It was raining quite heavily when I woke early the next morning. I was both grateful to be in a house, and slightly disappointed to have missed out on the whole wet tent experience (weird, I know).
Theresa kindly cooked me porridge for breakfast, then I rode off in the drizzly rain, hoping to make it to Mount Molloy, and then down the Rex Range to Port Douglas by the afternoon.
Everyone warned me about the trucks carrying sugar cane up and down the Rex Range. Apparently it was the middle of cane crushing season and trucks were out in force carrying sugarcane to the mill.
The first few kilometres out of Mareeba felt a little uncomfortable with traffic and trucks as there was not much of a shoulder, but once out of town, it quieted down and things improved.
Once out the traffic, the 35ish kilometres to Mount Molloy were quite pleasant, but I was still grateful to reach town so I could eat the lamington bought before I left Mareeba as a treat for morning tea. This wasn’t quite enough so I sat in the Mount Molloy cafe and had a coffee and the biggest piece of homemade fruit cake I had ever seen (which strangely tasted like the fruit cake you can buy from Woolworths…). Still, I managed to eat it all during the hour I sat there, watching the occasionally heavy downpour.
After Mount Molloy the road started to get a bit hillier as I rode through Julaten. It was so beautiful riding through the increasing amounts of rainforest, that the slow and steady pace was no issue.
When I finally reached the lookout to Mossman, there was a fantastic rain cloud…
…and the showers continued as I descended down the Rex Range. About halfway down I got stuck behind a slow cane truck, which seemed to be the safest place to stay!
Rather than turn left to Mossman at the bottom of the Rex Range, I turned left towards Port Douglas. The next roughly 15km consisted of a narrow road, headwind and plenty of traffic. I was tired and it didn’t feel that fun, particularly after the beautiful ride I had just experienced.
The Big4 caravan park at Craiglie, a few kilometres south of Port Douglas was calling at this stage, so I headed straight there, ignoring the signs to the centre of Port Douglas as I had been there before and didn’t feel like dealing with the touristy town at this stage.
Apart from the noisy pool revellers, domestic arguments and late night partyers, I was happy to have stopped at the caravan park. It had showers, toilets and running water, was in a lovely tropical setting, and some heavy showers of rain meant I got to practice my wet tent camping!