Caravanning is the fastest growing business in Australia right now and in the last year the number of caravans on the Australian roads has grown from 150,000 to 300,000. In the 4 weeks that I have been here I have only met one couple driving a Caravan that is not retired, and the majority are affluent white couples in their early to late 60’s. These large vehicles dominate the roads and often leave pass giving me very little berth. Hours or sometimes days after passing the drivers greet me asking me where I am from and how far I have ridden that day. It seems to me that most have the Philosophy of “Adventure before Dementia”.
Headwinds have finally came to rest as my path turned north-east. For the first time in 2,500 km there was no wind chiseling my spirits and keeping me from my goal. The landscape and weather have also changed drastically and I am reminded that it is winter in the southern hemisphere. It has been cold and rainy since leaving the deserts, and each night I reflect on the hardships of traveling in these conditions. My sleeping bag has progressively gotten wetter and tonight if it doesn’t stop raining soon will be borderline unbearable.
The desert track of the Savannah highway has completely worn my chain, chain set and cassette. Yesterday while pedaling into the small town of Atherton my gears were skipping so bad I was forced to pedal in my granny gear for over 80 km. The flat barren land of the interior has given way to rolling hills, streams and cow pastures. I am so excited to once again be climbing through rainforests that I can easily forget about the suffering of my damp and cold body.
I am in the Tablelands of Queensland, near many national parks, lakes and waterfalls. I have 8 more days to explore before flying to the southern coast city of Brisbane. Tomorrow I head to the famous Mossman Gorge, known for its untouched rainforest and wildlife. From there I continue north to Cape Tribulation where I will get a taste of the north coast.