Finally! A sign with the distance to Brisbane after 1000 km.I am very excited as I heard they actually have bathtubs in Brisbane hotels . For the last 1000 km there has not been a bathtub. Sitting on a bike on the seat 8-10 hours a day a bath is just the best place to sit. Get it ! Then only 3000 km more to Melbourne. Temperature cooled to 42 C today. Going south of the equator further thought heat would drop more rapidly. But at 25 KPH changes are not fast.
Mars is likely a friendlier place than this to cycle there is likely water and no snakes.Look at the track we are following the trees eventually disappeared eliminating any shade.I have been bitten so many times by bugs, mosquitoes flies and one very swollen spider bite it looks like I have the measles. I don't look very happy because I'm not. My ass fell off my body about 200 km earlier. The deep grasses and rocky areas had many snakes that slither away or just hiss in the grass. I hate snakes. Laugh if you want but snake chaps and leather boots prevent a fangs penetration.Map, compass, gps, food, water, matches. Headwinds are 20 to 30 kph and relentless like a blast furnace... but it cooled to 37C today. I have never felt more like going home having a bath and reading the paper than ever in my entire journey as the last few days.Only 900 km to Brisbane
If you roll into a roadhouse in the middle of no-where-ville on your bike in the outback all dusty and hot. They just might let you fill your water bottles at the beer tap with an unlimited amount of xxxx lager. I love Australia!
Kangaroos at sunrise at Cape Hillsborough Beach northern Australia.The babies (wallabees) in the background are more shy. The adults are not. What an amazing animal they are. One of the top 10 most amazing sights I have ever seen in my journey around the world. Cycling into desolate Marlborough plains now. Almost 100 km between water/civilization in most legs until Rockhampton 450 km away. Blessed to have had this wonderful opportunity to see this wildlife up close.
Amazing to see Platypus with my Environmental Ranger friend Jenni Bailey in Eungella National Park near Mackay. We learned all about these in school remember. Its a egg laying duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal . It is one of the few venomous mammals, the male platypus having a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans.
Taking a well deserved rest day on the Whitsunday Islands. Beautiful ocean just off the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef. Island is loaded with beautiful girls as you can see. Johnny Depp was just here filming the latest Pirates of The Caribbean due out in 2017.
A sad fact is the number of animals I see dead on the road. I have literally seen hundreds of kangaroos that have been struck by cars or trucks. It is so sad some are still alive all I can do is move them off the road into shade if there is any. In the extreme heat the stench of the rotting carcasses is almost unbearable. I rubbed my A535 under my nose to kill the smell. I never expected to see so many kangaroos. I have also seen foxes, snakes, wild pigs, hawks, eagles, possums, rabbits, wallabies even dingoes (they look like an orange dog) . Did you know the Austraian outback camel population is the largest in the world. Luckily no dead camels yet, but stay tuned my goal is to ride one!
A roadhouse is a lifeline in Australia. After hundreds of km of absolutely nothing you will find an air conditioned oasis with food and water. Manager Tina Watts and Sue Price made a donation to Australia Cancer Council as I stopped into Choice Petroleum in Guthalungra. The people here are amazing.
Australia. A sunburned country.
For those who don't know Australia is suffering from a huge drought. Everything is extremely dry and most of it on fire, like this site. So on my 125 km ride today I came across at least half a dozen fires like this.
Wildfires as most of you know move very quickly; faster than any person or animal for that matter can run. As I rode through the smoke and haze, I must have seen over 100 kangaroo carcasses on the road. Many of the animals were trying to escape the fire and hopped onto the freeway, and subsequently got hit by trucks and cars. It was a very sad sight indeed as I rode into Bowen, 1200 km north of Brisbane.
In the picture above I decided to stop traffic, as this fire was about to blow across the road.
As you can see this twilight picture is one of the many surreal moments of riding around our fragile globe.
After 500 km I have reached Townsville. It has certainly been demanding. The sun is extremely powerful, burning right through my cycling jerseys. It is 42ºC and humid. Carrying up to 10 litres of water as there is nothing between towns. Seeing lots of wildlife —some nice, like birds, wallabies and kangaroos — some not so nice like snakes and mosquitoes.
Townsville is a city of about 200,000 on the tropical northeastern Queensland coast, adjacent to the barrier reef. It is about 1,400 km north of my first major rest stop in Brisbane. Townsville is an amazingly beautiful city, full of fantastic, supportive cyclists. They rode into town with me, took me to their favourite coffee shop in the morning prior to departure, and cycled a short ways along again. I even had a home host me with a bed and a great meal.
Below is an Australian road train. Trucks up to 50 metres long barrel down the highway, causing a turbulent wind current strong enough to suck you under or throw you off the road. Some give a metre or so room, some don’t.
In 2014, a truck tried to pass a group of cyclists in Townsville; unfortunately he struck them, killing one and injuring two others. Popular cyclist Sue Bell was killed. Bell’s death led to the introduction of new laws to protect cyclists, where motorists are now required to give at least a metre distance when passing cyclists, and a metre-and-a-half where the speed limit is higher than 60km/h. The driver was jailed for 3 1/2 years.
Sue Bell’s Memorial Ghost Bike
I stop at all memorials and ghost bikes and say a few words, as I have been very close to being one several times. I think I would like it if people stopped.
I wish so much I could stay in places like this. Being a scuba diver, the No. 1 dive site in the world, the Yongala, is just 30 minutes offshore from Ayr, just south of here.
Red bellied black snake. Alive and deadly.
My next major city will be Mackay, about 400 km south. The elevation gain is only 800 metres of that distance, which shouldn’t be too bad. The consistent strong headwinds out of the southeast are starting to become not only annoying, but draining physically and psychologically. But … it’s easier than dealing with cancer!
I am a firefighter and cancer survivor circumnavigating the globe for cancer research. I am currently crossing the Australian continent. The posted blogs are my personal opinion and thoughts. Please visit www.firefightercycle.com, twitter @copsfire, or RSS feed here.
FIRE FIGHTER CYCLE
FIRE FIGHTER CYCLE
THirty Countries 4 Three Cancers