Two Fruits

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not Warm Tropical Qld

Running:  nil

The weather has turned to winter in north Qld. Those nasty southerly winds and on shore winds have produced clouds and some light drizzle.
The end result is it has been too cold to run, too cold by what I have been used to. Overnights temps around 10 degrees up to only 22-23 degrees by mid afternoon.
Hopefully all will be Ok in Tassie for a couple of weeks so we can head further west. If not it may be back to Townsville or quickly to Brisbane to catch a plane.
We are stocked up with food, water & battery power to allow some bush camping. Nothing better than outback dirt under the feet, the smell of nature, and some quiet time. The sun may return so we can ditch the jumpers & socks.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Charters Towers - A hill & an Oval

Latest Running:
Where- Bluewater Rest Area - north of Townsville, Qld
Dist: 8.25 km in 47'44" at 5' 47"
Where: Charters Towers, Qld
Dist: 9.2 km in 52'06" at 5' 39"
Dist: 9.3 km in 46' 10" at 4' 48"
Weather: sunny, temps 21-24 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm to ESE 10 kmph

Charters Towers is a nice outback country town with history dating back to the gold rush of 1871. At it's peak, there were 65 hotels & 15 crushing mills and one of the  the first regional Stock Exchanges in Aust. The building is still standing at the top end of town.
During WW2, a military holding base for ammunition was established with bunkers dug into the hill and hidden. Around 15000 American soldiers were based here to guard the stores.
At this time of year, many of us "grey nomads" pass through, but in the middle of summer, the scorching heat keeps the visitor numbers down.
Yesterday, I ran to the top of the hill, not much difficulty with the climb of 100 metres, but it does give great views of the town and surrounds.
Today, with 4 cricket ovals across the road from the park, I ran laps of 2 of them, nice grass and good enough to run bare feet. There has been next to no rain here for a long time, the ground is hard, not as good as Calwell in summer. However, it's good to be back in touch with mother nature.
Nice town Charters Towers, we are staying a week before heading towards Winton & Longreach.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heading West

Running: a bit

Left Cairns couple of days ago. Funny how the days drift by and I've forgotten when. We free camped for two nights north of Townsville, great place surrounded by 45 others caravans, motor homes, camper vans, buses & tents.
The rest area had a fun & fitness track and large cricket ground, so a full lap was just over 1 km. I did 8 kms, update figures on here next time I run, probably tomorrow.
We decided to turn left at Townsville, no idea where we are going, just getting away from the coast due to Qld school holidays.
We are stopped at Charters Towers, booked into a nice quiet van park for a week, great neighbours, learning plenty from others around us.
Weather great, sunny warm days, cool nights, no wind.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cairns Central

Distance:  12.35 km
Time: 66' 18"
Rate: 5' 22"
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 50%, wind SSE 15kmph
Week: 18.9 km, June: 72.05 km,Year: 1187.35 km

The weather has been the same for the past week, sunny, no clouds at all, warm during the day but cool at night, and a light southerly wind during the day.
I ran today into town from the van park at the lower left of the image. It's opposite Earlville shopping centre, so a straight run into the city on Mulgrave Road.
A quick rest at my brother's work place before the loop circuit around the city centre.
If you know Cairns at all, there is no beach, just mud flats when the tide is out. As well, plenty of signs about the crocodiles.
The city council does provide a nice grassy area on the esplanade for the sun worshippers, plenty of them about at this time of year. Mostly overseas backpackers or young southern tourists. it's too cold for the locals, or they at school or work.
It seems not many work up here, the unemployment rate is well over 10%, but with this weather, why work !
We had a day trip to Port Douglas and Mossman yesterday, lunch at the pub on the corner as usual in Port Douglas. A few about, but I think the tourism sector is doing it tough up here. It's a long way to travel, and everything is expensive. Much better value for the southerners to just go north of Brisbane away from the cold, and save their money.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cassowary & Cairns

Where:  Cairns, Qld
Dist:  6.55 km in 27'18" at 5' 42" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 34%, wind SSE 18 kmph

Arrived in Cairns on Monday, staying a week at least.
On the way we stopped at a rest area, a "Driver/Reviver" for lunch and a cuppa. Just as we were driving out, Mrs TF spotted this cassowary in the bushes. Apparently they are rarely seen so close to the main road, and the only place I have seen them in the wild is around the Mission beach area.
Care not to get too close, this image was taken with a zoom and then edited to get this close. Original picture taken from about 30 metres away.
They have sharp claws and can run like the wind. A fellow traveller from Victoria did get much close, very brave.
A short run today after no running for a week due to travelling and a couple of wet days at Midge Point, it's south of Prosperine near the Whitsundays.
Cyclone damage still evident in Cardwell & Tully, houses still with tarps on the roof, it's going to take a long time to fully clear the mess.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Heading North

Running: Nil

We moved north after a week at Hervey Bay. Lovely place, but quite busy traffic wise.
Weather and park were really nice but neither have been bettered as we head to and past the Tropic of Capricorn.
After a quick visit to our friends on the way out, we hit the Bruce Hwy, not the best road in Australia with plenty of very big trucks and tourist traffic.
An overnight stay at Calliope surrounded by 50 similar minded travellers. A rest area, no charge, must be on of the best free road side camps in Qld.
Then a second free camp night at Camila beach, not as good but a lovely spot. We are set up to stay away from parks and power for a long time, so free camping is fun and cheap.
Last two days at a caravan park at Midge Point on Repulse Bay opposite the Whitsundays, but the weather has turned bad with rain and it's cold. The locals are feeling the mid teens temps, today lucky to be 15 degrees, Rockhampton had a top temp of 15 and Mackay a top of 13 degrees. Not much to do except a short walk around the park between showers.  Luckily we get a TV reception, not that there is much to watch.
Moving tomorrow to Townsville or beyond towards Cairns, not sure yet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Strolling Along

Distance:  14.5 km
Time: 72' 52"
Rate:  5' 01" per km
weather; sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 50%, wind clam, sea temp 22 degrees
Week:  14.5 km,  June:  53.15 km, Year:  1168.45 km

Another run along the beach, there are no hills at all around here. Best day we have had since being on the road. Finished with a swim in the bay, no waves as the beach is protected by Fraser Is.
Last day in Hervey Bay tomorrow, heading north for warmer conditions, a cool southerly expected later this week.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Long term Friends

Distance:  22.55 km
Time:  112' 56"
Rate:  5' 00" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week: 46.4 km, June:  38.65 km, Year:  1153.95 km

Twenty one years ago while travelling Australia, we were staying in a caravan park at Kalbarri in WA, when a 4WD & caravan came into the park. I moved my car to let them park a little easier. We stayed a week and they stayed a couple of days. The usual bit of park chatter at the time and we soon parted ways. In fact we were heading north up the WA coast, they were going south, then the across the Nullabour.
Five months later and many kms done, we drove into a caravan park at Wonga, north of Daintree in Qld, and we parked next to a van already set up, owners away at the time.
They returned and we each recognised each other. We then decided to stay longer than the couple of days planned, it turned into six weeks as the friendship grew.
Over the years, we went our different ways, we returned to Tasmania, home state, they went back to Sydney. We all moved a few times over the years, catching up more and more as we settled in Canberra and they moved to northern NSW, and then to southern Qld. Funnily, they have never been to Canberra, apparently too cold.
Yesterday, we visited them living not far from here. Over the past decade, they returned to the caravan life on the road, almost 5 years just touring around, so jealous of the lifestyle, it's so good. A great day, we return to visit tomorrow for a BBQ.
Today, I double ran, out and back on the beach in the morning to Point Vernon rocks, almost the same in the afternoon, bit shorter. Nice day here, ran bare feet both times, swim after the morning run.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hervey Bay

Distance:  9.8 km
Time:  50' 08"
Rate:  5' 07" per km
Weather: sunny, cool, temp 20 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week: 23.85 km, June: 16.1 km. Year: 1131.4 km

The red line shows where I went. I started at the van park, down to the beach and out towards Scarness. The extra loop shows I got lost ! Well not lost, just missed a turn or two.
Never the less, travelling is all about exploring new places and that is one way of doing it.
Late afternoon run, that's why 20 degrees is a little cool. Earlier it was a really nice, warm day. No sign of rain for the next week, all is good.
Thank you Lawrie for reading my blog, nice to know others appreciate my stories.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Queensland - We Made It

Where: Hervey Bay, Qld
Distance:   6.3 km
Time:  34' 15"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week:  14.05 km, June: 6.3 km, Year:  1121.6 km

By passed the tourist areas of SE Qld, Gold Coast, Brisbane & Sunshine Coast to book into a very nice park at Torquay, part of the Hervey Bay area.
Only 400 metres to the esplanade & beach, not as good a running place as Evans Head, but a week here still won't be hard to take. The whale watching won't start until later in July, probably miss Moby Dick as he drifts up the coast.
More later, if there is much to report. Hopefully the weather won't be much different to recent weeks, may be a degree or two warmer, nights are still cool, down to 10 degrees.