Thursday, 1 April 2010

Barraba!!

Total Distance: 548km

Arrived yesterday afternoon! Was good to see the silos as you come into town again. Means that I get to rest for a few days while this pesty Easter business gets over with.

Now I can give a better summay of what has been happening.

Day 1:

The ride from Morriset to Wollombi was hard. It was hot, and the ride seemed to be always uphill. I did a detour in the Watagans to visit my old camp site. Yep it was still there.. This 20km detour I was to regret as the day went on.  My days of sitting about had reduced my fitness and expanded my waitline. I wheezed and huffed and puffed along.

But it was good to be back on the bike. Only saw a couple of cars all day.

Day 2:
Wollombi to Broke.  Was feeling so tired this day. Riding slow. Sore legs. By the time I got to Broke I just wanted to rest. So I did. Met up with Dennis again. Lucky this time he was not all doom and gloom about my travels. I had a bit of the flu - nose runnign, sore throat. So ate oranges and rested.

Day 3:

Broke to Denman.
Felt stronger and got to Jerry Plains just on 12. But then it started getting really hot. In the next three hours, only went 2km. Lots of resting in the shade of trees. Even at 4pm the sun was still burning. I was a bit worried about being lost - as I'd taken a side ride. And well, a very rough map, and my sense of direction, I was hoping that it would go to Denman in the end.. It did.  Hung out in the park and drank lots of water. Road out of town as the sun set and camped by the road.

Day 4.
Denman, Musselbrook, Scone. Hung out in the park for a while then rode out to the Washingpools Camp area. This is in a National Park - so you have to pay to camp there. I'd been told it was free. Had a good swim, and a wash, set up camp, and started to sleep. But then all these cars started to arrive, kids with alcohol, loud voices, and a duf duf box. I packed up about 9pm and left. Cars where still arriving. Music thumping. I pity the poor people I left behind that where hoping for a quiet night. Riding in the dark by moon light (and my lights) was good.. It was quiet, cool, peaceful. Even on the highway, you got lots of warning of cars/trucks comming. Ended up stopping Widgen. There was a horse event the Saturday/Sunday - so lots of people (and horses).  Could have had a hot shower here also if I'd waited long enough.. But I didn't - figured that I'd be hot and sweaty before to long so why bother...

Day 5
Widgen to Wallabadah
Car drivers know nothing about hills. Been hearing about the Murrurundi Hills. But it turned out that it was easy as. 30 minutes climb and then a long downhill. Easy...  See the last post of "A big Hill'.. The harder part was the long climb out of Willow Tree to Wallabadah. The climb seems to go on and on... It was also very hot that day, so that didn't help.  But like all things - it passes and Wallabadah was a great spot to stay the night. I had planned on being in Woolomin, but was too tired to go on.

Had the first puncture today in Murrurundi. Wasn't watching and rode over a tent peg on the road. Clang, crash, clang, it rattled about with the wheel until pissssss.. Then it fell off. This was right outside a servo, with a broken air pump.. Least it was shady patching it..

Got the great comment then from on the the drivers:

"Gee you got a lot of stuff"   What could I do but laugh.. He was walking to his 4x4 packed to the roof with stuff,  the roof rack heaped, and towing a caravan..

Day 6
Wallabadah to Woolomin
Another not so flat rode. Went over some "Gap" Was moving too fast to read the name.. But it was a lot of uphill then a long downhill. Got 68Km/hr on the downhill - a new speed record for this trip. Serious downhill. Woolomin was nice - stocked up with heaps of books from the General Store, and ate lots of their hot chips - had a real craving for them, so had three lots. Best chips I've tasted. Talked with a few of the people from the last trip there..Rested, slept...

Day 7
Woolomin to Attunga.
A nice ride. Stopped and talked to Terry on the side of the road. He has a drinking water business. Rode into Tamworth and meet up with Claire and Wayne http://www.cwbikingoz.com/  as soon as I stopped. Found Tamworth too busy feeling, so after a quick stop for a screw for my sandals, some food, I kept cycling to Attunga.

Thanks to Barry and Margaret of Attunga who let me stay in their back yard, feed me, and gave me a hot shower. My first since leaving Morriset.

Day 8 Attunga to Barraba.
A slow day, seemed be a lot of gentle uphills. Apart from a stop at the Manilla cake shop (yum!!!) nothing much to say. Arrived in Barraba and met up with people I knew. Lots were surprised to see me back so soon. A nice place to hang out for easter when all the busy people are on the roads.. 

Washing day!!! Had been washing my clothes when I could. I didn't think they smelled, but had a lot of salt in them.

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