Ahhhh, Cairns. We return to you with trepidation. Not without good reason. Last time we visited you, we lost many a piece of camera gear to your monsoonal rains. We were scared to death of everything that lurked in the thick vegetation of your jungles. Even the plants themselves. The Wait Awhile Vines and Stinging Trees had us thoroughly inspecting every step we took, every possible hand hold as we slid our way down the track.
This time around, Cairns has been playing nice. The skies have been clear for the most part, and the temps have been warm. Well, hot and humid. Given this, we expect to see more of Australia's deadly wildlife this time around. We may have taken the first couple days cautiously looking for it. So far, we haven't had any luck in that department. Be we have laid eyes and feet on the track, and that's what we are here to tell you about.
It would seem that the big difference this year is the lack of wet. That difference is huge. It made this track a rather tough bugger two years ago. Riders were fighting to keep upright in the thick mud. The rocks were almost like ice. Without that element, the track seems perhaps a bit tame compared to last time. Sure there are a couple full blown gnarly sections on the track, but precision will be what takes this race.