Duk-tales: Townsville Thunder – Day 5
Sky-rail Prostitution ! Wednesday 2nd May, 2018
It was a blessing to awaken with all soaked clothing dry once again having opted to pack only a summer riding jacket, one with perforated holes throughout, over a leather jacket that can handle a light drizzle. This happens when halving all your packed clothes then halving again as is mandatory with limited bag space. I was barely out of the shower when Crackers knocked and said “you coming”. For fucks sake it was only 7am and the first time in the trip I’d slept to 6am. So a sample of a one day ride necessities were grabbed and off we went. Thankfully our Fairy God-Duncle had dried the nights rain off all the bike seats. There’s nothing like that cold wet feeling creeping up yer arse from that little dimple in the seat that seems to always hold a few extra drops.
First a stop at the Pitstop Cafe for a coffee. We parked all 5 bikes then as I walked through the front doors a blonde woman about my age was mid conversation with a bloke “……….. and then a male prostitute walked in….” where I promptly interrupted “did someone know I was coming?” Busted them into howls of laughter.
We were quickly on the way to Mareeba passing the 400year old Fig Tree (must check this out tomorrow) when I caught sight of several wild chooks nesting on the left of the road under some hedges but not 500metres later a Wild Turkey ran at us oncoming traffic Kamikaze style. A good omen I say, I love a Wild Turkey Tennessee Honey Bourbon and this one might be tasty with a basting. A long left hand bend bowed the road down into a valley unfolded a scene of a spectacular full arch rainbow in the mist with Duncle Neverready right in the middle of it. Damn these wet weather gloves, I could not get the camera out of my vest pocket to take the shot.
A few smooth loafing corners and the mist had once again soaked our jean legs (well those of us without CVO Road King Speaker packs or Street Glide pods). Marty, being an all-wise seasoned rider decided it would be better to get between 2 rain fronts than to keep up with the one we were in. A top idea, worked a treat! We were soon through Atherton and in Mareeba for brekkie, “Sorry Sir, no more eggs for bacon and egg rolls” damn you Froggie, (he got the last one) and it made him feel like Mouthguard at a Darwin Rally. While waiting for this coffee and a now Ham & Cheese toasty the opportunity arose to empty a bit of cash out of the NAB ATM. I first asked the security guards if they’d left me some when they came out of the bank. Not too impressed with a Biker asking them about the 4 bags of cash they were carrying to the Armoured Car. Wonder why? Next a quick slash in the “Women’s Wash Room” a strange name concept considering there was a men’s toilet off to the side.
All fed and evacuated this entourage set off for Mossman through very picturesque Dairy Farms, Banana plantations, Peanut groves and Mango Wineries. Sugar Cane also lined the roads bordered by a narrow gauge railway with box cars 3 times wider than the tracks. Got me beat how they don’t tip over. The Mossman – Mount Malloy road traversed the mountains making me jealous of those that live in this region who would have a Harley to ride here on weekends. Plenty of roads like this and plenty to see. Via Julatten into Port Douglas which felt like being Wild Hogs on Sunset Boulevard. This is the place of Movie Stars and Upper Crust. A pleasure to ride in through the Palm Trees and Day Spa Resorts making as much noise as possible. Jigga used to work here in his early 20’s so took us all up to the lookout with views of the beach and young Finnish and Canadian girls on working visas. Did I mention the beaches? Nice to look at but no touching (Just like the Finnish Girl). Oi, Marty! Too late he got a hug out of her. The girl, not the beach randy old Dutchman. At the OTZ Cafe where Jigga worked his culinary skills years before (and his Chick Magnet Style to boot) Marty tried for a second cuddle, this time from an Indian waitress “your husband won’t mind will he” said Neverready” – “Actually, I think my Husband would not like it” she replied.
With only one key to the men’s room it soon turned to time for all to pass the baton (with a key to the little room on it) before tackling some fresh pies and Jigga topped off with a White Chocolate Rocky Road sweet just to take a photo to rub Dobbie’s nose in it. He’s not travelling with our group but loves the delight.
The Skyrail cable car to Baron Falls was a bit exxy but a great relaxing way up the mountain. Froggie followed Jigga on the bikes instead and saw pretty much the same dense Rainforest but we got depth perception for the price. Once this was over a short stop next door at the Artillery Museum tied over the afternoon. A great collection of War memorabilia. Now for those not in the know we once took Duncle Marty to the Darwin Aircraft Museum and lost him there for a day for want of reading everything written on an info board including toilet directions of use. It was a miracle that we got out of there in an hour and a half. All of us were unanimous to not fire 15 bullet rounds for 80 bucks in favour of Jiggas offer to shoot Roos back home for 80buck with a bucket full of ammo.
Finally the one must do road here is the Gillies Range Road, 263 corners climbing to 800 mtr elevation in 19ks and down the other side. Turns sharper than a stoner’s needle. Thankfully Marty and I donned our wet weather gear for pending rain, this ensured that no rain would fall while doing the mountain pass. Murphy’s Law! It worked but the road was wet and slippery, my back wheel drifted out as I powered out of a hairpin. Crackers foot boards could be heard scraping on every turn but it was exhilarating. Once the mountain road broke to a more open landscape it became apparent that Froggie had slowed his Ultra down, larger and heavier than Jiggas’ Fat Bob and my Heritage it is not so manoeuvrable. Crackers also wished he was on his 1200 HD Cafe Racer for this and slowed the Softail down to salvage footboard metal. I can highly recommend staying at the Kookaburra Lodge in Yungaburrra for a few days to see this area.