October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Croydon to Normanton

 Croydon to Normanton = 157km (day 1 = 92km, day 2 = 65km)
Cummulative totals = 4461km and 24,462km
Normanton tourist park = $24 unpowered

It was a good 2 day ride here to Normanton, despite what the profile looks like it wasn't as down hill as it looks but it was relatively flat for most of it!  Upon leaving Croydon we faced our usual hazards in the morning while on this road ... peak hour traffic ... it is a real killer but we are reside to the fact that this is the way it is to be ...
 Neil found out that today (Wednesday) the tourist train will travel from Normanton to Croydon so we should see it sometime today and we were fortunate to meet it 60km out of Croydon at Blackbull Siding at 11.30am ... this is the Gulflander
 I was shocked to see the front part ... at first I thought it was a peanut bus on the front but it is a legitimate rail car towing the 2 carriages ...

 there weren't too many passengers and I spoke to one of them who said that about 2/3's of them are staying the night in Croydon and will travel back to Normanton on the Gulflander on Thursday and other 1/3 will be taken by coach back to Normanton.
 we waited for the train to leave and took advantage of the tables under the shade to have something to eat ...
 We could have stayed at Blackbull siding but that would mean a long day to Normanton.  We were feeling quite good and a good tailwind was helping us along the way so we continued.
I think I have mentioned this before but this road is very quiet, most of the time Neil and I can ride side by side, there is sporadic caravan traffic and the odd truck now and then ... it is great riding and the road is well formed and not broken up.
The railway line is on the right side of the road and will continue like that all the way to Normanton so it would provide us with the ideal spot for bush camping.  Neil found a spot at around 90km but as soon as we got of the road I saw a decomposing wild pig.  At first while on the road we were up wind of it but I mentioned to Neil that the pig is there and in his off handish way he ignored what I said,  I must admit it was a great spot with 2 off the most important things for us today - shade and the ground was clear of native grass/tussock.  We begin to unpack and then a breeze came across and  a waft of rotting carcas came with it.  Neil was so desperate to stay in this perfect spot that he states that it is not too bad and we will get use to it!  another breeze blows and phew what a stinker ... nah I am not staying ... see ya Neil!   He knew it was not a good idea to stay.
So back on the road he is lamenting as to how good that spot was and I am agreeing and looking for another ... we did find one a few kms later but no where near as perfect as the first but it did have dappled shade it did have a clear spot for the tent ...
Both sites were close to the road and only 3m from the railway line (don't worry the only train is the Gulflander and that has already gone through and when it returns the next day we will be long gone!)
 so you can see us but this road is so quiet and no one  looks at all!
 you can see the railway line there! and now looking down the line ...
 It was a great spot and the  night time was quiet.
So today we got away by 7.30am even though we overslept.  Not alot is expected to happen today since nothing has happened to us so far.
It is still flat and there is still very light traffic.  We only have a short day today so we can take advantage of the extra time resting in the afternoon.
We do cross the Norman river which has some water in it on one side of the bridge but empty on the other side ...
 this bridge is somewhat strange (like alot of bridges in Queensland) it has no sides to it only a 30cm concrete lip either side so if a van decided to knock us off we would go over the side of the bridge.  In saying that at the end of the bridge there was a huge colony of bats in the tree and when on the bridge they were less than a meter from you and they were at eye level ... they were noisy and smelly and definitely didn't like me stopping next to them and taking a photo!

from here it is only a short ride to the town of Normanton.  It has a population of 1500 people which is more than we expected.
We got here just before lunch.  After lunch I decided to get the bulk of the food shopping out of the way and knowing that they supplies would be very limited and not to mention expensive here I went to the 4 square shop stop and trying to find something for 4 meals to get us down to Cloncurry is nearly impossible there is no heat and eat type products in tetra packs so I had to get the dehydrated pasta (Neil is not to fond of them) and tinned tuna, so I managed to piece together 3 meals and the 4th and possible 5th can be weetbix since I have alot of them ... we paid $7.50 for a 1kg container of yoghurt (we haven't had any since Ravenshoe!)  I don't mind paying these prices you sort of expect it and do a bit of bush camping to conteract the cost of food.  Bananas are $4.99 a kg which is not bad, fruit is about $5-8 per kg depending on the fruit.  tomatoes are $5 something a kg so we are eating as much fresh food as possible today and tomorrow and will take bananas with us to Cloncurry which will take 4-5 cycling days - we have looked at the forecast and we unfortunately are going to have raging headwinds for the bulk of the ride down to Cloncurry.
Tomorrow we will have a look around town, there is a statue of a crocodile in town with a little story to it, I will take a photo of it and explain why it is a load of S#*t !!!

No comments:

Post a Comment