Pictures Letters Journals Bikes Camp Plan Funding/Cost MyBooks Media Support Contact

search DownTheRoad.org

Custom Search


The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

HOME
Videos
Picture Gallery
Journals
Travel Plan

Finances
Shopping
Equipment
My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room

Contact

Photo Use Info

Subscribe to Newsletter
Read Sample
Continue My Travels


Places I have been
(
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


Sign up for my RoadNews Newsletter

 Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle


*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.


Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


See My Videos Here



(see all 3 book)


  Cindie's Blog and Daily Journal for Queensland Australia.
Travel Writing, Travelogue

Maroochydore to ???, Australia (June 21 - ??, 2007

WB01618_.gif (290 bytes)    Previous Journal Thumbnail Photo Page for this Journal

Tim's Letter for this Journal

Next Journal  WB01620_.gif (288 bytes)
June 21 It has been some time since I have updated this journal, we have been busy working on our second book and after that our families came out to visit from Indiana and Alaska.  Having a brood of nine around was certainly a change of pace.  There was always activity.  We enjoyed the beach at Maroochydore, Lamington National Park, Lady Elliot Island, and various attractions in the area like the Australia Zoo and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  Half of those sights we would have skipped if the family wasn't here, so it was a nice change of pace. We were tourists for a few weeks rather than travelers.  Before we knew it it everyone was leaving, I can say the hardest part is saying good bye to family. Tim and I will miss them.

While the family was here I received an email from our good friends in Adelaide Ray and Effie and they gave us the sad news that Maxine our friend from Iowa passed away.  She was 86 but never acted her age and that was a good thing.  She was always up for something new and had a keen interest in everything around her.  We were glad to have an opportunity to know her.

After everyone went home it was Tim and I again and that change took some time to get use to.  We busied ourselves for the next week changing almost every moving part on the bikes.  Our family brought us new bike parts from the states.  We changed the entire drive train including new cassette, chain rings, derailleur pulleys and chain.  We also changed our  brake and derailleur cables, brake pads, replaced a broken bottle cage, and added new bar ends for me.  Tim got new water bottles and we both ordered new shoes.  The old ones were over two and half years old and wore out.  We also got new jackets, actually our old ones we used in Mexico and South America. Our jackets from China were completely worn out.  We now have to carry these jackets for three months across the top of Australia where we most likely will not need them. However, we will need them when we get to New Zealand.  Tim wants to find an address in Auckland to mail them to.

While we were working on our bikes I received more bad news from home.  My former boss Bill Wellendorf, had unexpectedly passed away at the age of 57.  Bill was my mentor both at work and in life.  He was a leader in the field of hydrogeology in Arizona.  I had the pleasure of working for him in Prescott Arizona for 5 years.  Bill was the type of guy who filled a room when he entered it.  I will always remember his sense of humor, his laughter was contagious and he always looked on the bright side even when I had bad news from the field.  Bill just had a way of bring out the best in a person.  I will always remember when I told him I was quitting geology and riding my bike around the world.  He just said, "Cindie, I always knew you were a hippie", and then he roared with laughter. This explained all the packages arriving at the office lately (our equipment for the trip).  He helped me with our transition the best he could and our last night in Prescott I slept near the copier in the office.  I didn't see him the day we left, Bill was never one to say good bye, and I wondered when I would see him again.  Little did I know the answer was never again.  So when I heard about him passing away I had an unbelievable urge to go home but I couldn't make the journey in time for his funeral if I wanted.  So Tim and I did the next best thing, we went to the local pub and had beer to Bill.  My sympathies are with Colette his wife and all his friends and family members.

When we arrived in Australia 9 months ago we ordered a new tent from the states.  A Big Agnes Parkview 3, this is a huge tent for us. We have been using it almost daily for 9 months.  One night while camping as usual we returned to the tent to find it was completely collapsed.  Someone who was most likely drunk, had stumbled and landed in the middle of our tent. Yikes, you can only imagine our thoughts when we saw our collapsed tent. Oh shit comes to mind. Tim immediately wondered if something had been stolen, nothing was missing.  Things looked bad and so did the tent, take a look below.

We were in luck, the family was coming soon so we ordered a new tent and my sister brought it from Alaska.  We now have a new tent called the Taj 3.  Most of our tents in the past have been rectangular shaped, this one is not a rectangle.  We will see how it is living outside the box.

 
June 22 - 23 We were ready to go at the same time that school holidays started.  Our timing was off, so when we made reservations on the train we were informed that it was fully booked so we had to take the dreaded bus.  We went to board the bus and were immediately told that there was no room for our bikes.  We managed to get our bikes on the bus only to be bumped to another bus down the line.  A first for me, bumped off a bus.  So our 23 hour journey from Maroochydore to Cairns turned into a 33 hour journey including a broken down bus.  So by the time we arrived in Cairns we were pretty worn out.  The next morning Tim and I were both sick, headache and an upset stomach, I felt like I had motion sickness, and entire day was wasted recovering from the ordeal.  
June 24 Cairns. We managed to find a bike shop open on Sunday in Cairns called Bike Man located at 99 Sheridan St. Cairns.  It is a well stocked bike shop so if you need something stop by and they will give you a discount.  We just couldn't find an internet cafe open today so we will have to finish our interneting tomorrow.  We are planning our route across the north and have been looking at friends journals.  Ed Burke and Gay made the crossing from Cairns to Darwin mostly on the dirt.  It is nice to have their diary for road conditions, camping spots, and water and food sources.  Water spots and food sources are scarce and Ed recommended sending food ahead to towns along the way.  So we are busy buying supplies and picking out drop off points.  I love getting ready for a big expedition and this is the first where we have sent food ahead.  I will report here how it works out.  Shopping has been a shocker lately, the price of vegetables have doubled since we have arrived in Australia.  This has been attributed to the drought.  I suspect it will cause hardships for some.  I wonder why they do not import some food.  Here are some of the prices in aussie dollars, bananas $5.50/ kilo (I have seen them as high as $19/kilo), lettuce $2.38 per head, zucchini $6.85/kilo (I don't get it zucchini grows really fast), cherries $24/kilo (I think these are from the states), broccoli $8/kilo  To convert to cost in US dollars / pound divide the cost in half and subtract 15%. Yes the US dollar continues to slide.   
June 25 Cairns.  Just finishing up chores like going to the post and to the internet.  I can't wait to start riding again. Since we have been in Australia Tim has not seemed to be riding very well.  His performance was sliding, he was tired all the time, and his stomach bothered him all time.  I gave Tim some time to improve but he didn't so I had to take action.  I literally bribed him to go to the doctor. He agreed, kicking and screaming saying nothing was wrong with him.  So when the doctor told him he had a number of things wrong with him he about fell out of the chair.  It appears that Tim has been carrying a parasite around for quite some time.  The parasite took over his upper intestine so he was not digesting his food, it just sat there and his food fermented creating large quantities of gas.  This caused all kinds of discomfort, mainly for Tim.  Lets just say I wanted to check myself into a new tent.  He was also anemic and his protein level was high indicative of tissue damage.  Oh not so good.  The best thing for him to do was take an antibiotic, increase his iron intake and rest.  He was retested again and the parasite is now gone.  I am interested to see how Tim rides across this next stretch.   
June 26 Cairns - Bush Camp on the beach.  It looked like rain all morning but I continued to pack as if we were leaving, that was a good thing because it eventually cleared up and we decided to push on.  The caravan park was a bit grungy anyway.  Cairns itself was not all that impressive to me, it had a real transient feel to it and that means hold on to our stuff to me.  Everything feels new on the bike for me every point in contact with the bike has changed, new seat post meaning new seat position, new shoes so I had to reset my cleats and new bar ends that put my hands in a new position. So the entire day I was stopping adjusting my seat and feeling overall uncomfortable on the bike. Tim on the other hand was flying like the wind, we had a tailwind hence I had no draft and had a hard time keeping up.  I am interested to see if I my sore knee returns.  When we stopped riding over 8 weeks ago my knee was still sore although not as bad.  I suspect the sliding seat post may have had something to do with it. It seems that Koga sold us seat posts that were too small for the bike, I always assumed I was not tightening my quick release tight enough but on close inspection the seat post was sliding ever so slowly and over time the grip just got loose. Tim changed his seat post in Thailand and I thought my was fine, so now I have a new seat post and hopefully the knee pain will go away.  It is school holidays and the traffic is medium to heavy.  The scenery is nice but hard to enjoy with all the buzz of traffic.  We stopped at ellis beach to camp and they wanted $26 au (US 22) and we thought that was a bit steep so we pushed on to a bush camp on the beach.  Nice spot, we saw a white bellied sea eagle in the evening and a pod of dolphins swim by just off shore in the morning.  Ah the sound of birds in the morning was awesome, most of them I don't recognize, time to investigate.  Went to sleep to the sound of the surf. 

The ride, the road is newly sealed, wide shoulder in some places and no shoulder where we need them around the corners.  Traffic heavy.  The road is flat and fast with a tailwind from the southeast.

33 km
June 27 Bush camp - Mossman.  A nice but cool morning and no rain over night. It has been raining almost every day over the last month so hopefully the dry will start soon.  I think I set my seat where I wanted it today. I don't remember that being so hard to do. The area is more built up then I thought, a large IGA supermarket at the turn to Port Douglas made a nice lunch stop.

The ride - windy road with no shoulder in some places and a wide shoulder in others.  The terrain undulates slightly with no steep climbs.  Tailwind from the southeast.  Traffic heavy because of school holidays, could not wait to get off the road. Weather cool in the morning, humidity lower than yesterday.

42 km
June 28 Mossman. We took the day off to check out Mossman Gorge.  It is only 5 km away and a flat ride too.  When we arrived it was packed with people and cars too, it is school holidays. I few more bicycles would have alleviated the congestion, we saw only two other bikes.  Anyway it was a nice walk in the rain forest and we did see three wild boars, ok two were little piglets, at first I thought they were domestic then when I got a look at their face it was obvious they were wild.  I also saw a bandicoot and a Ulysses butterfly which is a bright blue until it lands and then it is brown and blends in. We did find internet over by the Woolworths and the caravan park was reasonable at $16 au.   
June 29 Mossman - Mt. Molloy.  We did a little more interneting in the morning and then it was up the hill towards Atherton.  We didn't know where the top was so I expected a long hard climb.  It turns out that it was a nice climb with no steep sections through the rain forest on a sunny but not too warm day and we only climbed 400 meters (1300 feet) to the first plateau.  I found my climbing legs and it was nice to be comfortable on the bike again.  Tim is doing ok too.  I don't want to push him too hard, he was pretty sick only a month ago.  About 2 km outside of Mt. Molly we came across a rest area with tables, water, and bathroom.  we decided it was easier to stay there then bush camp down the road.  It was a pleasant spot and one of the local farmers dropped off bags and bags of mandarins for all the campers.  that is the aussie way.  they were really sweet and added to our breakfast of muesli.  We eat muesli every morning and it has lots of oats in it, one of the things that Tim was checked for was his cholesterol and it  was excellent. When we had our cholesterol checked in Bangkok is was borderline high for both of us. I am pretty sure that eating muesli every day and cutting down on our meat consumption has really changed that number.  Towards evening two cyclists came in, Steve and his brother from England. 33 km
June 30 Mt. Molloy - Atherton.  It was a cold night and we were up early ready to go, I wanted to do some birding at the lake down the road.  So we stopped by the other cyclists camp before we left and talked for an hour at least.  They weren't quite ready so we left and did some birding at the lake and stopped for lunch near the wetlands area.  We met up with the boys from England and rode with them to Maceraba where they turned off to Kurunda on there way back to Cairns and we rode on to Atherton.

The ride was flat to Maceraba then a steady 400 meter climb over 30 kilometers to Atherton. The traffic was occasionally heavy, it is still school holidays.  It was a bit cold last night, the temp dipped below freezing.

75 km
July 1 Atherton.  It is Sunday and all the shops are closed.  Luckily the caravan park had free wireless, a first for us, and we surfed the net a bit.  
July 2 Atherton - Curtain Fig tree.  It was a busy day from the start, the tent had to be dried in the sun, we had so much dew this morning it might as well have rained on us.  In the middle of the night I heard animals down by the creek and I did a bit of spot lighting at 2 in the morning.  First I heard a rustling in the grass and then I followed the movement all the way up to the grassy area where I was camping. At first the animal hopped along like a rabbit but when I got a good look at him he had a long nose like an anteater.  Very cute, it was a long nosed bandicoot.  They have the most fascinating animals here.  He was very timid and I soon found out why, as I was watching him I felt a whoos by my head.  Something like an owl or other large bird. Scared the shit out of me so I ended up back in the tent, all out of breath.  No harm, Tim was still snoring.  The next morning I told a neighbor what had happened and he guessed it was a fruit bat not an owl.  Yuck.  Then it was off to town to buy more provisions for our trek across the top as they say. I sent two more boxes down the road to the Northern Territory. That took quite a bit of time so it was late by the time we left town.  I really wanted to see the curtain fig tree.  So we took a detour toward Yungaburra.  We road through open farm land and then whala we were in the rainforest. I then realized that these hill were once all rain forest.  We easily found the curtain fig tree and even Tim was impressed.  The fig starts in the upper branches of a host tree and its roots grow down towards the forest floor.  The host tree is eventually strangled and the fig tree is literally hollow in the middle and a tangle of roots to the ground.  Well this particular host tree fell and leaned on another tree so the roots of the fig grew down in a curtain shape.  A wonderful tree to look at and the local animals like the tree kangaroo call the place home.  I was determined to see a tree kangaroo so we found a place to camp down the road and then walked back at night.  Most animals in Australia are nocturnal so the forest literally comes alive at night, such a curious phenomena.  Well we waited on the platform for the tree kangaroos to come out.  I was sitting on the ground with my binoculars in my lap.  I spotted the tree kangaroo with my spot light and was so excited that I stood up fast and when I did my binoculars crashed to the ground with a loud thud and off went the tree kangaroo, never to return that night.  Oh want a yo yo I was. 12 km
July 3 Curtain Fig Tree - Milla Milla.  The evening was cold and the morning was heavy with dew and it seemed like in was raining.  We packed up camp and went back to the fig tree for one last look and then on to Mananda.  One last stop at the store for some things I forgot, I am already having withdrawals about leaving the big supermarket behind. I know what it is like not to have to many choices at the store.  We decided to ride to Milla Milla and bush camp after that.  The road was rolling and my load was heavy.  I started feeling a cold coming on.  No matter how hard I pushed I felt terrible. I gave in to stopping at Milla Milla.  I went to bed feeling awful.  I wore my pants, socks, thermal shirt, jacket, hat, and gloves all under my sleeping bag and I still was freezing, I had the chills from a fever.  In the morning I had a back ache and a stuffy nose.  Great I have been riding a week and I get a cold and I was worried about Tim.  Tim seems to be doing ok. 35 km
July 4 Milla Milla - Innot Hot Springs.  Happy Birthday to my big sister Debbie.  I had one thing on my mind when I was packing up and the was the thermal pools at the caravan park in Innot.  The lady at the caravan park told us if we took the back way to Ravenshoe (that's Ravens - hoe, I made the mistake of calling it Raven - shoe) it would all be downhill.  I could tell by looking at the terrain that she was wrong.  But boy was she wrong. We climbed many hills the next one higher than the first, 800 meters, then 840 m, 950 m and finally 1140 m.  After the last hill we could see Ravenshoe.  The road was hilly but beautiful and traffic was light. I am already tired of the school holiday traffic on the road, all we can do is wait.  My cold was worse but I pushed on anyway. Tim pulled me up and over the hills when he could.  After we turned on to the Kennedy highway it was mostly downhill with a few up hill climbs. Tim would race down the hill with me coasting in his draft and then pedal as hard as he could and sometimes pulling us up and over the top of the next hill. What a work out.  We made the 30 km from Ravenshoe to Innot in an hour and ten minutes.  We arrived and we jumped in the thermal pools.  The problem was it seemed to make my head cold worse.  Ya just can't win. 58 km
July 5 Innot Hot Springs. Well I wore myself out so much yesterday that I just didn't have any energy to move.  As Tim would say!  Donkey down.  Oh and I have now passed my cold to Tim, but I knew that would happen. Poor Tim. We did have a chance to soak in the thermal pools today.  
July 6 Innot Hot Springs (670 meters) - Forty Mile Scrub National Park Picnic area (800 meters).  So far the road has been a normal two lane road with a shoulder on the side most of the time. The caravaners at the hot spring warned us of the changing road conditions. Apparently the road goes from a two lane down to one lane here and there, willy nilly.  To make things more interesting there are road trains going to and from the mine. These road trains are carrying four trailers behind them and can be up to 50 meters (164 feet) long.  Yikes.  They said we had to get off the road when one was coming.  Ok easy enough I thought.  They seemed to think we had a death wish for riding on this very dangerous road.  So we set off and made good time to Mount Garnet 15 km away. About 5 km from Mount Garnet the road went to one lane which was not bad when no one was on the road but when the caravans started flying by so did the gravel in our face.  We quickly realized we needed to get off the road when they saw us so they would stay on the road and not throw gravel at us when they drove half on the road and half in the dirt.  We decided that we would ride in the dirt when we were riding up hill and on the pavement when we were riding down hill that way we would not come face to face with a vehicle at the top of the hill.  That worked well.  We thought we would ride and camp by water near the turn to Georgetown.  It turns out that there are no running water sources past 20 mile creek.  We were lucky to find the picnic area that had a rain tank.  So if you go this way either carry a lot of water or get water at 20 mile creek.

The ride - hilly with some climbing, road conditions change from good to bad to good again, traffic was light to heavy, on and off headwind. No water so pick up plenty at Mount Garnet.

81 km
July 7 FMS National Park (800 m) - Einasleigh River (365 m)  In the morning a couple in a caravan filled our bottles with drinking water.  Yeah we did not have to filter.  We were 4 km north of the turn to the Savannah way, we started heading west at the turn and what a difference we now had a tailwind and were riding along at 25 to 30 km an hour. Wohoo.  The rock type is now basalt and you will not find any running water here. No water until Mount Surprise.  Mount Surprise is a nice little town with two petrol stations, a pub, and a cafe. We filled our water bottles and road the 33 km to the Einasleigh River.

We met an American family at the cafe, they were a lot of fun to talk to.  The kids loved the outback.  As we were talking the dad said, "We saw 18 kangaroos today and one of the was alive".  He was quite sad about that.  It is one thing I will never get use to and that is seeing all the road kill in Australia.  It is a fact here but it still bothers me to ride by a dead animal. Mostly kangaroos, I realize they are nocturnal and it is difficult to avoid them at times.  It does not seem to bother most Australians especially those with the 'roo bars' that protect their car and plow the animal off the road.  In my opinion the Australian wildlife really needed Steve Irwin to bring them to the forefront, the wildlife here are really unique and like nowhere else in the world.

the ride - rolling hills, nice tailwind in the morning switching to a light headwind in the afternoon.

95 km
July 8 Einasleigh River - Georgetown.  Had to ride over the New Castle range today, a bit of a climb, I was glad that it was not hot.  We are now in the outback.  Gum trees and tall grasses with termite mounts dotting the landscape.

the ride - undulating hills all the way to Georgetown, the road continues to go between a two lane and one lane road.  Traffic is light so it is easy to see someone coming and get off the road.  A few water holes, one at the top of the New Castle range looked like a good source of water. Nice light tailwind, sunny warm, perfect riding conditions.

59 km
July 9 Georgetown.  Had a busy day of laundry, buying a few supplies, visiting the fresh water crocodile and the old cemetery which was very interesting. This area certainly had a wild past, a bit violent and tragic.  I saw many graves for children and young adults. Georgetown has two caravan parks, three stores - the Ampol is well stocked and reasonably priced, there is internet at the Terrestrial where you can plug in your own computer for $6 an hour, nice.  
July 10 Georgetown - Gilbert River.  Happy Birthday Cherie.  Happy Birthday to youoooo.  We are heading west and having a great time riding in the outback.  Just Beautiful.  We are riding into Crocodile country, the big salties.  Haven't seen a croc yet but the birds are prolific.  We saw our first wedge tailed eagle today, he was on the road eating the latest road kill.  We had a late start so by the time we arrived at the Gilbert river it was getting pretty late, so we didn't have much time to get water, cook dinner and pitch the tent.  In our haste we rode down near the river and collected water.  I got a big fright when I saw a crocodile print the size of baseball in the sand bank.  No need to worry too much yet, it was a fresh water croc print, they are not aggressive, still we didn't want to startle him.  We collected our water, and a few goat head in our new tires too.  Goat heads are a three pronged thorn that is the scourge of cyclists.  It will screech any riding day to a complete halt.  We made it over to camp, made dinner, and flopped into bed just after dark.  Tim changed his pulled about 20 thorns out of his rear tire and changed his flat just before sunset.  I knew we had a pleasant job of pulling thorns out of our tires in the morning.

the ride - undulating hills to rolling hills for the first 40 km and then relatively flat.  The Gilbert river is the only water source in this section.  Traffic light, road continues to go from one lane to two lanes.  The two lane road is more common. Warm sunny day, good riding conditions.

72 km
July 11 Gilbert river - 2 km past Croyton.  I woke up to the thump thump thump of kangaroos (possibly wallabies) jumping past our tent.  I love that sound.  It was a cold night and a bit wet because we camped in the vicinity of the river.  We spent the morning pulling thorns out of our tires, I didn't get a flat, that was most likely due to fact that our tires are new.  Still there were plenty of thorns to pull out.  We stopped at the Little river and enjoyed the birdlife.  What a nice spot, much better place to camp, quiet and no generators to listen to.  As we were snacking we saw a brogala flap by.  We arrived in Croyton a little after 2 pm and all the restaurants were closed except the general store.  For some reason I expected a bigger town.  This is the end of the line for the Gulflander, a train you can take from Normanton

the ride- flat, and more flat. Nice slight tailwind.  22 km past Gilbert river is the Little river I recommend it over the Gilbert river camping area. Since the Gilbert river the road has been two lanes, nice we don't have to dive into the dirt when a car goes by.

80 km
July 12 2 km past Croyton - Hayden Creek.

The ride is flat and there was no wind.  I had to work hard all day to keep up with Tim.  We stopped at Bull Haven, 56 km from Croyton, for water.  The signs said the water  wasn't drinkable.  There is a caravan park there so there must be water some where.  We met some caravaners while we were eating lunch, we met them yesterday in Croyton and they gave us about 15 liters of drinking water.  Tim carried the 10 liter bag and I carried an extra 2 liters to our camp site at Hayden Creek.  The creek had a little water in it but it was better to have clean water than filter muddy water.  Croyton has a caravan park, supplies and internet although we did not look for it.

88 km
July 13 Hayden Creek - Normanton.  We had a nice fire in the morning

The caravan park in town is crap, they made us move our tent so a caravan could come in, they already shoved us under a small tree where they could have put us in a better spot.  It has been nothing but a battle with the caravan owner I really don't recommend the caravan park a block from the Purple Pub.

65 km
July 14 Normanton.  Normanton has at least three stores, two butchers, a bakery, a couple of pubs, two caravan parks and internet at the library where you can hook up your computer for $4/hour.  
July 15 Normanton - L Creek.  We got an early start out of Normanton and the road were quiet because it was Sunday.  We originally planned to visit the monument to Burke and Wills the explorers but decided against it because it would have added an extra 4 km round trip.  Soon after the turn off to the B and W monument we crossed the Little Bynoe river, the river was low and the crossing dry. Then we crossed the Bynoe river and the crossing was dry also.  The Flinders river was running across the concrete causeway.  We watched a couple of caravans drive across and it looked like we could cross as well.  I stood on the bank and filmed Tim riding across the river.  He then he came back and followed me across.  I was a bit nervous and concentrated on not slipping as I crossed.  I didn't know that Tim was filming me as we crossed together.  It really wasn't as deep as I thought, my feet barely hit the top of the water.  How he pedaled his bike and filmed me at the same time is beyond me, he is a crazy man with a camera.  We continued to ride until L - creek which is not marked but is the next water crossing. We camped away from the river and watched the incredible bird life fly by.  Near the creek there were at least 40 - 50 hawks circling.  Near sunset we watched flocks of little cruellas fly by, hundreds noisily passed over head within thirty minutes of sunset. 

The ride - The road is sealed for a few kilometers and then it was a well graded road for 65 km.  One river crossing at Flinders river.  Sunny, warm days and cool nights.

65 km dirt
July 16 L - creek - Leichhardt Falls.  We woke to a beautiful sunrise and had a nice fire to start the morning.  We started early for us (8:30 am) because we knew we had a long day.  Ed Burke's and Randy Millers journal has come in handy for this area.

The ride- the terrain was mostly flat with a few small hills, the road was fast in some areas and heavily corrugated or washboard in other areas.  We stopped at M creek about 37 km from Leichhardt falls to filter water.  Just as we stopped a caravan went by and asked us what we were doing, I said filtering water.  They immediately said hey we have a tank full of water, you can have some.  That saved us a bunch of time.  The days have been sunny and warm and the nights cool to almost cold.  I have been using my jacket that I thought would be a waste of space.  This afternoon proved to be the warmest yet and we really went through the water.  Tim drank about 6 liters today and I drank nearly 4 liters and it wasn't even that hot.  We met Rob, Bev and Ray at the falls.  Bev gave us some TimTams an Australian cookie covered in chocolate, ummm chocolate.

97 km dirt
July 17 Leichhardt Falls - Burketown.  The falls were dry and the camping area sandy and a bit shadeless so we decided not to take a day off here.  Rob, who we met yesterday gave us our day's supply of water so we shoved off early.  We were in luck the wind was from the south and we were heading north also to our delight the road was paved all the way to Burketown, a new improvement.  We had a leisurely ride all the way to town.  On the way we saw wallabies hopping about and a huge flock of little corellas, I am sure the locals find them destructive and noisy but the were awesome to watch move through the air like a wave.  There were at least 500 birds in the flock.  We cruised into town across the Albert River and quickly looked for crocodiles but we didn't see any.  We have not seen any crocs yet and we really have been looking.  We arrived in the caravan park and were happy to see lots of shade and a nice camp kitchen area.  I had a Barra (fish) and coleslaw sandwich, it is was tasty.  I wandered over to the general store and was about to buy bananas and then found out they were $11 a kilo.  I couldn't resist I was just craving a banana and winched as I handed over my money.  We met a couple from Sydney traveling around the outback, they had the super rugged type trailer that pops out to a tent. We do not have anything like this in the states and I think they would be really popular there.  Burketown has two stores which are really expensive, a library where you can connect your laptop for $3.50 an hour a really nice service for the area.  The information center is the old post office, a really nice building. 74 km paved
July 18 Burketown  Once again we ran around doing laundry, internet and a tad bit of shopping.  Talked with Frank at the information desk, I told him that I sent a box of food to the Wollogorang Station and he called them and handed me the phone.  I talked with Stuart and yes he had our box of food.  Great I had not worries.  Frank was also a wealth of information on the road ahead and the birdlife in the area.  
July 19 Burketown  - Army Camp.  Some days we are just at the mercy of the wind and today was brutal, the wind was coming from the south and we were traveling to the southwest.  At times it was a battle to keep the bike up right.  The road was better because it was half paved and half dirt so we did manage to get the kilometers in that we wanted.  We decided to go visit the army unit that was constructing new buildings at Domadgee the aboriginal community near by.  We collected water from them and camped down the road from the unit but away from Elizabeth creek. 90 km dirt/road
July 20 Army Camp - Cliffdale Creek.  We were up early and enjoyed a quiet moment before sunrise and before the army was up.  I expected to hear reveille at 6 am but then again we are in Australia and they played loud music instead.  At 6 am they played white stripe's Seven Nation Army and AC/DC until everyone was up and out of bed.  I suspect they skipped calisthenics too. hehe.  We quickly road into Domadgee and to the grocery store.  We had to ride into town to find the bakery, sorry no fresh bread that I could see, other snacks though and around the corner was a large grocery store.  The place was a dream, it had most vegetables and fruit in a store since Atherton and the prices seemed reasonable.  I could have easily stocked up on supplies here.  The people in the store spoke a different language.  We got lost on our way back to the main road and took a tour of town.  It was a bit dismal, may houses were dilapidated and had walls with large holes in them. Possibly a sign of violent behavior.  The first thing I noticed was that most people were friendly and a few people were a bit more subdued.  The second thing I noticed was there was a bunch of bored people hanging around with nothing to do.  The bakery also had signs about what foods were healthy for diabetics like whole meal bread instead of  white bread and soda water or diet coke instead of coke.  We stopped a Cliffdale creek for a break and decided to stay the night.  We actually camped a half a kilometer before the creek at a water hole with great egrets, herons, and storks, you couldn't pull me away.  We also had the visitors around dusk, a family of wallabies who had come to the water hole for a drink and were curious to see what we were all about. 65 km
July 21 Cliffdale Creek - Settlement Creek. the road was rough we pushed on to pick up our box of food.  the people who had our box were friendly but not inviting.  they let us fill up our bottles with fresh water and told us there were camping spots near Settlement Creek. 80 km

  =====
WB01618_.gif (290 bytes)  Previous Journal Thumbnail Photo Page for this Journal

Tim's Letter for this Journal

Next Journal  WB01620_.gif (288 bytes)

INDEX #4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present


(see all 3 book)

 South Australia
Adelaide to Mount Gambier (Sept 15 - Oct 20, 2006)

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Culture Shock in Australia

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Pictures of the state of South Australia

Full size Picture Pages

- The city of Adelaide
- Tanunda, Barossa Valley
- Cudlee Creek and Gorge Wildlife Park.
- Barossa Valley Wineries and Vineyards
- Murray River Pictures of Tanunda to Strathalbyn
- Macclesfield to Menengie
-Coorong National Park from Parnka Point to 42 Mile Crossing.
- Robe to Mt. Gambier


 

 Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Nelson to Melbourne, Victoria (Oct. 21 to Nov. 12, 2006)

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nelson to Port Fairy
- Warrnambool to Princeton
- Otway National Park: camping under the Koalas
- Apollo Bay, Lorne to Geelong
- Castlemaine with the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club MBTC
- Melbourne Australia the capital of the state of Victoria, Australia.


 

Tasmania
Devonport to Devonport (Nov 13, 2006 - Jan 4 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for Tasmania

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Downloadable Malaysian Video Postcard From the Road

Best Place to see Pictures for Tasmania

Full size Picture Pages

- Devonport to Strahan
- Cradle Mountain National Park Tasmania
- Strahn to The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and World Heritage Area
- Lake St. Clair Wilderness Park
- Tarralleah to New Norfolk
- Pictures of Mount Field National Park
-Hobart Wharf, Salamanca Market, Parliament Building in Tasmania
- Eagle Hawk Neck dog line to Swansea
- Port Arthur National Park and Penitentiary Ruins. #1.
- Port Arthur National Historic Site and Prison Ruins #2
- Swansea to Bicheno
- Freycinet National Park
- Nature World Animal Park
- Bicheno to the boat ferry at Devonport


 
 Victoria
Melbourne to Jindabyne , Australia  (January 5 - February 9, 2007)

Cindie's Victoria Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
How do we stay married while traveling together 24/7?

Best Place to see Victoria Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Tarra Bulga National Park
- Bairnsdale to Jindabyne


 
 New South Wales
Jindabyne to Mudgeeraba (February 10 - April 24, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for New South Wales

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see all thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Jindabyne to Khancoban, Australian Alps
- Wild Flowers of Mount Kosciusko Peak Hike.
- Threadbo ski field and snow sports area
- Khancoban to Adaminaby
- Adaminaby, NSW to Canberra, ACT
- Parliament House in Canberra to Sydney
-Sydney Australia with the Aquarium, Opera House and walk across the Harbor Bridge
- Sydney to Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay National Park
- Port Macquarie to Nimbin.
- Nimbin to Mount Nimbil Lodge Campground Gold Coast.


 

 Queensland - Outback
Sunshine Coast, to Wollogorang Station (April 25 - July 23, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for Queensland

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see all the Queensland Thumbnail Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Sunshine Coast and Maroochydore surfing beach
- Snorkeling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot Island.
- Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo
- Lamington National Park
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Brisbane, Australia.
- Cairns to Atherton Tablelands
- Cairns Rain Forest Botanical Garden
- Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park
- Atherton Tablelands to Georgetown, Queensland, Australia
- Georgetown to Burketown
.- Burketown to Wollogorang Station


 

 Northern Territory and Outback
Wollogorang Station to Darwin
(July 22 - September 14, 2007)

Cindie's Daily Journals for the Northern Territory

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

LETTER

Best Place to see Pictures of the Outback

Full size Picture Pages

- Wollogorang to Borroloola and Heart Break Hotel
- Daly Waters to Katherine
- Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
- Yellow Water Boat Trip #1
- Yellow Water River Cruise and Boat Tour #2.
- Aboriginal community Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) and festival
-Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and Merl campground in Kakadu National Park Northern Territory, Australia


1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

Subscribe to Email Newsletter

Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles
Panniers
Racks
Saddles
Tires
Lights

Fenders
Tools and Spares

Tents
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Pedals
Handelbars/Grips
Headsets
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag

Lights

Helmet
Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)


Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads


Email Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002 - 2020 DownTheRoad.org (TM) All Rights Reserved

Find out how you can use my pictures on your web site legally and free of charge.