As some of you may have noticed, I’m overdue for an update. The reason is since St Lawrence I had a goal in mind – I was keen to make my way to Cairns to finish some uni work as my laptop was flat, and when I finally had it charged I didn’t have reception. So the end result was a hair over 900km in 2 days but wow, it was worth it!
This update will cover a days at once, so I’ll break it down day by day:
The morning was fairly uneventful – we awoke at St Lawrence not long after daybreak and things didn’t look much different to when we arrived: barren and brown. We packed up fairly early to get an early start as we had a short stop over in Mackay. As I made my last trip over to collect some water I found Alex had struck up a conversation with an older gentleman staying at the park. I walked into the second half of the conversation and it turned out he had quite an interesting history – he had been travelling in one way or another since the early 1950s and had travelled extensively by motorbike and horseback – he had even travelled by horse from Melbourne to the Cape! He had also done quite a bit of endurance racing overseas; competing in the Arab Emirates.
Moving on we charted our next route – across to Mackay to get supplies and a new front tyre for the big DR as it had scrubbed the tyre out unevenly and quite badly, down to being bald in one section with fresh tread in the other (later found to be a bent axle, we are waiting on a new one as of writing). First, we had a quick detour via Clairview.
Clairview is a very small town situated on an – and I do mean small. Most of the houses back straight onto the water, with only a single street running past. It made for a lovely lunch stop:
Onwards to Mackay. The ride up was uneventful; thankfully the local Kawasaki dealer was able to do Alex’s tyre while we waited. I took the opportunity to browse the showroom looking at a few classic bikes.
Very nicely restored RM500
With a fresh tyre on the DR650 we headed to our next destination – Airlie Beach. We made good time and managed to get in plenty of daylight and took the opportunity to scout out a campsite. We found the spot we were looking for
We decided to head into town before coming back at high tide, with a quick stop in at the local library to recharge some of our gear.
Watching the moon rise
After some sausages, fried eggs, tomato and a cuppa we turned in for the night to explore Airlie Beach in the morning.
My Tracks link
The view out of my swag
Loading up for the day while watching the planes come into land
Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos as I was too busy enjoying the scenery, but I did take a short video..
Making our way to our next stop – Fletcher’s Creek – we had the first of our mechanical issues. Alex’s DR650 had developed a misfire at speed and stopped a few times trying to sort the problem.
Eventually a fresh set of colder spark plugs sorted it. Making our way towards Charters Towers then onwards to Fletcher’s Creek really brought home how dry and it is here
We arrived before dusk this time but also had plenty of moonlight to set up camp. I jumped into a cold shower before the temperature dropped too much, most welcome!
My Tracks link
Lovely morning! This was the view straight out of the swag.
I spent a bit of time wandering around the camp site. Apparently Leichardt had set up camp during his 1844 expedition less than 2km away from where we were camped. Fascinating area but very dry at this time of year and served as a good point to reflect on what it would be like to explore unchartered territory by foot no less.
We got an early morning start and headed out aiming to reach my aunty and uncle’s near Herberton, not far from Cairns. The morning run was quite good before a headwind set in and we were able to make good progress. We stopped at Greenvale for lunch where I found this little guy
From here it was just a case of knocking down the kilometres. We ended up taking a brief detour to check out the Millstream Falls:
That’s all from me for now. I’ve spent the last few days relaxing near Herberton (lovely place, more to come in my next post). We will be moving on come Friday, next stop Mossman.
My Tracks link