Day 074, Thursday, 11 June 2009

Distance travelled – 109.7 km
Avg speed – 21.6 kph
Max speed – 56.2 kph

Ingham – Tully

About 10km out of Ingham and just after the 40km to Cardwell sign we came across a sign indicating a steep ascent. Given all the flat riding over the last couple of weeks this was rather novel. An ascent usually means there will be a descent. Flat may be good but you have to pedal all the time, unless you take turns to draft each other, so after so much flat a hill was a weird form of relief for us and we looked forward to the climb.

In Queensland they sign post steep grades as % climb. This hill had two climbs, the first at 8% for 1.5 km and the second 12% for 300 metres. (The steepest we have knowingly ridden fully loaded was 14% in South Australia last year). The first climb was reasonably easy and we paused for a drink on the ‘level’ between the advertised grades before the final climb. As I set off a B-Double tanker was just completing the first climb. Denise decided to let it go however, as there was an overtaking lane I got underway. The next 300 metres of climbing were to become a big ego boost for me as the gap between me and the tanker got bigger and bigger. I was climbing faster than the tanker. Denise should have grabbed on and got a tow but she told me later that she let it get well in front before starting as it was full of sulphuric acid. 

The lookout at the top of the climb gives a good view of Hinchinbrook Island. The run downhill was excellent and our progress to Cardwell was reasonably fast. After the descent we passed through mostly forest. In some places there were trials of pine forest, which seem out of place in the tropics.

We had lunch on the beach at Cardwell and were joined by two roosters and a hen from the house across the road. We tried to coax them close to the bikes for some Sprung Chicken photos but did not have much success.

Our ride into Tully was reasonably pleasant, the last part along a new section of road built to withstand the wet season floods. Tully is known as Australia’s rainfall capital with an average rainfall of 4.5 metres. Although new and higher, the road surface was not as smooth and fast as the old road, which it replaced.

As we got closer to Tully we could see the sugar mill letting off a lot of steam and smoke. We found later that it was testing its systems for the coming harvest. I would not like to be in Tully when the mill was fully operational as the smoke and steam was blowing all over the town. We pulled up next to the bakery and bought a few quiches for lunch tomorrow and replenished all our burnt carbohydrates with a few of the local pastries.

Djarawong B&B is on the Old Tully Road, which is quite a bumpy bitumen road for a loaded bicycle. However, it was very quiet allowing us to ride side by side for most of the way, a nice change to the highway.

Dinner this evening was a self-cook Blue Salmon bbq, which we totally enjoyed. Our ensuite room was very comfortable and we slept extremely well.

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


Denise crests the Cardwell Range.

View of Hinchinbrook Island from the top of the Cardwell Range.

Cardwell Beach looking towards Hinchinbrook Island

A chook joins the Sprung Chickens for lunch

A chook joins the Sprung Chickens for lunch

Just outside Tully. Sugar Mill smoke in the background.

Tully Sugar Mill

Smoke from the Tully Sugar Mill drifts through the main street of Tully.

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