Tuesday, December 7, 2010


What a week it has been..
I stopped a couple of days outside of Aratula. The second hand shop there, the guy gave me a book, so I had to stick around to read and and drop it back. While there, I saw a koala in the wild!!!! The koala climed down one tree, ran across the ground and up another tree. Did this a few times before finding a tree it was happy with.
After leaving, it was a two day climb up over the range. The road I picked had signs saying no trucks, semi trailers, caravans or busses. Some of the grades were 17%. Needless to say I walked lots of it. It would have had great views, but mostly I was struggling to see more than 20meters - fog or mist or clouds. It was cold and wet, wet, wet. It took two days to climb the range.
Stopped in Legume, and Liston for a night each.
I'm currently in Texas staying in the caravan park. Yes. There is a town called Texas in Qld.
Memorable moments;
If a tree falls in the bush does it make a sound? You bet. At 9:15ish at night, I went from sleeping to crouched ready to run in one heatbeat. A very loud "crack", followed by the sound of falling. In the morning i found some small twigs had hit the tent. The dead tree fell towards the tent, but the top of the branches stopped about 10meters away..
Digging a hole in the rain forest is hard work - lots of roots.
From Killarney to the NSW border, the road is called "Border Road". at the border, in NSW the road is called Killarney Road. QLD likes having the roads called Border road. Same thing happened when crossing again on the way to Stanthorpe.
Texas has sheep farming- lots of flies. Dig any hole early in the morning before the flies wake up.
New top speed - 79.5km/hr. Might have been faster but i put the brakes on early on.. But then lost a water bottle the speed crept up before I knew it..
Rain stings over 50kn/hr.
Being wet each day has its problems. I wear the same clothes each day. I've only three sets: one to wear, one to sleep or change into and one spare. So if one pair is wet, and its still raining, they go back on the next day. I found that I have lots of little blisters or boils. Any small cut would easily become infected. A day of being dry has helped them a lot. Clothes that are wet constantly smell. In short before washing today - I stunk. Going past road kill, the flies would all leave to follow me. I had so many on me, I'd chase them off to make the uphills easier. Fair dinkum!!! Skin softens in the water, and I found small pills of skin in the tent. Any callouses I had are long gone.. But after all of it, one good wash and everything is gone. I smell clean again, my clothes have the soap and sun dried smell. Looking foward to sleeping tonight - a clean dry bed.
The blue Ortlieb bags have shown a problem. The top is closed by a roll down, but the edge has a cloth strip. This strip soaks up the water and lets a few drops inside. I'm going to spray silicon on it when I get some to stop that. For the moment I'm double bagging to stop my sleeping bag getting damp.
The panniers on the Yuba Mundo work well. I feel like I can ride faster than with thee Go-Getters. Its also easier to pack and unpack the bike. Its also easier to push the bike up hill - the wide loader bar isn't in the way. The panniers sit a few inches higher - which is a big help when crossing water. I walked through water up to just below the axle height. The go-Getters would have been in the water, and lifting the bike. Water that deep has a lot of force. I wouldn't like to walk through any deeper flowing water...
- Road side heading away from my cow paddock camp.
- second hand shop at Aratula
- koala in a tree
Picture taking has been limited in the wet. My phone isn't water proof, and mostly I was so wet, I didn't want to risk opening the water proof bag to get out the phone.
After all the rain - it isn't as unpleasent as you might think. It does make for some changes, like stopping earlier to give the inside of the tent time to dry, or taking longer to setup and take down the tent.. And when the sun comes out its so magical. Riding in the rain is easier in some ways - its cooler, and there isn't any water shortages :)