Fortunately the state of the highway improved and apart from a delay at roadworks leaving Bowen, even the traffic was manageable. A brief stop at the Inkerman Pub for second breakfast and our own brewed coffee.
The Bruce Highway bypass avoiding Townsville took us right past a brand spanking new shopping centre at Fairfield, allowing us an easy stop for the days provisions. Australian suburban shopping centres are the new Universal Constant. You could be dropped into any one anywhere in Australia and have no idea where on the continent you were. The sameness is reasuring in its familiarity, but at the same time distressing in its lack of locality or originality.
Lunch north of Townsville at the Bluewaters Rest area. Already by 1pm crawling with Grey Nomads. Nevertheless a very pretty park just off the highway. Here we met a lady cyclist from NZ, heading for the same campground. Karen it turns out has sold up everything in NZ, come to Australia to visit her daughter and new grandchild, bought a bike and some camping gear, and is doing a training run up and down the east coast, before heading to south america....
The Balgal South free campsite is right on the beach well off the highway. Water, toilet and a cold shower - quiet and perfect for 1 night.
Tomorrow we head for Murray Falls, another favourite stop from 2012 and an easy 120km.