After breakfast, a quick stop at the Barron Falls Gorge. Tourist train from Cairns arrived as we were admiring the view, disgorging a multitude of tourists, armed with cameras for their next photo opportunity. We all fled back up the track to the car park, where we chatted to a local who was selling fruit. He warned us about:
- Traffic cops on the road to Mareeba,
- That is was Market Day in Mareeba so the place would be packed,
- That there was a rodeo on in Mount Carbine, just up the road from our intended overnight camp site.
- That is was going to be cold overnight – at least down to 12 degrees! Queenslanders are soft!
He also claimed his grandfather – a bullock driver – had blown up the tracks for the first train up to the tablelands because it was affecting his trade.
We bought some mandarins from him. They were sweet. He tried to charge us twice, claiming early dementia when we pointed out we'd already paid.
And so on to Mareeba, with a weather eye on the lookout for traffic police. None were seen. However he was right about market day in Mareeba. The place was swarming with locals and tourists.
We headed straight for the Coffee Works and indulged ourselves in good coffee and cake. Then the ritual stop off at the local supermarket for the daily supplies. (one of the tricks of keeping the loads light on the bike is to limit supplies to just a few days worth.)
All good until Marco tried to start his bike after shopping. Dead battery! WTF! Push start gets it going, but we pick up some jumper leads just in case. Clearly he has a problem – hopefully its just the battery. However he will have to return to Cairns to source one. Bugger.
We already have a camp site booked for tomorrow night up in Daintree NP. If the bike starts OK tomorrow with jumper leads, Marco may chance the ride up to Daintree. Otherwise I'll press on by myself.