It was a good camp but when I woke my tyre was flat, obviously not the puncture mending god I thought I was, oh well. Nothing I like better at 6.30am than fixing a puncture but it didn’t take long, seems I missed a second small hole !!
So breakfast done we hit the road, 50km would see us into Cootamundra. It was a grey day, overcast, and the sky looked heavy with rain, we kept our waterproofs handy just in case.
The railway seemed to be our constant companion now, it was somehow reassuring in this vast space, like a link to the rest of the country. We crossed and recrossed it several times and once or twice we watched in amazement at the sheer size and length of the train when it passed, 36 wagons and two locos, just huge !!
We passed by several small towns / villages along our way, all of them looked like they were just hanging on, we were looking for coffee and hopefully cake, we found what we were looking for at Wallenbeen. It’s a crossroads town, the Olympic Highway passes through from north to south and the Burley Griffin Way passes through east to west. In all honesty there’s not much there, but there was a snack wagon in the layby with hot coffee and doughnuts !!
We had a good chat with some “grey nomads”, retired folk who now travel Australia in a camper or caravan. Lovely people, always friendly and ready with advice on routes etc.
We were soon back on the road though and hoped to be at camp before the rain started, we didn’t have more that 25km to go and it passed fairly quickly. The camp was close to town and easy to find, we asked if they had the weather forecast, they did and it wasn’t good. Basically we’re now expecting rain over the next four days, now I like camping but in the rain, not if I can help it ! We did a deal on a basic cabin and quickly moved in. The cabin had a kettle, toaster and microwave, plus the usual cutlery and plates….all we needed now was something to cook !
We ate at a bistro first then shopped, a stroll round the town didn’t take long and to be honest, it wasn’t lighting my photography fire !!
Back at the cabin we were warm, well fed and dry, the rain came at about 2.00am and as you’ll see in the next blog it was still raining when we left the next morning !!
Ok, not a lot of photos, it’s nice but not stunning here…
Like I said, what with the weather and the lack of spectacular scenery, this leg is beginning to drag !!
6.30am and all I can hear is the rain bouncing of the tin roof of our cabin, a quick peak outside confirms the obvious, it’s chucking it down, torrential !! We slowly got up, dressed, ate, packed and without much enthusiasm, set off into the downpour. It’s typical, today we’d decided to have a “make up time day”, our original destination was going to be Junee but we’d decided to head further and get to Wagga Wagga, a total of 95km. We’re still trying to get into Melbourne earlier than planned to give Naomi time with her friend before she goes on holiday, so it’s all in a good cause.
The railway just like the last few days is still running parallel, it’s useful because they’ve levelled the road to match the line, as a result we had a fairly flat ride into Bethungra, we stopped here for our usual coffee and to dry out for a bit, our stop was at a petrol station, grocery shop, cafe, coffee shop, craft centre and anything else you’d need it to be. The coffee was good as was the conversation and hospitality, the owner even gave us a souvenir postcard of the town, lovely gesture. From there it was an even flatter, faster ride into Junee, now it’s a nice little town, and very much a Railway town and had a museum and ornate railway station. The station also had a cafe where we managed to get some lunch and a coffee. If it hadn’t been so wet we may have stayed to have a look round, I especially would have liked to visit Junee’s other claim to fame, the chocolate and liquorice factory !!
Still, we were wet and starting to get cold so we decided to get back on our bikes and carry on for the last 40km. The weather may have been against us but at least the road was still good and flat, we felt like cycling gods as we hurtled along at 26km an hour, that’s good for us !!
From Junee we’d taken the old highway to Wagga Wagga and eventually hit a T junction, it seems strange but we had no idea which way to go, there was no sign post and no sign of a town anywhere. Luckily for us a car pulled over to check we were ok and soon had us pointed in the right direction. Another 4km had us arriving into town and as we cycled in we passed the first open bike shop we’d seen in a long time. We needed some inner tubes so we popped in and were soon in receipt of four new tubes. Next up was accomodation, we’re expecting rain so we found a cheap hotel close by and quickly had our bikes and kit stowed in our room !
Well the rain just kept on coming, so pleased we checked into a hotel, it was so wet we never left it. We just ate downstairs, had a couple of beers and watched the storm from the open door !!
Anyway here are a few photos, again not very many…