Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wallabadah, Gunnadah, Barraba

Left Burning Mountain and slowly made my way north. One of the great things about cycling is that you can talk with a lot of people and this day, I spoke with several; the retired truck driver, clearing the weeds from his driveway with an old hoe, the old man and his son, working to repair their 4x4 on their way up to the Cape,  an retired office worker, enjoying being outdoors.

All day, these tiny flowers beside the road for me to enjoy.
There was also the climb over the range to get past. I didn't cycle much of it. Was very tired all day, so walked a lot.  But still managed to get into Wallabadah about 2pm.  Another 50km day, into a headwind, and I wasn't feeling that energetic.  At that time I  had the whole camp ground to myself to decide where to set up.  In the end I sheltered in the trees, even though the wind had stopped by sundown.

I woke at midnight to the roar of the wind in the trees, and patter of rain on the tent. Felt glad that I'd chosen the sheltered spot. That was the scene for the day though - wind and lots of it. The rain threatened, but stayed away. I wanted to have another short day, but ended up in Gunnadah. 100km and there was nothing to hide behind. Cotton fields with ankle high grass.

Gunnahah was surprisingly large. I'd expected a smaller town, instead it manages a Coles and Woolworths.  It was basically arrive, find a tent site and sleep. I was exhausted.

The effort to arrive spent me. Heading towards Barraba 80km away, I managed a measly 40k before calling it quits beside the road. Just didn't have the energy to do more that day.  So had a short day, resting in the sun. The wind of the previous day had gone. It seemed a shame to have such a nice day and feel so weak.

The last 40km into Barraba was a struggle.  So, I've decided to rest here a few days to see if I can regain my strength. I'm hoping that now that the course of antibiotics is over things will improve.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Burning Mountain

The new Exped tent was horrible. Was kicking myself for not checking it closely after getting it. In the new model, the mesh doors have changed to cloth. I can't see out, and it's warmer, not something I wanted. Needed to change it. Seriously needed to change it. Took a bit of effort, but now I've a MSR Hubba Hubba; the old style; the green one. Mesh doors and I can see out.
In the tent change over time, I saw a Doctor. Thought I had the flu, the nose was sore, but it wasn't like a flu in the sinus. Turns out its not the flu, but an infection inside the nose. On antibiotics that are working really well. I'm wondering why I put up with it for so long! Though, either the infection or the antibiotics are making me really tried. Only managed 50 km today. Will be taking it easy until it's over.
At a nice noisy camp near the highway tonight.Couple more before I find can get on some back roads.
Note: Burning Mountain rest area has toilets, but no drinking water. Fill up in Scone.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Rolling again - Watagans

Been a while since I've been through the Watagans. So leaving Sydney I enter again. Its changed a lot since last time. More signage. 

These signs are about the camp sites.  Which are a bit funny as there are trees everywhere. 

No trees fell on me.

Almost Done in Sydney

From the Six Foot track, I stayed in Lithgow to meet up with a friend for the weekend. After that, road to Glen Davis, then passed through Glen Alice, Rylstone,  Bylong and Muswellbrook. An easy ride to places I've been before. Was nice to be out on the road again. Predictably I struggled with fitness, but did manage a 100km day without too much effort. I needed to return to Sydney for some personal matters, but also because my gear was falling apart; tent leaking, stove leaking fuel and bike breaking spokes.

Black spokes; a mistake on my last wheel build. When wet, the water sits where the spokes cross, and they rust. Weakened, then snap at the cross over point.  New spokes are double butted, stainless steel. No rust!

Stove; I changed seals and wanted to get a replacement. Ended up getting a bit of an overhaul and more than one seal changed.

Tent; It was still under warranty. Exped replaced the tent with the newer version of the same model. Neat. Its a bit lighter as well.

So, that took care of the gear. I've done some house sitting, house repairs, and had a dose of the flu.

But now I'm back on the road.