Posts filed under 'Hervey Bay'
Well I’ve had a bit of a break from the bike for the last week. I’ve been staying at the caravan park at Tannum Sands trying to recover from a cold/flu-type thing that really knocked me out for several days. No energy to even think about riding. Don’t worry though, it wasn’t SARS.
Luckily I met some really nice guys in the park who looked after me and kept me company while I recovered. One of them, Simon, invited me to spend the weekend with his family who are from Kingaroy, which is officially in the middle of nowhere, halfway between the ocean and the outback of Queensland, and I thought, hmmm, how many backpackers get to say they’ve seen Kingaroy,’the peanut and navy bean capital of Australia’, so I decided I had to go. It was a great time getting to meet real Australians and lots of locals at the pubs in Kingaroy. On Saturday we drove out to Simon’s sister’s house in the mountains near the Sunshine Coast and they had some friends over for the weekend so I got the chance to hang out with more Aussies. Everyone was really friendly and nice and they all made me feel right at home.
We got back to Tannum on Monday afternoon which was ANOTHER holiday, this time Labor Day. Somehow I managed to spend another 2 days recovering, mostly because I just didn’t feel like getting back on the bike every morning. Yesterday afternoon I felt’normal’ for the first time in over a week and finally felt like I had the energy to ride. So today I was off.
It was only 57 km from Tannum to here, but it was the only logical way to break up the 130 km stretch to Rockhampton. So tomorrow I’ll have 75 km to’Rocky.’ And conveniently enough, Simon’s father owns a farm supply store here in town and he’s letting me sleep in the shop tonight. They’ve got a kitchen and shower here which is all I need. I’ve spent the afternoon sitting around here with Vera, the girl who works here, watching the locals come in for their farm tools and bits and pieces. I don’t think they’re very used to seeing an American girl who’s cycling round Oz on her own in the farm supply store I can tell you! Great place to meet locals though.
Anyway tomorrow I’ll be off again. By the way, I crossed the 1,000 km mark on the distance done in Australia today!
Distance: 56.01 km
Time: 2 hr 56 minutes
Avg Speed: 19.0 km/hr
Now thats a tourist attraction
View of Glass House Mountains from Maleny
Sunset at Tannum Sands
May 8th, 2003
Short day compared to the last few, but I needed it. I was tired this morning and not looking forward to a full day of cycling on the Bruce Highway. But actually this stretch of it wasn’t too bad – there was actually a shoulder for most of the way, and if one good thing can be said about riding on the highway, it’s that the road is generally MUCH less hilly than backroads.
So my original plan was to do about 65 km to Calliole, which is just another no-name town near the highway that happens to have a caravan park, and then to push a big day into Rockhampton tomorrow. But after 40 km on hot tarmac on the highway, I saw a sign for a turn-off to Tannum Sands Beach with a caravan park, only 8 km off the highway, and the alter ego said oh yeah!! I mean come on now, I am cycling around Australia to SEE Australia, and I’ve just done 5 days of good hard riding AND I’ve been staying in crap caravan parks with Aussie white trash (yes there is such a thing) and, well I just wanted to see the beach and have an easy day.
So I pulled off and of course as soon as I left the highway the hills began and they were fierce but it was only 8 km and then I saw the ocean at Tannum Sands and it was worth it!
I knew I better hit the supermarket before finding the park because it was hot and I would not feel like leaving once I got there, so I asked some skate-rat 13-year old kid on a dirt bike where one was (I’m finding these kids actually give the most accurate directions, complete with shortcuts through parking lots and back streets), and I stocked up at the Woolworth’s, or ‘Woolies’ as they call it here, 2 km out of town, and finally cycled back and found the caravan park.
Shower, laundry, clothes hanging on the line, and here I am, sitting by the pool in a lounge chair in the warmth of the late afternoon sun, listening to Aussie’s version of NPR on my little radio, and the only thing that’s missing is my rum and coke on ice with an umbrella floating in it. You couldn’t enjoy this as much as I am now unless you had the same few days of hills and rain and traffic and engine exhaust and, well, you get the picture. This could be a good place to take a rest day tomorrow.
Distance: 54.33 km
Time: 2 hr 47 minutes
Avg Speed: 19.5 km/hr
Here is the evil campervan that nearly ate my wee little tent
Fantastic view from the pub at Tannum
Kangaroos having afternoon tea at the caravan park
April 28th, 2003
It’s always easier at the END of the day to say that it wasn’t actually all that bad. Very true in the case of today. Last night, by the way, it poured and howled all night long, and I still can’t explain how grateful I was to be inside in a bed in a room at the Yandaran Pub.
I was hoping to wake up to sun and blue skies today and be fully motivated for a 90 km ride, but it was grey and cloudy and drizzling. Yuck. I knew I had to get moving though and finally got on the road at 8am. There was rain all morning on a VERY hilly road with NOTHING around. The first (and only) town was 26 km from Yandaran. The next town, Marian Vale, was 64 km away. I pulled off to buy a cold drink and took a break under a tree while it continued to rain. Decision time – stay there and call it a day at 10:30am by checking into the motel, or continue on another 64 km. I knew if I decided to keep going that I was committed to go the whole 90 km, despite the weather and the hills and the fact that I was still tired from yesterday.
Somehow I found myself cycling on. Hills and hills and hills and hills and hills. More than 4 hours of hills in total.
The rain finally stopped about 2 hours into the cycling, but then the sun came out and it was so hot and humid that I couldn’t decide which was worse.
Lots of splattered frogs on the road today. Yesterday in the rain the frogs were jumping and hopping all over the road, having a ball, but obviously a lot of them got run over during the night. Too bad guys.
Hills and hills and more hills and nothing on the road except forest and hills and red earth and dead frogs.
I finally hit a turnoff where I had 26 km left and 5 of that was supposed to be gravel road which I was a bit nervous about, but it turns out a ‘gravel’ road in Oz is much better than a ‘paved’ road in Cambodia, so relatively speaking, I found it to be quite easy. For the last hour I got a second wind, and even considered doing another 13 km to the next town when I got here. But it was 3pm, and I generally like to finish by then since it gives me 2 hours of daylight to set up my tent, shower, wash up my clothes, and relax. I decided to stay, and of course once I showered and put on clean clothes, I suddenly forgot the rain and the pain and the hills and the brutal sun, and all I can think is Wow, what a great day!
Tomorrow, onward, north.
Distance: 86.45 km
Time: 4 hr 48 minutes
Avg Speed: 17.9 km/hr
The great open road
and the unforgettable Australian sky
April 27th, 2003
What a day. After all the rain we had today I cannot explain how happy I am to be warm and dry in my room at the Yandaran Pub, even though it was quite a bit of effort to get here. They called for heavy rain today, but when I woke up this morning to some blue skies/some clouds, I thought I may get away with just a cloudy day. Well, I did for the first 2 hours, and it was a really nice ride on the backroads of Childers through the sugar cane fields and then 20 km on the Isis Highway, which was not nearly as busy as the Bruce Highway (Route 1) and even though it was hilly, it really wasn?t too bad. I then turned off the highway and had 9 km to get to Kolan South where I was planning to take a break. Then the rain hit, a torrential downpour! I got HAMMERED and had 3 massive hills to get to the town, which, by the way, was nothing more than a crossroads with a motel. But the porch of the motel was a heavenly site for me to get out of the downpour for a break.
At that point I had done 41 km and I really didn?t fancy cycling much more in the rain, especially because it was really windy and quite chilly as well, so I looked ahead on the maps and decided to go another 16 km to a campervan park. Rained the whole way there with waves of water from every passing car.
Got to the caravan park at 1:30pm and started to re-think the plan when I saw how basic the facilities were and I imagined spending the entire afternoon in my tiny one-person tent in the rain. Thankfully the couple who run the park were really nice and helpful and suggested that I continue on another 15 km to Avondale where the pub there allows you to set up a tent in the back for free. So I thought well, I?ll still be in the tent, but at least I?ll get further along.
Well it turned out to be 20 km but somehow it went quickly even though it was POURING the whole time. I looked like a drowned rat when I got to the pub, and asked the woman in desperation if they had any rooms. She said no, but called ahead to ANOTHER pub 10 km down the road and they said yes, they have a room for me for $15 AUS.
The thought of doing another 10 km in the downpour was not appealing, but the idea of getting inside for the night was all the motivation I needed. So that?s how I came to be at the Yandaran Pub. The people here have been really nice and I?m sure the locals would be friendly if I sat at the bar, but as a female on my own I think it?s better to stay in my room. I did get a good hard stare from everyone at the pub when I walked in completely soaked and asked for a room. (It’s Saturday night and the pub is full of locals.) Mind you we are in the MIDDLE of nowhere here – not a place where tourists go AT ALL! I cooked my dinner in the Pub?s kitchen before the dinner staff arrived – that was a first. By the way it?s 7:30pm now and STILL POURING and I am so happy to NOT be in my tent!
Distance: 85.61 km
Time: 4 hr 32 minutes
Avg Speed: 18.9 km/hr
Before the rains came
April 26th, 2003