hard wind and by the time we got to our destination it was a gentle wind.
Riding along today in our shoulder we came across a small snake, I saw it, looked in my mirror and couldn't see behind me (Neil blocks my view a bit) to see if I could duck out to go around it but by then I could see it was dead and passed it but I didn't get time to warn Neil that it is there and it  is dead as Neil had already spotted it at the last minute and he squealed and lifted his feet of this pedals ... it was funny to watch in my mirror! That will teach him for being to close to me and blocking my view!
We get to our rest area at around 1.40pm and noticed a few changes to the rest area, first there is a heap of barriers around all the treed areas and it is very restrictive as to where caravaners can go, we are okay to go under the massive trees which provide shade for us as we can get between the barriers but we noticed that there is no shade for the caravaners.
if you look to the left of the photo you can see the barriers they have around everywhere.  For most of the afternoon it was just us and one other guy in a car and then 2 caravans came and heaps of backpackers (quiet ones!) in cars and vans turned up.  I think the barriers provide a deterrant for caravaners as I remember last time we came here it was very crowded with caravaners.
So tomorrow is a shortish day to Townsville ... Neil has chosen our caravan park - Riverside Convention Center ... believe it or not it is run by a Seventh Day Adventist
group and has dorms, cabins, hall, caravan and camping section so it is not your traditional caravan park but it is relatively central to where we want to be.  Other caravan parks are very crowded and the only one that is really suited for tents is full of backpackers so we thought we would give this one a go!

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