October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Monday, June 2, 2014

Reid River rest area to Townsville

 Reid River rest area to Townsville = 60km
Cummulative totals = 3367km and 23, 368km
Riverside Convention Center = $15 unpowered (tent site) ... can you believe that!!!

We have arrived in the big smoke of Townsville with a population of around 200,000.  A very big town for us to visit and normally we avoid places like this but we need a few bike and camping items and this is the only town that would have shops that stock them!
Last time we came here (4 years ago) we bypassed it on the way north as it had the big V8 race on and on the way back down we stayed at a caravan park that had a pet cabin so we splashed out and stayed 2 nights there but never got to see the Strand part of Townsville which is the waterfront which has been all done up so this time we have found a campground and will stay for 3 nights but more on that later.
This morning we got up early since we all had a restless nights sleep - it is very warm at night and even Kouta is struggling to find a cool spot in the tent ... for some strange reason he found sleeping above Neils head the coolest part of the tent last night! When we got up it was about 21 degrees and we were off at around 7.15am while it was relatively cool.
The traffic wasn't too bad when we started but soon we got the traffic coming from Charters trying to get to Townsville before 9am.  It is funny riding along here, it is relatively flat (if a little down hill a bit) but either side of you are massive mountain ranges that just 'pop' out of the earth ... there is no gradual area of smaller hills and mountains around the moutain but just flat ground and then straight up in the sky ... here is my view early this morning ...
 That mountain range is Bowling Green national park and it is like this all the way to Townsville and further north to Cairns just these massive mountain ranges popping straight up from flat ground.
We did see a Japanese cycle tourist going to Charters and going around Australia and 20km later we saw another touring cyclist also going in the Charters direction and he may have been Aussie to but didn't stop to chat.
We had a cuppa at around the 40km mark and we have stopped here before it is a massive parking area for trucks and their trailers.  We don't go into the area just on the outside across the road ...
 We are now just 10km before the outskirts of Townsville and the traffic is picking up.  We still have a shoulder to ride in. We decided that the park is on the Ross River and we can get to it if we ride along the bike path that follows the river so as soon as we cross the Bruce highway we can link up with a bike path that goes up to the Ross River and we can join the bike path then.  It is a lovely path the meanders along the river on both sides.
 For most of it it has a parkland to the right of us and then some lovely massive houses along it ... most of it is in the shade ...
 it is so much easier riding along this path than the roads and we quickly get to our caravan park.  Now as I mentioned last night Neil found an accomodation place that is run by Seventh Day Adventists.  It has a convention center, cabin type accomodation, school and caravan park.  It is not in your normal caravan guide but it is on some of the forums and Badgers (which is the internet caravan guide) and gets good reviews mainly because of the price.  It was advertised at $25 for a powered site so we thought that is okay and by the looks of it it has a big tent section, albeit unpowered in the photo but not bad.  So we arrive around 11.30am and she charges us $15 for a powered tent site (the $25 is for a caravan) she says we can stay amongst the vans etc to be close to the toilet but across the driveway is the powered tent section and unpowered tent section but it has massive mango trees which are excellent to camp under and the entire field is grass ... do you know how long it has been since we have camped on grass and not stones or dust!  So we say that we only want the power to charge up the tablets so we will go to the trees and walk over to the power point to charge up ... it is not necessary to pitch the tent near the power point so that is what we have done.  Within minutes of unpacking Kouta has fallen asleep and somethimes he chooses the most strangest spots ...

 his little head rests on the seat!  While having a cuppa tea (badly needed as it is warm and sweaty) and the last of our food - we have nothing left except for weetbix and a bag of burritos with jam or honey! We hear this very loud helicopter go over head ... Neil mentioned the name but I forget what it is but it has 2 propellors ...
 Iriquoi (spelling?) or something like that.
So Neil is exceptionally happy with this spot and I must admit so am I ... we are well away from everyone so Kouta is free to roam, we have heaps of shade and we are in a field where the afternoon wind blows - over by the caravans it is sheltered by cabins and houses so there is no afternoon breeze so it is warmer amongst the trees but here it is lovely ...
tomorrow we are cycling into the town center and will spend the day at the Strand swimming hopefully and will just lounge around in the shade under the trees and will shot ourselves some fish and chips for lunch I think!  That is if Neil doesn't go over board while shopping ... he has been gone for about 2 hours now ... I am getting worried!

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