Day 072, Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Distance travelled – 57.9 km
Avg speed – 21.3 kph
Max speed – 33.4 kph

Townsville - Rollingstone

Listening to local ABC radio this morning we were amused to hear the presenter talking about how the cold snap being experienced in the local region may require commuters to use the heaters in their cars this morning. Before breakfast I rode to the local Brumby’s bakery to get some pizza rolls and apple turnovers for lunch today and found the temperature very comfortable in just shorts and polo shirt. At home in Canberra we suspect there was a frost but here we are still sleeping with just a sheet to cover us.

There was also a story on the radio by the local rural reporter about how the sugar cane harvest was starting in the Burdekin just south of Townsville. This is one of the only sugar cane areas in Australia that still burns its fields before harvest and there were warnings about “Burdekin Snow” falling on the washing. They were burning cane where we were only three days ago. Since we first came across sugar cane in northern NSW we have been hopeful of seeing it cut and cane trains in operation but it looks likely that we will get to Cairns without seeing the harvest or a cane train using the many cane railways that we keep crossing.

Today was to become a very social day for us. One of my friends from the last year of school, Alison, lives in Townsville and it was great that she had the opportunity to drive out and meet with us at a rest stop along the highway this morning. 32 years ago Alison was one of four of us who cycled around Tasmania after finishing school.

As the three of us sat and talked at the Bluewater rest area we all noticed what looked like a new style of camper van pull in. My first thought was that it was a bigger copy of the Ultimate camper trailer, however we discovered later that it was a ‘Murrumba Star’, which was built, in the early 1960’s. Its owners, Hans and Anneke, had taken two years to restore the van and had certainly done a great job. We recorded a short interview with them to add to our collection of stories we are collecting on our trip.

Later in the day friends Pete and Faye from Canberra joined us at the Rollingstone camping ground for the evening. They were driving south on their return trip to Canberra after travelling through Northern Queensland for the last four weeks. The four of us rounded off a very pleasant day with dinner at the Rollingstone pub.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Hans and Anneke's restored 1960's ‘Murrumba Star’.

"Bushy" Parker Park, Rollingstone

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