Rob 'n BOB on the BNT
Mossman to Innot Hot Springs, QLD
4 - 9 November 2003
as told to
and prepared by Gwen
After the rigours of the Creb Track, the section between Mossman
and Mowbray Creek, although there was lots of "up and down", was
"relatively" easy! And, at that "primitive" camp site one of
the Section Co-ordinators for Cooktown to Mount Molloy, Martin
Hammerle (better known as "Mushgang"), came out to meet Rob.
There was also another couple camping there, as well as a Dutch
couple who were in Australia for six months, too! Quite a
little "colony" considering the remote location! Rob rode
through Mount Molloy too early the next morning to catch the
bakery open. Too bad -- he DOES love fresh
Kingsborough proved to be a "surprise oasis" in the midst of
"hundreds" of old gold mines! The "oasis" is the work of a
Swedish man named Ike, who has lived in Australia for 30
years, and who settled in this hinterland locality, planted MANY
DIFFERENT fruit trees (star fruit; mangoes of MANY varieties;
papaya; guava, etc. etc.) uses drip irrigation to water them; has
great quantities of stored rain water for plants and people;
charges $15. a night for a guest room; $5. a night for camping
site (including water use); and, makes delicious fruit wines from
all his different kinds of fruit! Each of these fruit wines
was offered for tasting to all the six guests who were there that
is south of Mount Molloy; north of Mutchilba; and, west of
Cairns. Pretty easy co-ordinates to follow, aye what?
One of the overnight guests was a gold fossicker who took Rob out
for a few hours fossicking for gold. Despite the fact that
Rob's "guide" had found two gold nuggets the day before, this day
Rob "found only" the wonderful sight and songs of birds of many
descriptions! That suited Rob just fine!
From there it was a couple of days to Innot Hot Springs and no one
on the trail, other than Rob. The night in between he camped
for free at the pub at Irvine Bank, and, the "boys in the Pub"
regaled him with tales of how difficult would be his ride up Mt.
Misery, the next day. However, Rob says he was able to
peddle (albeit slowly!) the whole way up and then "rolled into"
Innot Hot springs! And then he enjoyed a beer at that
pub and a good soak or two in the hot pools!
His first parcel of food and supplies was waiting for him at
Innot, but, since he'd eaten so many meals in pubs, recently, and
not eaten much of his own freeze-dried foods, he had to add these
new packets to his load on his BOB! But, by now his legs had
grown stronger and he could carry a bit more heavy load.
at Innot Hot Springs told Rob the temperatures the week before had
been around 40C, but, with only 30C daytime temps this week and
down to 18C overnight, he says it's a pleasure to be out
biking! He needs LOTS of fluids to drink, of course, and,
usually swigs back a 1.5 litre of lemon-orange soft drink while
standing in a payphone booth, talking to me! -- as
well as all the litres of water (and beer, when it's available!)
that he consumes each day! At this point he is carrying in
his bike bottle racks and water container in his BOB, enough
drinking water for a day and a half.
Rob has adopted a daily schedule of going to bed by 8pm and being
up by 4am and out on the trail soon after that. This way he
can optimize biking during the cooler part of the day and settling
into a camp site in the early afternoon.
By this time many/most of the rivers he was crossing were dry so
he phoned ahead to many of the Station managers/owners to enquire
about the availability of water. He was heartened to hear
that there was enough water in the next stretch to Mingela and
Ravenswood (west of Townsville). The stations said they
would give him water, if other water not available. One of
the stations Rob reached by phone was Kirkland Downs where Rob had
had his last and FINAL breakdown of his "bomb-proof" (NOT)
Spinergy wheels in his 1998-99 BNT effort!
Rob is still "on schedule", even although he's "taken off" a few
days, already. It's important for him to savour his
travelling, as well as to "make hay while the sun shines"!