Day 1 – Cairns to Townsville

1980, Tamaterau, Whangarei, New Zealand A bunch of kids, including me, are walking up a country road. A ghetto blaster is perched on the shoulder of the largest, and “Deadlock Holiday” is playing.

They ( 10cc ) weren’t among the Cool Kids, but neither was I.

2021, Cairns, Queensland, Australia>. I’m riding down a side-road when a feral-looking dreadlocked brother takes a u-turn, and starts bike-stalking me.

I’m on my way to Jucy rentals to pick up my van for the trip from Cairns to Brisbane, and this first 2 km leg of the 1800 km road-trip isn’t going well.

I make a couple of u-turns, but he tails me, like a fighter pilot.

“Stop following me, bro,” he growls.

I’m not too sure where’s where, so I hit the after-burners and scarper off towards a gang of workers a few hundred metres away. My stalker disappears.

An hour or so later, all kitted out with a cigarette-to-laptop charger, and aux sound cables I’m on my way.

Cassowary country

Southern Cassowary jay-walking
Despite the warning roadsigns, I’m momentarily flummoxed by a large bird which poles through the trees for a few seconds. It looks like a cross between an ostrich and a turkey. It’s a cassowary, native to North-Eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea, and protected.


I arrive exhausted at around 6pm , and wolf down a lazy dinner of sardines and whatnot.

It takes me a few minutes to discover that Townsville city centre, set on the beachfront like Cairns, is beautifully laid out and with all the mod cons a tourist could want.

It takes me much longer to figure out how to set the van up for the night. I finally doze off sometime around 2 am after meandering the town looking for the best parking spot.

I’m a rank amateur at the this game.

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