.. savannah !
another great word is Banana.
hmmm yes, anyhoo ...
The travels thus far have taken me along the Great Dividing Ranges, with desert country to the west and coastal lushness to the East. The general route I've taken to get up into Far-North Queensland is known as 'The Inland Way'.
SoooOoo, alas ... Since we last met I was on a mission to reach Innot Hot-Springs by the 20th of June (for the Winter Solstice Gathering). I worked out I needed to ride an average of 116.7 km per day to make it in 'time'.
From Rolleston, I set off with loads of food donated by my good friend 'Neil' (who adopted me for the night).
I rode 138km over the range into Emerald. How buggered I was ... a big ride, oh yeh.
I set off the next morning for Clermont and another Flat Tyre in town slowed the pace right up, which is were I met Tara and her dad Shawn, two very friendly people.
They offered to give me a lift into Clermont, and I smiled and said yay (the 'yay' was code for 'I Love You', as it often is) where they lived with Shawns wife Michelle and two other daughters (Angie and Em, if I remember correctly).
I could write a short story on just this 24hours, So won't give it all away now ... haha basically the nicest and most warmest queenslanders I've ever met in my life, who have indeed faced there fair share of 'Dukkha', and through these challenges have indeed been humbled by the grace of compassion.
Amazing characters, lots of laughter and sharing of our Journeys, very very open human beings.
In the morning I set off for Charters Towers, more then 300km north, along an infamous stretch of dry, barren, Road-train country... In hindsite I didn't have half enough water!
So I'm just about to cycle out of Clermont, with a massive smile on my face after being blessed with the presence of some incredibly kind and giving people ..
and shawn drives past.... "mate, do you wanna lift to Charter Towers"
hahahha, I just laughed.
god bless fossil fuel ! (I feel very justified in saying this)
So we loaded my rig up and Shawn drove me 4 hours up into "Charlies Trowsers" as they call it.
we talked and connected more, and before I knew it .. I was only a few hundred Kilometres from Innot-HotSprings, the gateway to the Far-north Tropical Tablelands.
the smile was deep and birthed from a pure inner-space of gratitude.
I rode another 40km and made it to a free-camp spot on a most a beautiful river, where many travelers had been for months, much like the scene from "Into the Wild", an out-skirt Caravan village, away from the hussle and bussle of the coastal mania.
everyone was friendly, like a big extended family.
I found myself a lovely little camp site right on the river and my neighbours made me a cuppa and we chatted about 'this and that'.
After some tucker I went to sleep thinking "am I hullicinating? am I gonna wake up on the side of some lifeless highway dying of thirst, is this a dream"
no way, (or yes way, depending on which way you look at it) ... In the morning my indigenous brother Carl, whom I was chatting with the night before, came over with a big bucket of 'Red Claws', yummmy bushtucker in my tummmy ... taste just like Prawns but better!
So I set off for the next stop, Bluesprings roadhouse... where I had a strong feeling to go off-road riding, as the 'National Trail' turn-off was not far from here, and this route would save me over 100km!
I stocked up on food and water and asked for guidance and protection on this risky side-adventure...
Deep Aussie Accent ... 'Farrrrk, mate ... I Love Australia'
(but I'm not a fan of nationalism/seperatism/ecterism)
The National Trail is basically 'back-country', from Cooktown in the North to way down Victoria way, it takes you along 'the road less travelled'.
Ahhh, wow ... the only people I saw were the bush post-man (who stopped and gave me some fruit and a bun) and another traveller, 70 year old jack, who was heading south for a year with his two horses, leaving 'the misses' at home to look after the station.
after 3 days of off-road touring, travelling along some of the best and worst of dirt-gravel-bulldust-sandy-rockroad, I was just about out of food !
I made it to Mt Garnet in time to 'not-die' and pushed on another few clicks to 'Innot Hot-Springs' were natural artesean underground heating straight from the mother Earth creates hot water (without the use of fossil fuels, yay).
this water is strong in it's healing powers... I woke up this morning without any aches or pains, no kidding. and so today I've been soaking more of it up, and this arvo I'll head out to the Winter Solstice Gathering, just south of Innot
I need to wee so bad, you all know the feeling.
this morning I treated myself to what i thought was going to be a big bottle of Chocolate milk, it turned out to be Coffee !!! (ouch).
the hot-springs have helped south my heart-rate, but indeed, I'm on drugs! (legal/illegal, its an interesting and somewhat distorted line-in-the-mind?)
so next week I'll get into some WWOOFing and experience the life of 'Conscious Sustainable Transitioning' (Living simpler, so others may simply LIVE!)
take care brother and sister monkey-beings, and spare a thought for the Orangutan, a species that shares 97% of our DNA structure, and they will go extinct within the decade if the world doesn't wake up and remember what really matters.
can we have economic development without the wholesale destruction of our living bio-sphere
absolutely, if we choose so.
I like to call this a time of 'priority awakening' ~
anyway, ava-good-one !
the map below is roughly the route I've been on, except I went further west out to Carnarvon (via Roma)
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