Posts filed under 'Sunshine Coast'
Yeah so I FINALLY left Thailand after 6 months, and decided to use my return flight to Australia as a way to see some friends and check out some new places as well. I spent 4 days in Sydney with some friends, and it was really great to catch up and swap stories from the last 6 months. Then I flew up to the sunshine coast to stay with another good friend, and more catching up and good times were had. I got to see much more of the area than when I cycled through last year, and I managed to get to the Australia Zoo but didn’t see ol’ Stevie Irwin working that day. The warm weather was good for my Asia-acclimated blood.
Jen and the kangas
No Steve Irwin but still a great croc show!
No worries mate!
February 20th, 2004
It’s 6pm and already dark, and I’ll be hitting the sack very soon. It was a good day, but a tiring one with A LOT of hills. I must admit that even this morning I was tempted to spend another day at Tin Can Bay, especially after it rained last night and I woke up to having to pack a wet tent. I layed in bed (on the thermarest in my sleeping bag) for an extra half-hour, and finally struggled out of my tent at 6:30am.
I packed up my gear and then cycled 5 minutes down to the marina to see if any dolphins were around. Tin Can Bay is famous for having wild dolphins come in to the marina every day to check out the people and get fed. I was lucky today because’Mystique’ came by – a male dolphin who’s been coming to the bay for the last 7-8 years. You can stand in the water and he comes right up and rubs his head against your hand or your legs. It was cool! To see a dolphin that close and know that he was choosing to be there, not some animal kept in captivity, was amazing. And even better, it was free! Well worth the excursion to Tin Can Bay.
From there I started to ride to Maryborough, first 14 km back on the same road I was on yesterday, and then a right turn and another 60 km to Maryborough. Lots of hills. From the turnoff I found myself on a logging road with far too many logging trucks flying at death speeds. And the hills, I could just FEEL some of them saying,’I am evil. Welcome to my World!’ as I approached. Thankfully it was only 40 km of that and the last 20 km were flat or I would not have made it!
Got to town and was able to set up my tent just before the rain started. Intermittent showers all afternoon. Just the excuse I needed to lay in my tent and rest. I was so tired that I just couldn’t even think. Hunger finally got me some motivation and I cycled down to the supermarket to get some grub.
I’ve just had a long map-studying session, and guess what, I still don’t know exactly where I’m going from here. Need the next map north to get a better idea of what lies ahead. Tomorrow I’m not sure what’s on the agenda, but I desperately need to check email and do laundry so I have reasons to stay. I think I’ll wait and see how I feel in the morning and go from there. Hervey Bay is only 35 km away so that would be an easy day, but if it’s raining in the morning….hmmm. Sleep on it.
Distance: 72.59 km
Time: 3 hour 43 minutes
Avg Speed: 19.4 km/hour
Dont worry Im looking at you too
On the hilly logging road
April 22nd, 2003
Relatively good day today. Starting to get into a routine a bit more – waking up at sunrise (6am) to be on the road at 7am, cycling until early afternoon, setting up the campsite, washing out cycling clothes, relaxing a bit before dinner, and then reading a bit before bedtime at 8pm. So far it works well.
Today Gimpy cycled through the town of Gympie on her way to Tin Can Bay! I thought that was pretty cool. I called home from a payphone in town at 9am this morning. It was 8pm on Easter Sunday at home so I was able to wish the family a Happy Easter. Onward I cycled on the very hilly road to Tin Can Bay. When it wasn’t hilly, the headwinds were awful. There was only one store along the 57 km stretch from Gympie to Tin Can and I happily stopped for a cold drink and talked with the woman running the shop there for awhile. She thought I was absolutely crazy to be cycling. Maybe I am. Anyway she offered to fill my water bottles which was very kind, so I had plenty of water for the rest of the day.
Tomorrow I will try to head more north to Maryborough, about 75 km from here. I must remember to carry extra water because I think it’s a pretty deserted stretch of road. Hopefully the Tourist Info Center will be open after the 4-day Easter Holiday and I can get some decent information on the roads and campsites ahead.
Today while cycling my thoughts were centered on the differences between cycle touring and long-distance hiking (thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail really), and I’m definitely still undecided on which one I prefer although I can clearly see some major differences. When you cycle, you can eat fresh fruit and veggies all day or stop and get an ice-cream or a cold drink whenever because you pass so many stores along the way. And at the end of the day you can have a nice hot shower, a luxury very foreign to the thru-hiker. But the one thing that I don’t like about cycling is that it’s many hours on a bike by yourself every day with no’thru-hikers’ to hang out with in the evening to talk about the trail, weather, and gossip. Much different in that respect. For now I’m just taking it day by day. I won’t know if I like it until I’ve tried it, and I still think cycling is a great way to see a country.
Distance: 67.10 km
Time: 3 hour 45 minutes
Avg Speed: 17.8 km/hour
(Total Distance in Oz to Date: 500 km!)
Welcome to Gympie Gimpy!
Another strange yet cool plant
Afternoon at Tin Can Bay
April 21st, 2003
Today was a pretty good day I’d say, especially considering it’s the longest distance I’ve done so far. Building up the stamina slowly is the key. I was out of Coolum at 7am and cycled north along the coast to Noosa Heads where I took a nice break. From there I headed inland, mainly for lack of roads and campsites along the coast north of Noosa, and I’m glad I did because the road was really scenic with rolling hills, farms, small towns, and eucalypt trees shading the road. There was a lot of traffic on the road from the holiday, but certainly no one was in their Easter best, in fact everyone I saw was barefoot and in shorts and t-shirts. Kind-of weird when you compare it to home.
The one town I passed through, Pomona, is home to the Majestic Theatre, which is the’oldest authentic fully operating Silent Movie Theatre in the world.’ And just for FYI, the feature film was Rudolph Valentino in the Son of the Sheik, now in it’s 16th year.
In another little town where I stopped for an ice-cream, an older guy came up to me and said, ‘Hey where did you get them bags on your bike?’ ‘Canada,’ I replied. He said, ‘Well that’s a far way to go, especially on a Sunday.’ It sure is.
I couldn’t really decide where to head to today, but the holiday madness made the decision for me again when I stopped at the Info Center and asked what was available and they told me that everything north of here was booked. Just as well, because I think 75 km was a good day, on very hilly roads no less. Everyone is assuring me that after tomorrow the crowds will die down a bit. I sure hope so.
I saw 2 other touring cyclists today, a couple, heading south, and I wished I had stopped to talk to them, but we passed each other so quickly and then they were gone. Next time I will stop for sure, because they could have had valuable information for me on what lies ahead.
Well it’s 6pm and dark already, as we head into the winter in Oz we lose more sunlight every day. Time now to retire to the tent…
Distance: 75.54 km
Time: 4 hour 30 minutes
Avg Speed: 16.9 km/hr
Taking a break at Noosa Heads
God how I hate those signs!
Happy Easter everyone!
April 20th, 2003