Thursday, 12 September 2013

CQ2013 - A Hard Day's Rest

Day 5 on the banks of Lake Tinaroo on the outskirts of Yungaburra sees CQ2013 celebrating a day of rest.

No major plans for the day, just some ideas on what we would like to see as the day pans out.  Let Hayden have a sleep in this morning, so he didn't wake up til 7am. Up to the mess tent for a quick breakfast of French toast and maple syrup and back to the tent to decide the day's plan.

Turns out he didn't mind getting on the bike again and riding into town for a look around.  We had travelled into Yungaburra by SAG wagon the night before to check out the nightly movie (Brave), but when someone else is driving and it's dark, it makes quite a difference with your navigational skills!  Thankfully BQ put up signs to direct us to the town centre and we headed into and out of town  to our first stop - Curtain Fig National Park to see the Curtain Fig Tree (funny that!)

Gorgeous ride down into the rainforest, with nice shade and not too much hard work getting up and down the hills.  Won't try to explain the science behind the tree, suffice it to say that it was a tree that had a seed dropped into it, the seed grew into another tree that grew over the initial tree (which died and fell over) and the fig tree shot out "roots" that made a curtain down to the ground.  It would be much more exciting if I could add a picture, but they're all on my camera at the moment, with no way to download them.

Next stop, the Peterson's Creek Walking Track.  A 2km walk along the newly reclaimed stretch of Peterson's Creek - an area devastated by flooding that has been cleaned and replanted in the last twenty years.  Gorgeous flora and fauna on display. Commencing with the platypus viewing area (yes we saw the platypus, but I missed the photo op and he didn't come back in the 15 minutes that I sat poised ready to get the shot), and following the creek through to the old railway bridge.

Spotted a snake as I was about to step on him, stopped just in time to see him safely into the bush.  Know it wasn't a python, and it had a bit of brown in the back, so not really sure what type he was, so was quite happy to look but don't touch!

Met two lovely women on the walk who pointed out a tree kangaroo in the tree above our heads.  Took some shots but given he was sitting with the sun behind him, he was in a bit of a silhouette.  Waited to see if he would move and that was when I noticed the second one higher and better positioned for a photo.  Again, can't wait to upload some photos of our find - so very cute and quite unique looking.

Walked the remainder of the track and checked out the turbine used to pump water to the township, the old boiler used to fuel the pump and a refreshing swimming hole before returning to town.

Now the biggest challenge on CQ might sound like the hard courses set, but it's really getting access to the charging bar so you can charge your smart phones, garmins, iPads, iPods etc.  the Visitor Information Centre had a power point outside, so I was able to charge my iPad enough to get me through this blog creation tonight! Lovely and cool to sit on the concrete against the brasher block building in the middle of the day before popping over to the pub for a refreshing cider and a counter meal.  If you ever head out Yungaburra way, I can recommend the Reef n Beef at the Lake Eacham Hotel - at $30 it was an absolute steal.  Hayden fully recommends the hamburger and chips too.

After a bit of grocery shopping it was back to camp for an afternoon nap, swim and for me, a sunset boat cruise on the lake where we did a bit of bird spotting, tried to spy a platypus and looked for tree kangaroos.

Busy day, but a restful day too.  Who'd have thought we would be back on the bike? Hayden seems to be enjoying the trip, however as anyone with a 12 year old boy would know, it can be hard to get much out of him at the moment.  He has gotten much better at talking to the people we meet on the trip, and even had a conversation with a lovely fellow this afternoon while we waited for our meals to arrive.

Riding the tandem generates a lot of interest, and we find ourselves answering the same questions over and over.  I'm not sure how he will feel next year when he's riding on his own and is less of an oddity - although something tells me he wouldn't mind fading into the background again!

We are now in our tent after a carb loading dinner, ready to hit the road again tomorrow as we ride to Mareeba.  It looks quite easy tomorrow, but let's face it, this is NQ and there are sure to be some challenges on the road ahead.

Oh and before I forget - next year's ride has been announced.  CQ2014 will start in Agnes Waters and finish at the Sunny Coast.  BQ have promised a flat coastal course, with some long options to challenge those who want hills, so if you've ever wanted to try one of these events, next year's course is the one to begin with.  I'd love to share CQ with some friends, so if you're keen, start saving ready to register in March next year.