I had a bad night last night. About 9pm I started vomiting and sweating etc. It really sucked and took until about 2:30am till I finally got to sleep.
In the morning, I felt better and decided to ride to Hugenden for the night (only 200k ish) and not have a big day. Well, when I looked outside, there was a lake at my front door and it was still raining. Not drizzling, but seriously raining.
The maps said that the road was sealed. I guess thats the problem with the english language. Sealed is present tense as well as past tense. I know which they meant on the maps now.
I was riding through water up to the foot pegs deep and it really really really sucked.
As I’ve mentioned previously, riding in rain is ok until you have to turn your head or similar because thats when the rain gets in. Well, today I knew I was riding through rain and made certain that every layer was setup correctly like gloves indide sleeves, wet weather pants higher and under the jacket, Jaked collar done up tight and inside helmet neck etc.
Well, that was all great for a while but there are these thingsd called road trains that stuff up all the plans. They put out so much water you just get soaked from every direction.
When youre riding normally, if you get an itchy nose, your visor opens and you can scratch (allbeit with a gloved finger). When its raining, you can’t do that as opening the visor breaks the seal on the top and water can come in. Thats not really so bad as it means you get a wet face but the real problem is that water comes on the inside of the visor which then gets between the fog shield and the visor and makes things like seeing whats on the road difficult. So, understandibly you don’t open the visor as seeing is important. Well, sometimes an itchy nose just won’t go away and you have to open it up.
So, by the time I got to Hugenden, I had a visor well and truely wet inside and out.
On the bike, I have a computer (apart from the satnav stuff) that tells me things like Tyre pressure, temps, fuel economy, average speed and distance remaining on this tank. When I left Wilton, the guage was reading 3/4 and the range was reading 600k (normally a full tank reads about 480k). I knew it was reading high but thought 3/4 of a tank would be heaps. Well, within 20k of leaving, it was reading 1/2 a tank and 250k range. Not so bad as the whole trip was only 206k. It always reads high and bu the time I was 80% through the trip, the range was reading less than the distane remaining to the next fuel. Bugger.
When I got to Hugenden, I had been riding on zero range for about 10k and I put in 21L of fuel (the tank is 24l) so apart from making me feel stressed, the range thing sems to serve no real purpose.
While filling up, and playing the sympathy card, I started speaking to the station operator about places to sleep and she told me that if history is any guide, If I spent a night there I wouldn’t be able to get to townsville as the roads would be closed.
I decidd to go to the next town. I was wet anyway and thought I couldn’t get any more miserable. Well, 200k further on, the wind came up and the fog rolled in. It sucked. I couldn’t see the front of the road train I Was following so overtaking was out of the question. The dirty air was making more even more wet and I was also getting hit with rocks. Also, If you think thurning your head gets you moist, every time youget fuel it gets worse as the gloves have to come off, the helmet comes off (servos get upset if you leave it on) and drips go everywhere. By the time I had done another 200k, I was freezing cold and soaked everywhere. I seriously don’t know how I could get wet underwear below 3 layers but I did. I decided to, when getting more fuel as I wasn’t going to get caught nearly running out again, change jackets. So now, I was 200k from townsville (should be nice and warm), wet and cold and hopefully getting no colder. I was now wearing a down jacket, had the heated seats on max and the heated grips on max. I really wanted to kill the person who tells you queensland is beautiful one day and perfect the next.
I was really annoyed when getting to townsville. Its bigger than I remember and the last 20k took ages. I had to remember what traffic lights were all about again. I went to the tourist information centre, of course had to take the helmet off again (it was now soaked inside and out including the linings) and try to find a room.
The one requirement I gave them was I wanted a bath in the room so I could thaw out (and help my back). She explained that again to the person at all the hotels she tried and finally found one (on the 3rd try) that had a bath. I was then booked in, put the wet gear back on again and, while trying to see through a visor that was really wet, found the hotel.
On getting checked in and getting all my gear in the room, I started the bath and then started trying to get the air conditioner going on hot. When getting undressed and back to the bath, I discovered the water was COLD. I called reception and explained that it was cold, his repsonse was that he knew it would be cold. How could it be hot when he only just turned it on? He then assured me it would be warm in the morning,
So, after finding out that the air conditioner reverse cycle function doesn’t work, I’m stting on the lounge under a blanket getting warm from the laptop.
At least theres a washing machine and dryer in the room.
Libby would be totally unimpressed with the room. Don’t misunderstand, the room itself is great, but as soon as I got in I dumped all bags and wet things across every chair and surface available. It looks like a bigger version of my desk at work.
According to the weather report, the rain should go tomorrow afternoon so that gives me 2 full sunny days in townsville to see the sights. Then, its onto Mackay and a bike service.