Julie and I were supposed to be hiking the 5,000km Continental Divide Trail in the US in 2020, but COVID-19 derailed that plan. Instead, we will have an adventure in Australia, circumnavigating the country on our bikes, a distance of about 16,500km taking approximately five and a half months. We will use minor roads where possible and occasionally catch ferries across rivers and inlets to avoid busier inland routes. We will camp some of the time and stay in motels, hotels, etc, at others. There will be stretches of up to five days with no accommodation or resupply available, so we will need to be self-sufficient.

Day 032

Day:  032

Date: Sunday, 02 August 2020

Start:  Palmer River Roadhouse

Finish:  Mount Molloy

Daily Kilometres:  113 (click for Julie's Strava and photos)

Total Kilometres:  3395

Weather:  Mild and partly sunny with a brief shower in the morning

Accommodation:  Hotel

Nutrition:

  Breakfast:  Egg & salad sandwiches

  Lunch:  Toasted ham, cheese & tomato sandwiches

  Dinner:  Fish, chips & salad/Hamburger & chips

Aches:  Nothing significant

Highlight:  The first two hours of riding, when there was no wind and we had the highway to ourselves was magic.  It was like having our own personal bike path through the Australian bush as dawn broke.  Didn't see any animals, apart from a few cattle, but lots of birdlife.

Lowlight:  A headwind came up around 9am and made cycling harder for the rest of the day, though it wasn't as relentless or strong as yesterday.

Pictures: Click here

Map and Position: Click here for Google Map

Journal:

We left the roadhouse at 6:20am, just as it was getting light, in the hope of covering some extra kilometres in calmer conditions before the forecast headwind.  It proved to be a good decision and we made good time in perfect conditions (see above).  We took a breakfast break around 8:30am, stopping by the side of the road, leaning our bikes up against each other, and sitting/lying on our small blue groundsheet while we ate the sandwiches we had purchased from the roadhouse last night and drank our flavoured milks.  Sometimes, the breaks are the best part of cycling or hiking.

The wind increased in strength after breakfast and we had to work a bit harder.  Traffic also increased, but it was still very quiet relatively, as the road passed through lightly-timbered dry grass grazing land, backed by forested mountains, with cattle roaming freely beside, and on, the road.  There were plenty of hills, but generally the grades were OK and we only had to resort to granny gear occasionally.

We had been travelling on a kind of plateau since yesterday's climb up the Byerstown Range, and after about 55 kilometres today, we got to enjoy a long steepish descent from the plateau before taking another break and riding the remaining 25 kilometres into the hamlet of Mount Carbine.  We found the roadhouse closed and had to resort to the small pub for lunch, which we ate on their verandah watching the world go by.  A few guys were playing pool, locals were stopping by, and some tourists were also lunching.

As we ate, we watched the palm trees across the road bending and rustling in the wind, into which we would soon be riding.  Sometimes 30 kilometres, which is what we had left to our destination, Mount Molloy, doesn't seem much, but with a headwind it's less inviting.  As it turned out, the wind was becoming fickle, and although it blew hard some of the time, at other times it dropped away to nothing.

The 30 kilometres passed faster then expected, despite a few hills near the end, and we continued to get cheers, thumbs up, and applause from passing vehicles to brighten up our day.  We have been struck by how nice everyone has been to us on our journey so far.  Motorists, fellow patrons at roadhouses and shops, and particularly, proprietors at the motels, roadhouses, etc, have been very kind to us.

We reached Mount Molloy, and our stereotypical Queensland country pub, around 2:30pm, happy to have a shorter day, and happy that the headwind had not been as bad as anticipated.  We had time for a stroll around the very small town after showers, and then enjoyed a few hours relaxing and blogging on the wide second-floor verandah outside of our basic room.

Later we had dinner downstairs in the pub, which was Sunday-night-quiet after a busy afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment