Leaving Townsville and further on

Well, I left Townsville and headed to Mackay. I thought it was only 250k but it was closer to 400. Wasn’t the most exciting day. When going through Bowen,  I’m not sure why I went through there as its a few k off the main road, I was sitting in a carpark eating some lunch when I looked up and saw the following.


It took me a while to read it and after seeing the name, I went over and introduced myself. Theres not that many withnalls around so its interesting to find one, especially by chance. That’s Lex in the photo.

On leaving Bowen, I passed the Big Mango and took this photo.


Then, when I arrived at Mackay, I found the bike service place first so I could get somewhere close to sleep. I found somewhere a few k away and it was quite nice.

I got to the service place at 8am and wanted them to do the service quickly. They told me it would be 10am when its finished. I went to waste some time at a cafe and read the papers. At 10am, I went back to the dealer only to find it was still 30mins to go.

After I picked up the bike, I started riding out and decided to go to Bundaberg for the night (I was previously thinking of Rockhampton).

When I reached Rockhampton, the sky looked bad. The previous nights news said there would be 1mm or so rain (and confirmed by the paper I read that morning) so I decided to put some wet weather gear on. I’m quite glad I did. I had serious rain (although only for about 30 mins) that was going sideways, and again when I thought It couldn’t get worse, it started hailing. Hail really urts your fingers when it hits.

While riding, I decided I might go straight to Noosa and see if my brother could house me early. About 2 mins after programming the GPS, he called and said he couldn’t and I ended up in Bundaberg.

So, I’m now sitting in the hotel room (its cold and the aircon is taking ages to heat up) and I’ve already booked the tour of the bundaberg rum factory in the morning. Then, I’ll get to noosa by about 4pm and see some more family, although this family visit will be expected.

Then, Onto Coffs Harbour and Home.

Some more photos

I got my camera working (after it got moist) but couldn’t upload last night.

heres some photos.

Me on a Ski

Me on the ski. This was quite fun.

My baby on the RORO

My baby on the ferry. I was quite concerned it might get too bumpy and come off the stand.

Wilton Water

This was the view after they cleaned a drain. Before this, my room door was a waterfront.

All Loaded Up for the wet

My bike all ready for a vry wet day. The rain cover on the backpack and the tank bag were both ineffectual at keeping water out.

More townsville

Today, I had a plan.

I have decided that I’m the sort of person who needs a plan. When I go snow skiing, I always need to have a plan to get somwehere, when I get there I ust make a new plan and go somewhere else.

I was not really looking forward to today. I’ve been getting lonely and wondering what the point of all this was.

But, as I said, today I had a plan. I decided to spend $378 on a Jet Ski tour of Magnetic Island (all around it) and It was good to have something planned. I had to get up at 6:20. Normally I would already be up, but I set my alarm anyway. When it went off, I really could use some more sleep. Then, Ihad to find the ferry terminal and get on the RORO boat (Roll On Roll Off) with the bike. That was the 7:10 boat and I managed to find it. Aparently you need to go to the correct terminal if you want the prepaid ticket to work.

Then, onto Horseshoe Bay. I was there early because of requiring to get the early RORO boat and had an hour to kill. I found a great cafe that had really nice coffee and that, with some raison toast, last weeks paper and I was set for the hour.

It would appear that up here, people don’t seem to care what papers they read. In Alice etc, I expected this but not in Townsville. Anyway, As long as I hadn’t read it previously, its all good.

Then onto the JetSki tour. This was really really fun. They were the 4 stroke sealed engines (I had checked before booking) so they didn’t leak oil like the 2 stroke engines do. They had 155hp and were great. Along the way, we saw a Dugong. The ski infront of me (the Guide) almost ran over it (what imagery that would have been for a semi eco tour) but missed and we all got to give it plenty of space and watch if for a while. It can’t have been too disturbed because they are normally quite shy.

Then, at the end of that, I got back on the RORO and back to townsville to warm up in a shower.

Then, as Linda and David arrived in townsville, I went to see them and have dinner. This also gave me a chance to unload all the extra stuff I no longer needed (stuff that was only for desert travel like shovel, water bottles etc).

Now, its time for bed, Tomorrow I need to get to Mackay but as its only a short trip, Ill leave late and have an easy day. Plus, after some days of nice weather, It will be sad to leae Townsville.

What a difference a day makes

Well, this morning, I got up, had a HOT shower (the water now works) moved all the wet stuff around so more of it dries and went out to see what townsville has to offer.

The tourist information centre said the diving was crap, jet-skiing was really cold and beaches really cold and crap.

So, I went to a movie (the new Batman one) and when I came out, the sky was mostly blue, the sun was out ad it was definatly warming up. I got some shoes and on getting back to the room, 80% or the stuff is dry and the rest should be done tomorrow.

I went to the Tropical Queensland Museum and its quite good. Its like a mixture of the Questacon in canberra, the Maratime museum in sydney and the sydney natural history museum. Overall, its quite good and worth going to. It would however be much better with the kids and wife here. I’m finding that I’m not really a solatary traveller.

I also went for a massage today and hopefully that should help.

Tomorrow I will go onto the Billabong animal park and will see what its like.


I had a bad night last night. About 9pm I started vomiting and sweating etc. It really sucked and took until about 2:30am till I finally got to sleep.

In the morning, I felt better and decided to ride to Hugenden for the night (only 200k ish) and not have a big day. Well, when I looked outside, there was a lake at my front door and it was still raining. Not drizzling, but seriously raining.

The maps said that the road was sealed. I guess thats the problem with the english language. Sealed is present tense as well as past tense. I know which they meant on the maps now.

I was riding through water up to the foot pegs deep and it really really really sucked.

As I’ve mentioned previously, riding in rain is ok until you have to turn your head or similar because thats when the rain gets in. Well, today I knew I was riding through rain and made certain that every layer was setup correctly like gloves indide sleeves, wet weather pants higher and under the jacket, Jaked collar done up tight and inside helmet neck etc.

Well, that was all great for a while but there are these thingsd called road trains that stuff up all the plans. They put out so much water you just get soaked from every direction.

When youre riding normally, if you get an itchy nose, your visor opens and you can scratch (allbeit with a gloved finger). When its raining, you can’t do that as opening the visor breaks the seal on the top and water can come in. Thats not really so bad as it means you get a wet face but the real problem is that water comes on the inside of the visor which then gets between the fog shield and the visor and makes things like seeing whats on the road difficult. So, understandibly you don’t open the visor as seeing is important. Well, sometimes an itchy nose just won’t go away and you have to open it up.

So, by the time I got to Hugenden, I had a visor well and truely wet inside and out.

On the bike, I have a computer (apart from the satnav stuff) that tells me things like Tyre pressure, temps, fuel economy, average speed and distance remaining on this tank. When I left Wilton, the guage was reading 3/4 and the range was reading 600k (normally a full tank reads about 480k). I knew it was reading high but thought 3/4 of a tank would be heaps. Well, within 20k of leaving, it was reading 1/2 a tank and 250k range. Not so bad as the whole trip was only 206k. It always reads high and bu the time I was 80% through the trip, the range was reading less than the distane remaining to the next fuel. Bugger.

When I got to Hugenden, I had been riding on zero range for about 10k and I put in 21L of fuel (the tank is 24l) so apart from making me feel stressed, the range thing sems to serve no real purpose.

While filling up, and playing the sympathy card, I started speaking to the station operator about places to sleep and she told me that if history is any guide, If I spent a night there I wouldn’t be able to get to townsville as the roads would be closed.

I decidd to go to the next town. I was wet anyway and thought I couldn’t get any more miserable. Well, 200k further on, the wind came up and the fog rolled in. It sucked. I couldn’t see the front of the road train I Was following so overtaking was out of the question. The dirty air was making more even more wet and I was also getting hit with rocks. Also, If you think thurning your head gets you moist, every time youget fuel it gets worse as the gloves have to come off, the helmet comes off (servos get upset if you leave it on) and drips go everywhere. By the time I had done another 200k, I was freezing cold and soaked everywhere. I seriously don’t know how I could get wet underwear below 3 layers but I did. I decided to, when getting more fuel as I wasn’t going to get caught nearly running out again, change jackets. So now, I was 200k from townsville (should be nice and warm), wet and cold and hopefully getting no colder. I was now wearing a down jacket, had the heated seats on max and the heated grips on max. I really wanted to kill the person who tells you queensland is beautiful one day and perfect the next.

I was really annoyed when getting to townsville. Its bigger than I remember and the last 20k took ages. I had to remember what traffic lights were all about again. I went to the tourist information centre, of course had to take the helmet off again (it was now soaked inside and out including the linings) and try to find a room.

The one requirement I gave them was I wanted a bath in the room so I could thaw out (and help my back). She explained that again to the person at all the hotels she tried and finally found one (on the 3rd try) that had a bath. I was then booked in, put the wet gear back on again and, while trying to see through a visor that was really wet, found the hotel.

On getting checked in and getting all my gear in the room, I started the bath and then started trying to get the air conditioner going on hot. When getting undressed and back to the bath, I discovered the water was COLD. I called reception and explained that it was cold, his repsonse was that he knew it would be cold. How could it be hot when he only just turned it on? He then assured me it would be warm in the morning,

So, after finding out that the air conditioner reverse cycle function doesn’t work, I’m stting on the lounge under a blanket getting warm from the laptop.

At least theres a washing machine and dryer in the room.

Libby would be totally unimpressed with the room. Don’t misunderstand, the room itself is great, but as soon as I got in I dumped all bags and wet things across every chair and surface available. It looks like a bigger version of my desk at work.

According to the weather report, the rain should go tomorrow afternoon so that gives me 2 full sunny days in townsville to see the sights. Then, its onto Mackay and a bike service.