A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Melbourne to Sydney: Day 10

I actually slept pretty well despite the nightmare, and realised its just the brain processing an event and not worth dwelling on too much. Nevertheless I'd be as careful as possible on the Princes Highway today.

First, I had to buy a new phone. Its ridiculous how dependant you get on these trips on a smart phone. I had paper maps for longer distance planning which were fine outside the major urban areas, but loved the nightly chats with my wife anddidn't fancy approaching Wollongong or Sydney without Google Maps!

So it was a matter of wheeling the laden 'Bianca' into the Batemans Bay shopping mall, up the disabled access ramp (as it felt too risky to lock her up outside here). The whole time I was under the watchful gaze of a security guard who probably was wondering what the hell the filthy tourist was up too. He didn't stop me though...I guess my panniers looked far to conspicuous to try and shoplift with! There were 2 big chain mobile companies here and the handset prices where ghastly expensive. I initially decided NO and sat down for breakfast to figure out what next. On the way out, there was a 'Dick Smith' I'd missed...the prices were slightly better here though still ghastly. Ruing the massive expense, and this time getting insurance...I replaced the phone.

At this point in the trip, if I stayed only on the highway, it was just under 300kms to Sydney and I had 4 days to do that. My route into town wasn't planned yet but knew I could ease up on the 100km+ a day thing. I decided to head for Ulladulla tonight, then try a quick blast through Nowra tomorrow. The tourers I met in Bermagui had warned me about Nowra and were sufficiently freaked by the traffic they'd very nearly got a rental car just for this section...so I was going to treat it with due respect and at least try and get though fast, at a quiet time of day.

In the meantime, I took a beautiful detour today down to Murramarang National park and the beach near South Durras. The down was infested with Kangaroos. Really infested...one beach house had a whole family on their front lawn, and in picnic area next to the beach carpark...a large (herd?)were enjoying the shade. It was nice seeing them up so close as so far I'd only seen them dead at the roadside, or from a distance.

Murramarang National Park

Murramarang National Park
Heading back to the highway, after my faffing around this morning looking for a phone, and this detour...it was suddenly 2pm and I'd barely covered 10km distance towards the north. I had a strong ride here, doing about 50/60 km in one hit, with just 1 short stop for a massive piece of carrot cake to keep the pedals turning. Although it was more highway again today, most of it was ok with a enough shoulder to keep out of trouble. I forgot about the alternate route down the old highway here which wouldn't have lost much time, anyone else doing this route: consider turning off Princess just north of Durras lake to get off the main road for a while. Again another cool tip from the folks I met earlier.

The sun was out today and riding conditions were awesome with little wind, in fact wind has barely been a factor on this trip. I'll be interested to add up the hills however...since leaving Bairnsdale there haven't been many flat sections!

While writing this tonight...this little creature has been constantly trying to sneak up on me to get my dinner. I can't believe how cheeky it is...must have been fed by humans before!

Total distance: 81km

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