Day 81: El Arish to Innisfail - A happy ride around Australia (second attempt) - CycleBlaze

May 2, 2021

Day 81: El Arish to Innisfail

Start: 7:15am
Distance: 54kms
Ride time: 3:12hrs
Average: 17km/hr
Max: 44km/hr 
Finish: 1:20pm

I rode along the highway for only a few kms and then I took a left turn and headed west.

The nice country road with a lot less traffic. This scene is typical of the last week or more with sugar cane and cloud covered hills.
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There were a lot more banana plantations too.
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Bags are put over the bananas to keep bats and birds away. It also reduces the ripening time and sun burn.

After about 30kms I arrived at Paronella Park.

A Spaniard built this mini Castle and gardens in the 1930's.
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It is next to Mena Creek Falls.
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He installed a hydroelectric generator. Basically a big dynamo like on many touring bikes.

This gave him lots of power for electric lights and fridges and freezers. It would still be another 20 years before town power came to the district. So he had a good business selling cold drinks and ice cream.

Wishing fountain.
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Kauri pine lined walkway.
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Theresa Falls.
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Upon entry to the park, I was given some pellets to feed the fish and turtles.

These are saw-shelled turtles.
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They were well accustomed to being fed and would climb over each other. 

They are also known as snapping turtles so I didn't let them take the feed from my hand.

Fish and eels came in for a feed too but I couldn't get a good pic.

This flowering plant is called a cat's whiskers.
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Orthosiphon aristatus.

I saw a Ulysses butterfly fluttering about and again I couldn't get a good pic of it. It was really nice to see it in the wild.

I spent 1.5 hours there including a 30 minute guided tour. It was nice and relaxing. As I left a lot more people began arriving. I think it can get very busy.

There was some locally grown fruit for sale on the way out.

Passionfruit 50 cents each. Bananas 4 for $1.
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They both tasted delicious later in the day.
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I crossed sugar cane rail tracks about 20 times today. Definitely a hazard for skinny bike tyres.
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After 20kms I arrived in Innisfail. 

A Cassowary at a closed caravan park.
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A marble cane cutter memorial in town.
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I bought some supplies in town and then checked in to the Mango Tree Caravan Park. 

There were lots of pictures of mangoes on signs. I didn't see any mango trees.

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The camp kitchen was poolside.
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Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 3,788 km (2,352 miles)

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