Rob 'n BOB on the BNT

Mossman to Innot Hot Springs, QLD
4 - 9 November 2003
as told to and prepared by Gwen

termite hills on way to Roman
        Creek
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 baking!

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 evening!

approaching
        KingsboroughKingsborough 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.

Innot Hot SpringsThe folks 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"!



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