Lake Cargelligo to Hay
Had a fairly decent sleep, first time on the airbed and I have to say I am impressed. Very comfortable, not noisy when you roll over and completely insulated from the cold ground. I have a good down sleeping bag which I use open like a blanket so I was cosy on top and warm on the bottom. All my muscles were screaming at me but they soon gave up the protest as being pointless. Woke before sunrise, even though it was already 6.45am. Took a photo just to prove that once every decade I see a sunrise.
Eased into the day – did not want to give my system a total overload – and ate breakfast in the camp kitchen (after I finally found the light switch). Packed up the tent and attempted version 3 of weight distribution on the bike. Set off at a casual pace for the 70kms to Rankins Springs.
After WWI some of my relos were allocated Soldier Settler Blocks near Rankins Springs. They stuck at it for quite a few years but eventually it got the better of them – as it did for most of the returned soldiers turned farmers – and they returned to Sydney to try their hand at something else.
I stopped at the petrol station and got chatting to one of the locals. She dragged out some historical books that had been written about the settlers and photocopied some pages for me. I wandered around town and took photos of the old, mostly dilapidated buildings and wondered if this place would also die a slow death like so many Aussie country towns.
160km to Hay – on magnificent, flat, well maintained roads. Blissed out just cruising along – begging for a corner to wake me up. You have to keep your wits about you as there is so much road kill to avoid, and then the birds are feeding on the road kill and take flight with just inches to spare before hitting them. I hit a bird once going through Nasho and it made an awful mess of the front panel, I would hate to think what a bird strike would do to my ribs. The other thing to watch out for is little sticks on the road. More often than not they are lizards or snakes basking on the tarmac. They don't move when you whizz past them, they just turn and look at you quizzically.
About 50km before Hay the landscape became dead flat. At some parts the water was lapping at the side of the road and the birds were revelling in the lushness.
I rode into town about 2pm. Too early to stop but too tired and sore to go on. My neck and shoulders cast the final vote so we pulled into the caravan park, forked over $10 for the best view in town, pitched the tent, made friends with the swarms of mozzies and then ventured back down main street for a look. The river was so high it had swamped the skate park and camping ground. Luckily it had not breached the levy and the town was safe – unlike many other towns a week or two earlier.
The library provided some internet and the supermarket provided the makings of dinner. Back to the caravan park for tea and it was then that I discovered that the peace was shattered every time a B Double truck went past and geared down to enter the 60km zone just beyond the entrance to the park. B Doubles went past about every 60 seconds. I think the ear plugs will come out tonight.