Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Day 59 - 10th June

Praire to Ayr

Distance Travelled - 493.2 km

What started out as going to be short day turned out longer than expected. The sun greeted me by rising as I rose from my tent and blessed me with soft warming light to read a few pages of my book from. When it got to be about 7.30 am I went to the pub to get a long awaited for hot shower, the last hot shower being 6th June. Sat and chatted with the owner for a while after my shower then set off to pack.

Read for a while as I waited for the tent to dry a little then stowed everything away and left by just before 9 a.m. Drove to Charters Towers and spent a little bit of time wandering the shops, stretching my legs and looking at antiques and second hand treasures.

Left there, having posted my blog at Maccas and continued on into Townsville, stopping to take a photo here or there. Saw three echidnas today, all dead unfortunately on the side of the road but a first for me anyway. Lots of roadkill in the last few days including kangaroos, wild pigs, kites, eagles, crows, cats, cows, bulls, echidnas and rabbits.

Just out of Charters Towers is the Burdekin River which runs under the Macrossan Bridge (sometimes). There is a pole erected near the bridge with markers indicating the depth of flood waters over the years. It is hard to see on the photo but the top point is 21.79 m in 1946, very impressive indeed considering how much river width is needed to carry that volume of water.

Got into Townsville and went to the Visitor Information Centre to get info on National Parks and lighthouse locations. Sounds like the Bay Rock one isn't there any more and the one at Cape Cleaveland is only accessible by boat apparently which leaves the one at Cape Bowling Green.

As I was chatting to the people at the Info Centre Aunty Jan messaged to see where I was. Told her and she rang back to sort things out. As it happens the lighthouse I am trying to get to tonight is not far from where they are staying overnight so we will meet tomorrow morning in Ayr and find where things go from there.

Drove out to Ayr and then to Alva beach only to find that the lighthouse out here is only accessible by quad bike and boat not easily done at this time of year so that put paid to those plans. No camping allowed on or near the beach according to the signs.

Went back towards Ayr where lots of sugar cane fields are planted and saw some burning going on. Finally tracked one down in an attempt to do some photography but was not very successful. Chatted to a few of the people involved and learnt a bit about sugar cane farming.

Left the fields and found a patch of land on the side of the road that looks suitable for camping tonight so set up here. After writing the blog (about 7.30 pm) I will have a bit of tea and then listen to music for awhile before heading to bed, somewhat disappointed with the photographic efforts of today - or lack of opportunity.

Tomorrow I will meet Aunty Jan and Uncle John in the morning and make some decisions after that as to what I will do. The car is due for a service (about 2000 km past) so will need to get that done sooner than later. Other than that not too many constraints at the moment.

                                                 Flood water marker near Charters Towers

                                                                     Dead echidna

                                             Old house on the drive through to Townsville

                                                Carriages of cane ready to go to the mill

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