- Start: Eden
- End: Genoa
- Day distance: 61.75km
- Total distance: 563.35km
- Average speed: 14.4km/hr
- Pedalling time: 04:18
- Total time: 06:00
So claw hand has set in. I spent a lot of time being very tense yesterday with all the careless motorists, and I was gripping my handlebars very tight a lot of the time. This has lead to my right hand being pretty much useless now. All the strength has gone. I struggled to hold a spoon to eat my massive bowl of porridge, I struggled to tighten the straps which hold my rucksack on my bike and I struggled to do up any zip or clip. Later in the day I would struggle to change gear. It’s so difficult to type this!
I left later than planned, because houses are always so warm and comfortable! Peter said I could stay and rest another day if I wanted but, like Markus and Melanie pointed out, it was a beautiful day and I should make the most of it! We had a little photo shoot before we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
My first stop was the supermarket. There aren’t many shops for the next few days, there isn’t much of anything by the looks of it, so I stocked up with some very random bits and my bike was the heaviest it’s ever been. I was worried about the kind of performance I would be able to put in today with this extra weight.
After a particularly long climb straight away I was exhausted, but happy I had made it to the top without stopping with my heavy bike. I have never been so sweaty. It was dripping off my head and nose and running down my back. After a little break at the top, a long downhill made the sweat freeze on me and I was cold again. This hot cold business can’t be good for you. I was coughing a lot this morning so I hope that turns out to be nothing.
Up ahead I could see a whole load of smoke and I was worried it was a bush fire, I don’t like fire. But there were signs up saying it was a controlled burn so I cycled through as quick as I could, trying not to breathe in too much smoke. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated, and the smoke gave everything a strange but rather pleasing glow.
I got to a rest area which coincided with my 20k break. I used the drop toilet (only the second time I have needed to wee in the day time), and inside there was a box for sharps (used needles). That’s a bit odd right?
A man came over to talk to me, he had passed me while I was crawling and sweating my way up the big hill. He told me I was making good time. He said he was homeless and just moves his car around from place to place. He made sure I was ok for water and went on his way. I was sat on the ground outside the toilet and a couple with a caravan pulled in and chatted to me, so many people stop and talk to me, it’s amazing.
Despite the late start I was doing well, and it helped that the roads were really quiet today, and I was a lot more relaxed as I felt a lot safer without the lorries being twats. There were a lot of logging trucks driving up and down, but the ones full of logs were all on the other side, driving away from the logging area, and the trucks on my side were empty ones. One unpleasant moment happened when one of the logging truck used his dump breaks (I don’t know the technical term) just as he was next to me and showered me in thousands of bits.
The road was fairly pleasant to ride along. Not took many lumps and holes. Only 3 dead wombats and some very crispy kangaroos. The hills were rolling, nothing too major, just like the homeless man said. I was cruising along and soon came to the New South Wales / Victoria border. I can’t quite believe I’m here! I had never cycled anywhere of any significant distance and now here I was, entering my second state in Australia, having cycled over 500km from Sydney to get here. I felt much the same as I did when I reached the 100 mile mark on the PCT. If I can get to here I can go anywhere!
I took a moment to feel pleased with myself and then got back to the task at hand. There was still 12km to go to get to the campground and it was getting chilly. Most of the day had been through gum forest so there wasn’t much to look at and it was shady. The roads seemed to change after entering Victoria. They were a lot smoother and there were rumble bars everywhere, which makes crossing the white line a bit more challenging.
I made it to the camp ground at around 3:30pm and I was settled in my tent by 4:30 as it was getting really cold, and everything was getting damp already. It’s a basic but free site with a donation box. There are toilets here and there are a few caravans parked up but I’ve set up as far away from them as possible. There are a bunch of chickens on the prowl and I hope they stay away from my tent!
And remember David? The Canadian cycle tourist I met while I was hiding from the rain in Ulladulla…well he has broken his wrist so his cycling is on hold for a while. No he didn’t get hit by a car, he slept on a picnic table and rolled off in the night!!
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.
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