Cycle Oz day 8 – hills are not my friend  

  • Start: Mystery Bay
  • End: Brogo
  • Day distance: 49.68km 
  • Total distance: 430.2km 
  • Average speed: 12.6km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 03:51
  • Total time: 06:30

I had a pretty uncomfortable night in my tent. A man had a fire going which was engulfing my tent with smoke and my puffy pillow was hard and giving me a pain in my neck. What I did enjoy however, was sleeping and waking with the sun, without being confused by electric lights. 

The caretakers of the campground came and spoke to me as I was packing up and wished me well. They said they had another cycle tourist pass through yesterday, but he was going the opposite way. That’s two people cycling in the other direction to me, maybe I’m going the wrong way! 

I set off at 9am. I had a shorter day today as Catie and Paul contacted me on Instagram and offered to host me. I was worrying about the climb up Mystery Bay road to get back to the Princes Highway (which I have been calling the Princess highway! I swear it was called Princess and someone has just changed it to Princes), but it was nothing, it hardly even felt like a hill. So I felt like I had today in the bag. 

My location of my host today dictated my route, I followed the highway instead of going around the coast, I’ve heard the coast road is a lot hillier. Well, this way was hilly enough! The hills almost killed me. I had to take a break mid hill at one point. I also had to take a break every 5k instead of 10k. The lactic acid build up was too much. 

The road was through a lot of forest which was nice and it provided a bit of relief from the hot sun. I saw 2 squashed kangaroos and one squashed Wallaby. Every corner I turned there seemed to be another hill in front of me. My average speed was a lot lower today which was no surprise, I felt like I was about to go backwards at some points. 

My only incident today was setting off with my kick stand still out, realising as a caravan was passing me and it all getting a bit hairy for a few moments, but other than that it was just a lot of sweating and crawling up hills. There were a few cruisy downhill moments but there are over all too quickly! I went all out on the breaks today, getting off the bike and lying on the edge of the road (in a safe place!) 

Thankfully the last 3km was downhill, so I rolled down the road and found the turning to Catie and Paul’s house. I pushed my bike up the long gravel driveway and Catie came down and helped my push it, oh it’s so much easier when someone else is helping!! They live in a really cool place in converted shipping containers. It’s awesome, I love it! They follow me on Instagram and they have read my blog, which was evident when I was greeted with an ice cream as the first offering! The shower was hot and powerful and outside – best shower yet! 

Catie took me around the grounds on a quad bike, which was my first ever quad bike experience and it was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying! And I finally saw some living Australian wildlife! We saw a Wombat and a whole bunch of Kangaroos, some with babies in their pouches. They can bounce really high! 

We had a delicious chicken pie and more ice cream. Perfect. They are going to hike the Te Araroa this year, starting in October and hopefully I have managed to help them with a few things. So tonight I am sleeping in a shipping container, with my own wood burner. I love meeting all these different people! 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I continue to raise money for Just A Drop – they bring sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities around the world. 

663 million people across the globe are living without access to clean, safe water. That’s 1 in 10 people. A child dies every 90 seconds from a water related disease. One third of the worlds population – 2.4 billion people – don’t have access to adequate sanitation. 

If you have enjoyed this blog, please consider donating a few…pounds / dollars / euros / yen… and together we can change lives.

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