29th August to 31st August 2017
Home to Port Douglas
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to write about all the happenings of the past 6 weeks, and as it has not been easy, I’ll just say this. Loosing my Dad is very difficult, but having the whole family around to share memories and thoughts, laughs and jokes, made it bearable and okay so far. My family did well, the entire mixed grill (we have a very mixed family of, Joe’s kids, mum’s kids, and friends who lived with us for a while too, plus all 15 Grandchildren). Other events didn’t go so well, but out of that we have learnt some valuable lessons about ourselves and others. Every experience, good or bad, should teach you something. The final bit was Mum’s 70th birthday week. Having my sister over for the month was undeniably awesome, as she is the organising queen. She gets our lazy arses moving and contributing to the cause. So we had a dinner at a local pub to start the week, and the first surprise was not only for Mum, Sue’s husband (Brad) had secretly flown in from London (we knew) and just “rocked up” at the pub. I can honestly say, I’ve never seen my sister speechless and surprised like that. Super!
Sue loves a good celebration, and always brings the props. Glow in the dark glasses helped us all see Brad better, for sure.
Next came a Lawn Bowls family competition, (none of us have played before, although Mum, Sue, Will and I had secretly recruited the club champion for a couple of lessons, thanks Clarrie) which was an absolute blast, and a meat pack was won, and much chaos on the greens was witnessed. After that we had a burger BBQ at Mums, and more games. One of which was who could put the most Malteasers in their mouths at one time. I am proud to say, two of my children showed true talent coming first and second.
Clarry giving us a cheeky lesson or two at the Pinjarra Bowling Club. The old dick knees made it tough…..well that’s my excuse anyway.
The bowls day was great fun, even though Nephew Nik and “His Chicks” (Aunty Karen and Aunty Ann) played 6 too many ends, and therefore won with top points. Then Uncle David won the raffle, which gave us two meat packs for the BBQ.
Mum was loving her new showercap sick, until the funny streamer spray got her. Harper won the malteaser game with 67, then Olivia with 50, and NO they didn’t swallow them, we made them spit them into a rubbish bag….so funny.
Sunday was the big day, and again the entire mixed grill of family came to celebrate and many friends as well. We had many drinks, some good music, a beautiful setting and good weather. It was a huge success, and Mum had a great day. Throughout this whole month of craziness, Mum’s siblings all came over twice, from New Zealand & Queensland to support and celebrate their sister.
My amazing Mum. She is the gravy that keeps our mixed grill going so good. Happy Birthday Mumsie, we all love you so much.
It was truly lovely to spend that time with everyone. It was also, very exhausting, with very late nights, lots of driving, and the most miserable weather for most of it too. We can not wait to get back to the North Queensland warmth, and our bored touring bikes. My sister flew home, and now it is time for us to head off too. Not before a couple of nice days and a nice ride on our cruisers, to shake off the crappy feelings, and get our heads back into the tour.
We actually got two rides in, one just up to Dwellingup and a longer one through to Byford and Jarrahdale then Serpentine Dam to home. Both lovely days out.
Oh, an update on my stupid dick knees. I’ve been to the specialist, been tested within an inch of my life, and what they have found, is my knee caps are not lined up properly with the groove in my thigh bone. It’s call Patella Maltracking. So, first we try the physio and some muscle rehab, and after 6 months if it isn’t stopping the pain, there is a small keyhole surgery, called a lateral release, that will definitely fix it. The misplaced knee caps rub on the outside of the joints, causing deterioration and there is also age related wear and tear, and arthritis, so the best advice I can give you all, is keep your muscles strong and working properly. Nothing extreme, just low impact and regular. Oh, and don’t forget that everything in your body is connected, so start at the feet and work your way up. If one area is weak or out of sorts, then it will, probably put pressure on other areas and then you have issues. I used to wear orthotics for arch support, but got slack and didn’t replace them when they got old. My feet turn in, twisting my tibia and fibula, putting even more pressure on the knee joint. Hmmm, dumb arse, so I have new orthotics and I’m wearing them. So let’s see how we go now.
The physio has given me some exercises to do to get the rehab started while we ride home. My muscles around the knees are not good at all.
29th of August and we are on the Red Eye flight to Cairns, with good old Jetstar (We call them One Star), the only ones who have a direct flight. As usual, they were delayed, but at least we left, and arrived safely. We arranged a bus to take us to Port Douglas, as we were arriving early, and already didn’t trust the flights to be on time, and luckily the bus waited for us, so we made it to Geoff and Taryn’s about 9:15am. Those two had gone to work, but we knew how to get in, thank goodness, and we went straight to bed for a nap. We both don’t sleep well on planes, so had had only a couple of hours sleep. After a nap, we checked on the bikes, started them up without a hitch, and went out to get some food and say hi to Taryn. After lunch, we watched a movie, slept some more, and enjoyed a night with Geoff and Taryn. Too buggered for getting ourselves organised.
$15 Steak night at Oceanic Bar and Grill for our last night, and what a nice night. The next day, we’re nodding off on the bus to Port Douglas. Zzzzzz.
Thursday we had to get repacked and organised. It was a bit exciting to be getting going again. Unfortunately, we both had forgotten what we had left behind and now had a slight case of TMS (too much shit). Poop! 10 pairs of undies is definitely overkill, and I really don’t need 4 pairs of socks either. Oh well, we’ll just have to be a bit ruthless and ditch the worst of it. Shouldn’t be that hard, some of my stuff looks well past it’s used by date.
The kids start first pop, so we took them out for a fun run. TMS, this is bad people, socks and jocks taking up red wine space….dear dear me!
1st September 2017
Port Douglas to Mount Garnett 256kms
The alarm went off at 7:30am, yes, the alarm was set! We really wanted to get moving and into the return journey. I was slack, eating my nuts and berries was more challenging than I remembered, and then I had to do my exercise routine. Must do it, must do it! The bike loading went smoothly, and easily, and we were both feeling the adrenaline rush. On the bikes and heading towards Cairns just before 10am, wasn’t the early start we’d hoped for, and we’ll have to do better when it starts to heat up more.
I can honestly say it is the happiest I’ve felt in 6 weeks. The bike felt great, and it was warm, 27C, and it is a nice road along the coast. So nice to be back on the road, sucking in the fresh air, and feeling the wind. This is my therapy! This is where I can reconcile all the happenings in my life and plan for a happy future.
It’s not a big first day, and a little bit of some roads we’ve done already, but it’s good to ease us back into it. So towards Cairns, then Kuranda, Mareeba, where we stopped for lunch and a break, then on to Atherton, for fuel, and through Herberton to Ravenshoe, the highest town in Queensland, at 930mtrs above sea level. We stopped for another short break, before the last little bit to Mount Garnett. The temp up here had dropped about 5 or 6 degrees, and we had to zip up a few vents. The last ride took us past Innot Hot Springs, which we’d been told was worth stopping at, and did look interesting, but we were okay with just riding past. We got to Mount Garnett about 2ish and found the Travellers Park.
Mareeba, reknowned for 50years of breeding Brahmans. Also coffee and Mangoes.
Ravenshoe, a nice old pub, and we should of had a beer there seeing as there’s no pub or beer in Mount Garnett.
Poor Mount Garnett is a little run down mining town, that started as a copper and Garnett mining community, then Tin was discovered and things looked bloody good, and it was the second biggest inland town (Charters Towers was the biggest) in Queensland, but things didn’t stay good long, as the price of Tin dropped, and now with small mines still operating, and the best cattle country in the state, there are only about 500 residents left. To make matters worse, we discovered that the pub closed over a year ago, and the closest place to get beers is the golf club, 10kms out of town, and they only open a few hours, a few days a week. Not our lucky day! But we have a little cabin, free Wifi, and a frozen piece of steak, so no complaints today. It was a nice ride, even the gusty wind didn’t piss me off today, and our livers will be most grateful for a day off after the last month and a half of punishment. It’s great to be back at it, and we’re looking forward…….as you should!