Where are we now ? http://goo.gl/maps/9Lkgc
Distance covered so far = 17,221 Kms
Days on the road so far = 70
Friday 14 June 2013
We left Cooktown this morning on a beautiful crystal clear morning and a comfortable 22c to retrace our 150 km ride back to Mount Molloy. We then turned east for the coast again headed for the sugar cane town of Mossman. We passed lots of cane fields then got a spectacular view of the coastline as we rode over the lush green coastal mountains down to Mossman. After lunching there we turned south again along the coastal highway which ran right beside the ocean in places reminding us of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. We passed through the very upmarket resort town of Port Douglas then wound our way along the coastline to Cairns riding a total of 370 Kms for the day. We struck considerable traffic on the run down from Port Douglas, a far cry from having the road to ourselves as we have become accustomed too. We plan to stay here for a couple of days and are taking the tourist train up to Kuranda in the morning.
Saturday 15 June 2013
We spent the day taking the tourist train to Kuranda then returning on the SkyRail. A spectacular day culminating in a delightful visit to the family of some close friends who live in Cairns and very generously invited us to dinner.
Sunday 16 June 2013
Today we stayed in Cairns again and took a cruise out to Green Island to sample the delights of the Great Barrier Reef. Ros went under the water for the first time in her life as we marvelled at the reef and sea life through the windows of the semi-submersible submarine.
Monday 17 June 2013
The countryside from Cairns to Townsville was lush and green with bananas, pineapples, mangoes and sugar cane alternately growing for almost the entire 390 Kms. We rode with the mountains of the Great Dividing Range on our right all day which were equally as green as the rest of the countryside making postcard type scenery for most of the day. The day was sunny and a little cooler at 24c making for a more comfortable ride. We took a detour out to Mission Beach which was a lovely spot with equally picturesque scenery. One of their claims to fame is the colony of Cassowaries living in the area with signs everywhere alerting motorists to watch out for them. The general area is known as the Cassowary Coast but, unfortunately, we did not sight any. We passed through Cardwell which was the coastal town which copped the brunt of cyclone Yasi. A huge civil reconstruction program was well advanced along the waterfront to repair the enormous damage caused. We were slowed somewhat during the day by a continuing succession of road works together with fairly heavy traffic in both directions taking the edge off the otherwise enjoyable ride. We enjoyed a pleasant night hosted by some friends in Townsville from our OZSTOC motorcycle network.
Tuesday 18 June 2013
The ride from Townsville to Mackay today took us through mostly sugar country with sugar cane growing virtually the entire 400 kms. Almost every little hamlet we passed through featured a sugar mill, all of them puffing away well into their current crushing season. The area was cris-crossed by the narrow gauge railway network used in this part of the world to take the harvested cane directly from the fields to the nearest mill. We were held up once as an incredibly long train of wire cages each loaded with harvested cane, trundled across the road. We passed through well known sugar growing towns such as Ayr, Bowen, Proserpine and our overnight stopover at Mackay. The sugar handling and shipping facility at Mackay Harbour is huge. The omnipresent Great Dividing Range kept us company again all day, sometimes close and sometimes forming a blue silhouette off in the distance. The ocean was on our left and we got occasional glimpses of the coastline often comprising large tidal flats and views of the nearer islands of the Whitsunday group. The riding was better today with less traffic and road works to interrupt our travels with flat and gently sweeping bends through cane fields, many right beside the road, most of the day. A very pleasant ride.
Off to Rockhampton and Rosslyn Bay tomorrow.
Bye for now
Ros and Dick