Week 2: Tour de Oz (QLD)
Unfortunately, my posts can’t be more frequent than once a week due to the lack of telephone reception, so here’s a weekly update:
Leaving Magnetic Island
I truly enjoyed my time on Magnetic Island. It was nice just to chill out on the beach and forget about the rushed feeling of ‘pack up a go’ – even just for two days. On the way back from the island my new friend Holliwood (and his Harley) joined me for a ride up the coast. It was nice to have a riding buddy and I hope we get the chance to meet again!
I must say I had much better expectations about Port Douglas – but maybe I’m just having a whinge ‘cause I absolutely hated the caravan park I stayed in. Firstly: it was overpriced ($28 for a tent!), and secondly: just after a great long ride, when I was thinking to myself that I’ve never felt such freedom before, from the moment I arrived got smashed with site rules and regulations and told what not to do during my stay. Chill out people: it’s the leisure industry not the Army!
Cape Tribulation – Pure Magic
The next morning I packed my bags (with pleasure!) and headed off to Cape Tribulation – which is now absolutely my favourite spot in Queensland! It was a fantastic ride through the rainforest, including the Daintree River ferry crossing and tropical walk to Mossaman Gorge. I spent the rest of the day chilling in a beautiful, borderline-magical swimming hole. The night at the cape was a little bit adventurous I must say: it was raining heavily throughout the whole night and, because I parked my bike on the grass (next to some rock, not on top of them!), at midnight I was woken up by huge CRASH! – specifically: my bike had fallen over! Luckily my fellow campers helped me to lift the bike and we all went back to sleep.
While I was waiting for my tyres to arrive from Sydney I hung out for two days in Atherton area (100 km east of Cairns) – lots of attractions: waterfalls, lakes, magnificent lookouts and many, many brilliant roads (especially the awesome ‘twisties’ from Mossman Mount Molloy and Yungaburra to Gordonvale). Unfortunately, due to the rain I had to skip a lot of attractions – I much prefer riding in the rain than walking around completely soaked and ‘admiring’ the scenery!
And, finally, I made my way to Cairns where got my new tyres fitted at MotoSapien (the only bike shop in Cairns who was able to order Heidenau tires!). Thank you very much Matt for your excellent service! Hope to have a chance to pop in for a coffee and some bike-chat again.
The place I stayed at in Cairns is definitely worth a mention: Travellers Oasis Backpackers – brilliant hostel, great facilities!
The Savannah Way – finally out back!
The Savannah Way is a spectacular road from Cairns to Broome. The only sealed part is from Cairns to Normanton (680 km) and this is the part I rode this week – in constant rain! I’ve waited for this moment for a long time: this is the start of the real outback! Kangaroos, emus, dingos, wild horses – I got to see them all – crossing the road! Another exciting challenge is when the road gets narrower – to the width of a single lane… basically, you have to share that lane with road trains coming from the opposite direction! The gravel shoulders of the road can get really muddy – thank goodness I got rid of my road tyres!
And that’s how I got to Mount Isa – last stop in Queensland! Northern Territory here I come!
Supporting the Shepherd Centre
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