Waking up in Mackay, breakfast at Airlie Beach and lunch in Townsville – sure beats working.
The third official day of the Around Australia Ride saw everyone make their way to Townsville which was only a short run of 400kms. Seeing as there wasn’t anything to keep me in Mackay (holiday park was quite forgettable) I left fairly early and trundled my way up the highway. Spotting some signs pointing off to Airlie Beach I thought what the hell, only a 50km detour and apparently it is pretty special. It was. What a lovely way to spend breakfast.
Shooting back up the highway I got a taste of some of the roads to come – long, straight and boring. So it wasn’t too difficult to persuade myself to go up the lookout of a rather large hill I’d seen on the horizon for quite some time. The view was great and the rest was even better. A definite strategy for this trip will be to get off the bike every hour when I can. Already my shoulders are quite tight and I’m looking forward to getting a rubdown in Townsville.
Speaking of which I rolled into town around 1pm, nice and early, but already quite hot at 29c. Consider only a four days earlier I left Canberra at around 12c.
The room I have is great, on the 9th floor with views to Magnetic Island just across the water. Going for a bit of a walk I came across a number if other Around Australia Riders enjoying a cool ale – it didn’t take much convincing for me to join them. The group is slowly getting to know each other, breaking up into smaller groups of similar interests. Still another 4.5 weeks to go so plenty of time yet geared to get better acquainted and even though I’ve already done 2,684km from Canberra in the last five days it means there is another 11,500km yet to come.
As the sign says, still a long way to go, kids.