Camping in the Bowen Caravan Park last night, the tropical green stinging ants took a particular liking to Therese. The little buggers came down out of the trees and managed to sneak into our tent. This morning they covered our frypan and camping stool, time to leave Bowen, the ants and the ill-defined big Mango: See my Facebook post on Australia’s collective fetish for Big Things.
After breakfast at the local bakery, a toasted raisin bun, I posted off a couple of scenic postcards to mum.
Out on the road in warm wind conditions the first Magpie flyover came quickly. Then again just past the turn off to Abbott Point. I was swooped 4 times on the way to my first stop at Guthalungra 45 kms away. After that they seemed to quieten down, perhaps the butcher birds kept them occupied or the gangs of Black kites aka ” Kimberly Seagulls” that hunt on the edges of the cane fields doing a little swooping of their own.
Cane fields gave way to mango plantations, then at Gumlu, a tiny hamlet, I was greeted with the Big Pumpkin. I’m guessing it was a Queensland Blue.
The road verge had been rough most of the day. Early on, controlled burning along the verge had left everything black, while I smelt the air through charcoal. Traffic was constant. Mostly road trains and farmers in ute’s. A cattle train passed close by spraying me with the piss of the packed in beef- not a pleasant experience! A beautiful diamond back python lay dead by the roadside, such a waste.
The verge got smaller, less than the width of my handlebars, but despite the magpies, piss and traffic, I enjoyed riding in theses tropical conditions until just after Home Hill I had to cross the shoulderless Burdekin River Bridge. Very scary, with wheel eating grates every fifty meters that needed to be crossed at an angle. This is not really cycle friendly country, despite the occasional ‘watch for bikes’ signs.
Ayr is a large town only 85 kms from Townsville. We settled in at the Local caravan park nestled nicely between a tamarind tree and a Burdekin plum. I’m feeling happy and thankful.
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