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Fri, 18 Aug 2006

Herberton 8 Hour mtb race - 23:07
Or how I adjusted to the Cairns temperatures slowly, by doing a mountain bike race in the tablelands with rain and almost Canberran temperatures.

Sam and Ben are not going to be competing in the Gravity 12 hour race this year with me as they are living up in Cairns for a year. Thus I was keen to do a race with them at some point. When I saw this appear on the Cairns MTB club calendar it was appealing, then I saw the RRR Classic on the following weekend. That pretty much sealed this holiday for me, so we did the 8 hour race last weekend. As I saw in the few words I write about it, fun, pretty cruisy, could use more interesting singletrack but on the whole worth doing if you are up here.

Anyway if you want to see the details (photos, some words) have a look where I put them.

[/mtb/events] link

Great coffee and some mango wine - 21:31

35 KG of coffee roasted at a time (full size)
As I suggested the other day, I spent Thursday up in the table lands checking out some local produce of interest and looking around Kuranda. The produce of interest was local coffee, and I had a look at a Mango winery simply for the novelty value.

The photo to the left is the bean roaster at the NQ Gold Coffee plantation, this was a good plantation to visit I reckon. Not far outside the town of Mareeba, the plantation is owned and operated by a family, all the coffee has been grown with no pesticides sprayed on it for the last 14 years. They do a free tour for you and will serve a fantastic coffee there. The beans are sun dried there and all processing is done on the premises. In addition to their three coffee varieties (light, medium, espresso) they sell chocolate covered coffee beans, dried fruit (mango and others) and mango jam. All of which I ended up buying. After this visit I decided not to go visit one of the larger more commercial coffee plantations as I was well satisfied with the details I got from this visit. The woman who gave the tour mentioned there is one restaurant in Canberra that serves their coffee (possibly the Chill restaurant in Campbell, I forget).

Afterwards I headed off to the Golden Drop Mango Winery mostly to satisfy my curiosity as to what it could taste like. They had three varieties of wine, Dry, Medium and Sweet, they also sold Mango Port and Mango Liquor, Mango Champagne plus a few other fruit based liquors. I generally prefer dry wines, however I was worried that mango wine would all be somewhat sweet, I was pleasantly surprised to find the dry was indeed a rather good tasting dry wine. The most noticeable thing is there is an almost overpowering Mango aroma from the wine. I liked the novelty of the drink, however at the price (AUD $25 per 750ml bottle) it would not replace a standard drinking wine for many people who drink wine regularly.

After this I headed back to Cairns via Baron Gorge and Kuranda to check out the views and township.

[/leisure/food] link

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