the night was very nice: no car or truck noise, just the wind blowing in the banana tree just at my right
. Knowing that that would be to 99% now my last day of riding into Cairns was bizarre. On one hand I wanted to be there and have it done, on the other I wanted to do more and enjoy it some more longer.
Anyway, the first time I looked out of the tent, the wind seemed to be “wrong”… and knew to have an easy, doable day with some 90km. So instead of hurying, I just relaxed some while. The next time I checked the weather (in fact especially to see how long the tent would need to dry) the wind direction had changed. Yeaaah… so let’s stand up (or did I check it wrong the first time?).
So, I ate some Muesli and prepare myself… until I saw that a big dark weather front was approaching! Cycling while it’s raining is one. But packing the tent and all the other stuff then is another story! And believe me, I never was as fast! 🙂
At 8h40, I was already on the bike back to the main street… having there a nice back wind pushing me down towards Mareeba. The road was good, and the smell was depending which plant was cultivated (oranges/limes, banana) or if there were some trees. I wanted to have their a coffea, but everything was closed or not yet open (they had an official holiday yesterday (War Memorial) and so it is in some place “Easter Monday” today :o)). In Mareeba, I met a cyclist telling me that the road to Cairns is dangerous because near but all flat. I wanted to trust him as he has done that before. Well, it was the other way round: No danger, much up (over 500m!) and downs.
Just when I left Mareeba, I found a gas station with a little coffea shop, ran by a joung Italian of second generation. By the way: The Tablelands has been nicely populated by Italian in the past, and most of the farms and nice house has an Mediteranean style (by their name at least). The coffea was really nice… just what I needed.
I continued the journey to Kuranda where I was 17 years ago. The closer you get there to more the vegetation gets tropic – and it’s smell as well. Most of the people are coming there by train or the “air shuttle” which is the same as the little cabins you find in most ski ressorts. And yes, it is very touristic… I walk around and in the end decided to have lunch: green curry and a coffea. While it took ages to get the food, Steven saw my bike and started the discussion. He was impressed and had a big smile. As he wanted to spend something I just gave him the address of the blog so he could get the bank data as well.And then it started the “really” rain: very fine drops. My first rain in Australia. I got up and just stand below to enjoy it, before eating.
Fortunately, another man had give me the tip, that you don’t need to go back the 2km to the main road, because there is a shortcut for bicycles… (sorry guys: 4km less to pay *lol*)
After some more crest, the road down to the sea level was finally there… and cycling at 40-60km/h don’t let many cars by passing you, as the turns are quite narrow. At the end of the downhill, I had tears in the eyes: On one side because of the wind, but mainly because I felt: I was really arriving!
The strong wind I now had to cycle again did not disturb. I knew, I was there. Just wanted to go the airport and clarify, if there would be any paperbox to be bought at there – which was not the case.
So, I finally arrived into Cairns and went to the Esplanade, which is kind of the center of the city where there is a free swimming pool and free barbecue places. Of course, I took some pictures…. 😉
I wanted to try one last jocker: Having a good place to stay for the last two nights. So I went to the Hilton Hotel and asked to talk to the manager. After my all the kilometers, my wish was to finish in beauty. And the offer I’ve got could not be beaten. So I’m now sitting on a niiiiice laaaarge and soft bed (not really the same dimension as my matress) after a nice time in the Spa in the bathroom…. yep! 🙂
And the smile on my face keeps smiling… A journey by bike I will certainly not forget. All those animals, those different landscape, those good and bad smell, those (mostly) nice people and the smile on their face or even in their eyes… something unforgettable!
The day in numbers: