Saturday, October 7, 2017

City lights!

Gunbower Creek to Echuca 73km

After a 10km ride into Cahuna Paul & Duncan took the scenic quiet route whilst the rest of the Texan
M continued on the Murray Valley Highway. Satellite navigation means that we can all take seperate routes and all meet up at the same destination. The Tandem crew went down quiet country lanes amidst billabongs and lush green fields, which became increasingly narrow and rough until they were forced to ask for help off some farm women in the matrix of criss-crossing paths. They found themselves riding the tandem on little more than footpaths.

They found themselves way behind everyone else but having a picnic with Paul's partner Melinda who had come to visit with her daughter Veve. They rolled into the Rotary Park on the banks of the Campaspe River in Echuca at dusk all set to Surprise Duncan. You see it was his birthday the following day and everyone except Duncan knew Evelyn, his Mother, had travelled up from Tasmania to see him. His jaw dropped when he saw ('heard' ed.) his mum and niece.
Jeffrey our PR man was most surprised to see us!

Everyone was stressed after 8 days doing battle with trucks and everyone had their close calls. So a  much needed rest day ensued. The Rummin crew fromTasmania had arrived again and so it was also a day of filming and interviews.

Echuca to Nurmurkah 82km
Despite best intentions we had a late start from Echuca made all the more late by Win National News interviewing Paul and Duncan (a good interview set up by Jeffrey our PR man). Highlights of this day were dirt roads in the Barmah Forest and the Yorta Yorta town of Barmah itself. Then a rare 28km with a tail wind meant that we could cruise at 30kph. Paul's family accompanied the team on this day and said goodbye the next morning.

Nurmurkah to Lake Mulawa 75km

The wind blew in the morning making packing up camp uncomfortable. We rode down more dead straight roads through iridescent GMO canola fields and wheat - the bread basket of Australia.  Wally got attacked by magpies and filmed himself. The team had to stop for lunch and conduct a phone interview with Felicity Ogylvie for the  ABCs Radio National PM programme before rolling into Yarawonga and back into NSW to camp at Kyffin's Reserve where we were treated to a spectacular Harvest moonrise.

Lake Mulawa to Albury 100km
We were in a state of trepidation for this day. It was always going to be a monster. Paul is in Abury writing this blog and can't even remember the ride even though it was only yesterday. I think it is best if I just forget this day! What I do recall is 11 hours into a headwind, Duncan calves hurting him because of his new cleat pedals, Duncan's stomach was also upset and he ate a full packet of Quickease before lunch, chatting to bearded men sucking on cans at the Howlong Hotel, and getting shouted at - "Fucking Idiots" - by a person in a white ute (registration number GY6174) as we came down from the summit on Dights Hill at 58kph. We then rode the last 10km into Albury on a splendid cycle track through a wetland at dusk, with Pelicans perched in trees and an evening chorus of waterfowl.
Well... that settles that than...

Now we are staying at the excellent Big 4 Albury Tourist Park which also serves as a Youth Hostel and is affiliated with the YHA. It really does feel like we are living it up in the big city!

Tomorrow we will begin the last leg of our journey - The Mountain leg to Mt Kosciuszko.


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