Cape York or bust 10th June Dimbulah

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 at 20:25

Hugh D (WA)

From/ To Today = Musgrave Roadhouse to Dimbula
Km travelled today = 433 km
Fuel cost at = Hann River RH $1.89; Mareeba$1.689
High points = Sunshine and the changing scenery.
Low points = The rubbish people leave behind.
It was so good to wake to thin clouds and dew, a heavy dew mind but way better than rain. I had a lazy morning allowing the warming sun to dry out the tent and warm me up. A cold night last night had me looking for another blanket. The roadhouse had good hot showers and plenty of clean water. I chatted to the owner in the morning with the consensus being a very unusual late wet. We discussed the road conditions south of here as I was hoping to head west on the Dixie track towards Normanton. This was ruled out as last night another traveller arrived having come that way and found it very difficult. Having to go bush to make your way around black mud did not appeal to me and sounded like a long trek. He suggested the track at Fairview Station as it was in better condition. I now have a plan. On the road and the conditions encountered late yesterday continue. The early trucks have cleared a path but still sloppy and ruff. At Hann River I call in at the roadhouse to confirm road conditions. The lady in charge shakes her head at my intended route but offers to ring the local police for confirmation. After a lot of head shaking, not up and down unfortunately she informs my they do not recommend any of the westerly tracks as they are very wet. Also the Mitchel is in full flow and the ford may not be passable. New plan, continue south via Mareeba, Dimbula Almaden and south to the Gulf Development Road (Savannah Way). As this is all new territory for me off I go. From Laura the road is sealed so time to use cruise control and enjoy the view. I am amazed by the number of eagles feeding on the dead animals along the road. They have plenty to choose from unfortunately. It appears the kangaroos here are not nocturnal as they are running across the road for most of the day. I come across one eagle with white tail and wing feathers very reminiscent of a sea eagle, could this be possible? They are all slow to gain flight so having to come to an almost stop is quite frequent. Other birds including bush turkeys and hawks are out feeding. The cattle grazing along the road side are very well mannered as they barely move when passing. Some are resting on the road side and keep chewing their cud as cars fly by. Approaching Mareeba the country changes to a rural scene. This town appears to have it all including a Red Rooster! I catch a policeman filling his patrol car and check on road conditions. Thumbs up. On to Dimbula. This section of road has many plantations with crops of sugar cane, coffee, mangoes and other tropical fruit, acres of rich red soil under cultivation, and one crop of sweet fragrant herb, possibly mint, not sure. At Dimbula I head for the caravan park at the other end of town. It is small with open grassed spots. No one in the office so I set up and check out the facilities. Water and many rubbish bins plus washing machine ($2) and dryer ($3). The caretaker (Maxine) finds me and requests the princely sum of $8 for one night. How good is that? Tomorrow Normanton.
Hugh Dorey
BlogID: 5940
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