Monday, August 20, 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012
Day 12 riding

We had a plan to east to Mareeba then down to Ravenshoe and east to Normanton.  The Australia Motorcycle Atlas shows that as #103 & 104 (and a bit of #101) of the top 200 rides on the continent.  It’s good to have a plan.  But this trip has been all about flexibility.

Our (as yet unseen) pal, Gary, sent throttle locks all the way from his home near Melbourne to a colleague in Cairns.  She received the notice from the postal service that the package had arrived but she didn’t yet pick it up.  So Ian arranged to meet her in Townsville tonight.  I’m still uneasy about our time getting tight and the new ride plan has us back-tracking today and adds about 133kms to our ride tomorrow.  Another look at the maps.  Ok, let’s do it.  (Or as Ian says in a Spanish accent “You can do eeeet.”

We did stick to the first part of the plan, the riding to Mareeba part.  And I am very glad we did!  It’s a beautiful road with sweeping curves.  As we got deeper into the rainforest, the mist / low clouds clung to the trees in an eerily elegant way.  Even crossing the bridge was creepy and cool at the same time.  A brief stop at one of few road construction sites gave me just enough time to snap this picture of the rolling green hills”

Then we got to the coffee / chocolate shop.  I knew Ian would like it.  But I went a little crazy in there, too.  Guess what you all are getting for Christmas?  Yep, fancy-schmancy coffee and chocolate.  I sampled a little (just to make sure it was ok, you know) and spent way too much.  The good news is I didn’t have to carry it with me – they ship – hooray!  Here’s bunny among the coffee beans they import:

We continued down through Atherton and Innisfail, then on to Townsville.  The woman we were to meet missed her plane so we set up camp at a nice Holiday Park.

There was a tranquil, palm lined walk to the showers.

At last, at 8pm we rode to the hotel, picked up the throttle locks left at the front desk.  Thanks, Gary!  I don’t usually use the lock but I’m told it will come in very handy as we head west. 

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