We wake feeling refreshed and again walked north; past the multicultural houses, past the showers and up past Holloways Beach. We come across a swinging chair hanging out over the perfect white sand, strung from the top of a crooked palm tree.
As we make our way back toward camp, we walk the streets – passing an enormous tree bustling with birdlife! The noise is nearly unbearable as thousands of tiny black birds fly in quick succession from branch to branch!
Brogs is still asleep upon our return, so we grab the fishing rod and head for the bridge once again. With even less luck than the last couple of times fishing from the bridge, we pull in the most underwhelming catch yet. Although I can mentally picture it bouncing around a pot of boiling water, I don’t feel it’ll suffice for all three of us and so I send the baby crab on its way!
We eventually get the motorbike packed up and head back into Cairns. In an attempt to tick all the errands from the list, we push through the rising heat and dart around town; first a bakery for breakfast (pies and cakes never tasted so good); then back to Dave’s place to pick up our washing; on to Wayne Leonards Suzuki to collect the DR-Z400 axle in an attempt to save yet another front tyre from the inevitable doom; JB-HiFi and Dick Smith for another USB charger to fit the 12v cigarette socket; Happy High Herbs in an attempt to catch up with one of Rah’s friends; another café for iced coffee and a quick break before getting back on the motorbike to meet up with Brogan north of Cairns.
As a convoy we head north toward Port Douglas in the soft afternoon sunlight. The ride in is stunning at this time of day; winding along the Captain Cook Highway with minimal traffic to hold us up. It is interesting to ride the same road two-up after having only just ridden it solo a few days ago. I am finding comfort in the added weight at low-medium speeds, though at anything greater than that I can start to feel the front wheel pushing out as I round corners. It also becomes difficult to hit an S-bend at speed as it requires more effort to lean the motorbike one way then the other, and then back again.
We arrive in Port Douglas and take a quick walk through the main street and out onto the fig-riddled park that lines the river banks. There aren’t many places as picturesque as this on the east coast of Australia – especially in the warm afternoon light.
We decide to press-on for Mount Molloy where we will stay for the night, though before we reach the motorbikes we bump into Brenton and Dan for a quick chat. We plan to meet up as we pass back through before Christmas, and then we’re on our way!
We take a right back onto the highway, and then shortly after a left onto Mossman-Mt Molloy Road. Within no more than a couple of kilometres the road begins to twist like an angry snake hunting down its prey. We’re heading south now; up the steep mountain range toward Mount Molloy. We have a clean run up the pass, and I use the time wisely to further hone my abilities riding two-up on such a road. The advantage of riding up the pass comes into play, allowing me to focus more of my attention on throttle input whilst allowing for less focus on braking than what is otherwise asked of me while riding down a pass. Engine braking alone is generally all that is needed before entering the steep, perfectly cambered corners.
I find a very select few things anywhere near as satisfying as entering a corner wide, brushing the apex and then rolling the throttle on – just enough throttle to feather on the limit of rear-wheel traction – aiming for the exit, shifting my body mass over and repeating; corner-after-corner!
Brogs disappears out of sight about halfway up the pass, and isn’t seen again until the very top where he has pulled over when something on the bike felt a little off. He is horrified to find that is bag holding all his camping gear has shifted and dropped just low enough to scrub on his rear tyre.
The end result is a chewed up luggage bag, a destroyed tarpaulin and a fist-sized hole in his swag. As we aren’t far from where we’re hoping to camp for the night, he secures the bag and we push on!
We pull up just north of Mount Molloy, breaking the peace and quiet as we roll into the camp ground scattered with camper vans and caravans, and the delectable smells of many dinners being cooked simultaneously! We pick a prime location and setup for the night before cooking up a Mexican feast for dinner and calling it a night shortly after.