(written by Nancy)
Well, I think last night would win the award for the worst camping night so far… The spot we had wasn’t bad and a couple more caravans pulled in so we were not alone. Unfortunately the folks at a house across the street from the park decided to have a very loud party which ran from about 11pm until 4:30am. It got pretty bad so we both had very little sleep – though Dave was snoring a bit on and off so I think he got a bit more sleep than me. it’s annoying when people are so inconsiderate. The poor neighbors must put up with it a bit – if I had been a local I would have called the police, and one of the other caravanners said the same thing this morning.
We woke to heavy fog about 6:30 or so and decidedly grumpy. We had coffee and oatmeal to let the fog disperse, and finally the sun broke through, which cheered the spirits a bit. By the time we left we had both taken our vests off as it was getting sunny and warm. We were headed to somewhere around Beerwah and everyone we spoke to said ‘oh, you’re going over the ranges…’ I think it was spooking us (or me anyway!) a bit about how much climbing there would be.
We were on a major highway, the D’Aguliar Highway, for the first 21k before we took the turn off onto the Kilcoy-Beerwah Road. The traffic was pretty light – mostly motorcycles out for a spin – and the scenery was quite nice. There were a few rollers but nothing bad and the scenery and sunshine did a good job of erasing the bad overnight experience. There were some great views of the surrounding mountains.
We had seen another road on our maps that cut across the tip of our intended route that looked even smaller. We could see on the web that it possibly had a section of unsealed road but we decided to chance it. The road, Commissioner’s Flat Road, turned out to be a great road – all sealed now and relatively flat other than one or two pinches. This road dropped us in right at Peachester, a little hamlet where we stopped to get something to eat. We made the mistake of getting two egg and bacon burgers – way too much food to eat when we had a bit more to ride!
From Peachester we could see another road on our maps that went north and would put us on the north side of Landsborough, which would allow us to avoid the Steve Irwin Way at Beerwah – we had been told that this was a busy road without much shoulder. We asked the owner of the café how the road was and he said it was a bit windy, but no big hills. So, after our great experience on Commissioner’s Flat Road we decided to take it.
Well, obviously this guy had not been on a bike in awhile (or ever) or been on that road for awhile. The road seemed to climb from Peachester until we caught back up to the other main east-west road that took us right into Landsborough. Perhaps it was the stomachs full of egg and bacon roll but we did huff and puff up a lot of hills along this section. It was quite scenic though, with great views out across the flatland toward the ocean, so the climbing was worth it (I can say that now, sitting in a chair at camp!).
We are staying at a place about three kilometers from the Australian Zoo (of Steve Irwin (Crocodile Hunter) fame). We debated staying an extra day to go to the zoo but I think we will press on – we are seeing lots of animals in the wild already and I don’t think I need to see crocodiles to scare me any more than I already am! We may go all the way to Noosa tomorrow, where we will decide if we are going to hang out a bit or keep heading north.
Special thanks to Dennis Schluter for giving us some great route information for today’s ride – keep it coming!