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Offline Leon H

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329km around Townsville...
« on: June 18, 2006, 07:07:13 am »
Woke up this morning, the weather was good, decided it was time to go for a bit of a Sunday morning dual-sport mission.  Melissa wanted to sleep in, so off I went by myself.

First up I headed west to Herveys Range, to climb up onto the high country, where there are very few people and even less cars, and a lot of dirt.

I chatted to a couple of guys on road bikes who were riding up and down the range.  They seemed a bit intrigued that I could continue on and do a big loop, whereas they had no option but to go back over the bitumen back to town.  On top of the range itself it was very cold, and very windy.  The road was a reasonably pleasant straightish country road.

Wasn't too long before I got onto the dirt.  It was cool, clear and green up there.  The road was pretty reasonable, and I did not see another human being for 70 glorious kilometres!

On the way down this road I was getting a little bit concerned about the Fanning River crossing.  Last time I came through in the late 90's I got a 4WD spectacularly bogged in the sand, rocks and deep fast water.  No such worries today though, some considerate soul had installed a concrete causeway and grid bridge!

After the river, the road surface turned to that polished hard mud that allows you to go Mach 3 with your hair on fire across the bush, stopping every now and again for a happy snap.

I stopped briefly at Mingela, an old town that consists of an abandoned general store, an abaondoned service station and a pub.  This photo shows the town in it's entirety.  Unsurprisingly there was not much happening there on a Sunday morning so I pressed on down about 40km of undulating curving bitumen to Ravenswood.

Ravenswood is a bizarre place.  It was an 1800's gold rush town, that was huge then the population shrank.  Today there is still a mine there, and heaps of heritage buildings, that people still use.  The pubs are spectacular as well - great sandwiches there.

Here's a photo of a miners cottage that was supposedly built in 1868.

And the church on the hill.

Straight out of Ravenswood I was back on the dirt heading down back down the escarpment to the coastal area south of Townsville.  On the way I stopped at White Blow, which is a big quartz outcrop in the middle of nowhere.  I took an arty photo, ate a sandwich, then climbed to the top, then contunied on my way.

Arriving at the steepest part of the escarpment, I found the trickiest bit had been tarred.  So there is an insanely twisty sports bike road in the middle of nowhere!  I shot down there, then followed the powerlines across the flat back down the the Burdekin River.

Once back on the bitumen it was just a matter of cruising through the very straight roads of the cane country back into Townsville.  It was a great way to spend the morning, and I arrived back in time to spend the afternoon drinking wine on the verandah.  Life ain't too bad here!!

For you Google Earth / Mapsource enthusiasts, a .gpx track log of this trip can be downloaded from http://www.savefile.com/files/4063261

"I see a boundary, I eat a boundary...and wash it down with a cup of hot steaming rules!"

Offline chrisB

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329km around Townsville...
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 07:30:43 am »
Nice stuff leon, pretty weird how much the vegitation/land scape looks like SA  :shock:
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Offline Malice

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329km around Townsville...
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2006, 02:01:36 pm »
Damn I gotta come ride that country! I have heard so many good stories about it. Any bike hire places nearby? Wish I could carry my GS as hand luggage!  :lol:
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Offline funacide

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329km around Townsville...
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2006, 08:11:13 am »
Awesome report LEON some really beautiful looking places there!!!

Offline LuckyStriker

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329km around Townsville...
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2006, 08:40:57 am »
Quote from: "chrisB"
Nice stuff leon, pretty weird how much the vegitation/land scape looks like SA  :shock:

That's because every pic has a damn bluegum tree in it. Those alien trees are invasive in south africa and much of the rest of the world. Our government spends millions trying to kill off the aussie Eucalyptus trees and repair the damage they have caused.

to be fair, I hear you have a few african species that you have to combat

Brilliant report and pics LeonH, sorry about the rant :D

Offline macduff

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329km around Townsville...
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2006, 12:55:59 pm »
nice stuff there leon  :wink: