Day 63: Mackay to Calen - A happy ride around Australia (second attempt) - CycleBlaze

April 18, 2021

Day 63: Mackay to Calen

Start: 7:15am
Distance: 59kms
Ride time: 3:13hrs
Average: 18km/hr
Max: 50km/hr 
Finish: 12pm

Mum and Cheryl identified yesterday's red flower as a ginger plant, likely a spiral ginger. Thanks ladies.

My tent site last night was very small which I didn't mind at all because it was nice grass and close to the camp kitchen. 

Because it was small I didn't completely peg the outer tent properly. And I didn't put the tent on the tarp squarely. And I left my socks and shoes in the open air.

As punishment for my poor effort, it rained during the night. Only for a short while. Enough for the rain to hit the tarp, run underneath the tent, and seep through the floor. 

This morning my sleeping bag was wet and there were small puddles inside the tent. And my socks and shoes were saturated too. Whoopsy. 

I started the day with a normal size cafe breakfast and a delicious coffee.

I'm trying to make the most of cafes and restaurants now because there won't be any of this extravagance once I leave the east coast.

After breakfast I went to a fruit shop and bought some juicy grapes. They were big and long. I had never seen them before.
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Bill Shaneyfelthttps://www.farmgateexpress.com.au/product/premium-moondrop-seedless-australian-grapes-500gm-bag/
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4 weeks ago
Vince McCarthyThank you heaps Bill! They were very tasty.
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3 weeks ago
Rita McCarthyThey certainly look interesting. I’ve never seen them before.
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3 weeks ago

Bill later identified these as moondrop seedless grapes. Thanks Bill.

Crossing Pioneer River.
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The hills were like little islands rising out of a sea of sugar cane.
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I couldn't see any water, only a small ravine.
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The terrain was undulating even though google maps said it was 'mostly flat'.

The sky was overcast and I had a moderate tailwind. Very good cycling conditions. 

The traffic was moderately busy with lots of caravans today and few trucks. I think most truckies must have a rest day on Sundays.

Without too much effort, I arrived in Calen and checked in to the St Helens Gardens caravan park. 

The nice lady gave me a $3 discount and I only paid $20. 

Everything spread out to dry. My sleeping bag is on the clothes line.
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I usually just rinse my clothes from the day while I'm having a shower. Today there was washing powder in the laundry so my clothes got a proper clean. Luxury.

I guess I could buy my own laundry powder but then that's just something extra I have to pack and carry and I'm too lazy.

I spent the afternoon poolside, dodging coconuts.
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This very shiny, little (8mm long) fly attracted my attention because of his bright green metallic appearance.
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Bill ShaneyfeltThat one popped right up on image search! Green long legged fly. Pretty descriptive name?

http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_flies/GreenLongLeggedFly1.htm
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4 weeks ago
Vince McCarthyThanks heaps Bill!
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3 weeks ago

It's a dolichopodidae, long-legged fly.

This spider was the size of my open hand. About 20cm long from front toe to back toe.
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Bill ShaneyfeltGolden orb weaver I believe. An orb weaver in any case. Interesting creatures!

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/australian-spider-s-web-is-so-strong-it-could-make-bulletproof-clothing-20180402-p4z7fz.html
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4 weeks ago
Vince McCarthyThanks heaps Bill! Interesting article indeed.
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3 weeks ago

I'm moderately scared of spiders. Especially big hairy ones like huntsmans. I was anticipating this one leaping for my throat but he didn't move.

He was in a pothos plant about 1.5 metres from the ground.

Serena identified it as a golden silk orb weaver.

Today's ride: 59 km (37 miles)
Total: 3,011 km (1,870 miles)

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