We are finally on the last push towards Cairns.
We have recovered from the stator trauma of yesterday and are up and out early. For the first 2 hours it was straight thru farm land for the most part on the A7 Country route.
From Nebo it starts to get more treed and winding. We had booked an apartment on the Blacks Beach near Mackay. Arriving at the “resort” we were very warmly greeted. We had a cute little place with a kitchen and a WASHING machine! So it was laundry time before a walk on the beach and dinner.
We woke to a cloudy (yeah) day and cooler temperatures for our ride north to Townsville.
We left the beach and backtracked to Mackay and back on the A1. There are hundreds of KM of sugar cane!
We arrived to the iconic (full of tourists) Airlie Beach. Here we got some lunch and spent a few hours sitting by the water. We did not go into the water due to the killer jelly fish!They have spray bottles on vinegar you are supposed to take swimming with you. Everyone is in the “lagoon”, which is just a swimming pool that looks like a lagoon.
We continued along the A1, which is the main road, but is like a secondary road. We stopped in Bowen at the BIG mango for an ice-cream. In Australia they love their BIG things and there are hundreds of towns with strange big objects.
We finally arrived to the city just before 530.
We are getting to Cairns tomorrow and have not yet had word that our Carnet had arrived. We received an return email from the Swiss Motoring Association that they did not get our payment sent 10 days ago and they did not ship the Carnets. What are we to do now as we have to drop the bikes in 2 weeks time at the shippers.?? We gave them a Darwin address from a fellow rider on HU.
We need a renewed Carnet as our original will run out before we will leave Indonesia. We will exit Oz on the current one and then enter Timor Leste on the new one. We had to go down for a Grey Goose on ice and to clear our thoughts. By the time we had come back from dinner we had a very apologetic email from SMA. They had a clerical error on their end. They had the money, but somehow this did not get noted on our file. They have already express shipped the new Carnets to Darwin. Crisis averted.
We did attempt to have a walk in the city, but even at 10 am it is scorching out in the sun. Another Australian GIANT thing!
We have another cloudy and at time rainy day on the A1 to Cairns.
This was a long boring ride and in fact we had to stop half way for a nap on a bench from road fatigue. It is sugar cane or bananas for scenery.
We started to see these road condition signs when we entered Queensland. They tell you you by section if the roads are passable or flooded and impassible. Luckily we planned to be here in the dry season. (Two seasons in QLD dry and hot and wet and hot!)
We made another stop in Edmonton at the bottle shop for some bubbles to celebrate with Skip and Rachel. It is great to finally be here with them after 7 years.
Today is Saturday and we decided on a day trip 70 km north to Port Douglas. We stopped first at a few auto parts dealers in search of oil and then the Swede messaged us that he had just ridden 120 km to cairns and was at Yamaha having tires mounted. We were 2 blocks away so we snuck up, took this pic, and texted him! Surprise. He was also headed to Port Douglas coincidentally today.
We drove north to Thala Beach resort for a coffee and an amazing view and then headed north for lunch with Orvar and a walk on the beach.
Sunday morning we made for the weekend market for breakfast of Vietnamese soup and iced coffees! Then it was some mall time for the air con before a visit to the new aquarium. Rachel made some great meals for us and we did a lot of relaxing at their place.
We were up early and Skip dropped us at the marina at 7 am for our 730 departure for a day on the Great Barrier Reef. It is over a 2 hour trip on our slow boat, but we had 2 snorkel sessions with lots of fish. It is a shame to see the extent of the death of the coral!