Cycle Oz day 12 – getting off the highway

  • Start: Cann River
  • End: Marlo 
  • Day distance: 73.9km 
  • Total distance: 685.04km 
  • Average speed: 15.7km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 04:38
  • Total time: 06:00

I was cosy in my sleeping bag and attempted to read a bit of my book but by 8pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open and drifted off. Which meant I was wide awake at 4am! I was super hungry so I ate my cereal bars and went back to sleep on and off. I thought it was raining but I must have pitched the tent closer to the tree than I thought and it must have been drips from the tree. I then kept getting woken up by the Kookaburras which were really loud. It sounded like there were hundreds of them but there were probably only about 3. 

I looked absolutely shocking this morning, actually scared myself when I looked in the mirror! A combination of too much sobbing and maybe sleeping on a slight downhill slope. A lot of fluid build up around the eyes! As I packed up I opened one of the panniers and there where a bunch of poos sat there. Gross. Something had pooed on Priscilla in the night!! 

It was a day for two pairs of socks in a desperate attempt to keep my toes warm and a good coating of Vaseline to attempt to ease the bits. 

The tent was wet again and it was cold despite the sun. It was another day where I didn’t take my coat off at all, but my puffy vest, buff and gloves were on and off all day. The ride was ok today, a couple of hills that really seemed to drag but nothing that made me stop (other than to adjust the layers). The stop every 10k was slightly abandoned today though and I just stopped whenever the pressure on my bum got too much – which was often!

This is what happens in my head on a climb: Oh no a hill. It’s ok you’ve got this. The hill isn’t too bad. I’m still in fourth gear. Now third. Now second. Don’t go down to first. You can do this in second. You’re better than first gear. But my legs are on fire. I’m about to go backwards. Ok I’m in first gear. Keep going. I can’t do it. You can, keep going. I need to stop. Don’t stop. There is no reason to stop. My legs ache. I’m too hot. I need to stop. Don’t stop. There’s the top. The top is so far away. Its probably not even the top. I can make it to the top. I can’t make it to the top. I can make it to the top. I can’t make it to the top. When you get to the top you can have a rest. You can have a jelly snake at the top. Ok I can do it. Why isn’t the top getting any closer?! There is more top all the time. Just keep going. No point stopping now. You’re nearly there. But my legs are burning. I’m starting to slouch. Sit up. Lean forward. Pedal your legs round faster. Why isn’t there another gear to go down to? I need another gear! I can’t do it. You can do it. Just keep going. I can’t do it. I’m at the top. Oh, I’m at the top. I made it. I didn’t stop. Treat yourself to a jelly snake. Ok. 


I had a little stop at a pit toilet and ate a few snacks. I don’t think I’m fuelling properly during the day. It’s too cold to stop for long. I had some really cruisy downhills which definitely helped to bump up my average speed. The traffic felt a little heavier today and there wasn’t much of a shoulder for the most part. I remember two trucks passing to close for comfort, but out of the whole day that’s not too bad. 1 huge squashed kangaroo, 1 squashed wallaby and something so badly squashed it was unrecognisable. 

Then finally, I got to come off the highway for the first time in days and took a smaller road down to Marlo. The road was a dream, I saw two cars for about 10k. I was a bit concerned about how hilly it was going to be off the highway but I need not have worried. It was basically a roll downhill to the coast. There were a couple of times Google told me to turn off, but when I got there it was gravel road so I chose to stick to the paved road. My body and Priscilla are not ready for off roading yet! So I ended up doing about 6k more than I needed to, but that was ok. 

It was really nice to see the sea again, and the national park was really beautiful. Lots of trees and bushes and things that smelt nice. I also caught a glimpse of a Liar bird – the bird featured on the 10 cent coin. It’s a black bird with a beautiful feathered tail. It crossed the road in front of me and quickly disappeared into the bush. Lots of signs around warning of kangaroos and wombats, but I didn’t see anything alive today. The road along the coast to Marlo was pretty flat and by the last 5k I was getting tired and sore and I was watching the kilometres count down everso slowly. 

I found my home for the night with Mike and Sarah. I’m staying with a blog follower in couple of days time and he also arranged this host for me. They were super friendly and welcoming and Keira, the little girl, took me on a tour of the house to show me the snake, turtles and lizards. I had already met the chickens and roosters and the dog as I was wondering around looking for signs of life. They weren’t home when I arrived but came back about 10 minutes after I got there. 

After a much needed shower they invited me to eat with tacos with them. I love tacos! I was really hungry and could have eaten about 5 times what I did, but I was too polite! Mike was great to chat to and we found a mutual love of Himalayas to chat about. Mike has more toys than I’ve ever seen anybody have. From boats to surf boards to various musical instruments, to drones, projectors, GoPros, every type of bike, to his own hand built climbing wall in his garage and so much more. You would never ever run out of things to do here, especially if you like being on the water! 

In another bizarre day in my life I found myself reading Keira a bed time story while she was dressed in her ladybird onsie and then I learnt the rules of AFL from Mike. I’m so so grateful to be inside tonight, it is absolutely freezing outside! 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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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3 thoughts on “Cycle Oz day 12 – getting off the highway

  1. My goodness, your account of what goes on in your head on a hill climb was just as I remember in my head on bike tours! I am glad to not be the only one! Jane

    Liked by 1 person

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