Thursday, July 22, 2010

First 500

From Bendigo, I rode 40 k to Maldon, a small historic town also in the Goldfields region. On Main street all the buildings are from the late 19th Century. Still standing in the Beehive Mine is a tall chimney, which is the tallest of its kind still standing. It had to be shortened due to lightning strike.

Maryborough is a larger town, but still small. It has a fancy train station with clock tower and the story goes its design was meant for Spencer Street station but was knicked from the planning office.

Avoca was next up which is a neat little town at the foot of the Pyranees Ranges. The caravan park let me stay for $10, and were very friendly.Dunolly is a 40 km ride up Bridgewater-Maldon road. This is another small town. There are a few old signs still intact which are pretty cool. The caravan park let me stay for $10, which was also cool.

Next I headed to Waterfalls Picnic Ground in the Pyranees Ranges which is a nice quiet spot in the bush with campfires. After the short walk to the waterfall - sadly hardly flowing - I collected some firewood and built a fire for the cold night ahead. It was apparently frosty everywhere else, but it wasn't where I was. I could hear Wallabies thumping around during the early morning and when I stuck my head out of the tent at first light there were 12 Wallabies munching of the grass outside my tent - although they soon hopped off when they noticed me.

The place is absolutely pockmarked with mines and even tunnels from the goldmining days. You can't really stray off the tracks for fear of falling down a mine shaft.

After packing up, I attempted to make my way up the Fraser Track which goes up the side of Mt Avoca. However this was so steep and muddy - and chopped up by trailbikes - that I only made it about one kilometre up the rise - by dragging my bike up sideways up the slippery mud - before realising it was futile and that I had to head back the way I came - back down the blasted slope which meant taking everything off the bike and making a few trips to get back down - and to head back to Avoca and the highway.

As an aside, I've been getting a few emails from fellow female cyclists, including cyclingdutchgirl. I laughed while reading in her blog...

"A car pulled up and a surprised man stated that I am a girl. I knew this already of course, but to him it seemed unusual."

Photo Album: First 500


1manonabicycle said...

maldon is delightful at this time of year :) just outside the town are remnants of a political protest nearly 100 years old...on the side of the hill miners assembled stones to form "vote no"...they were aimed at prime minister billy huighes who was campaigning through the district, and they were advocating voting no against conscription of troops for ww1 - you can still see the stones, although they don't stand out anymore

as for maryborough, that railway station is damn impressive, yes? mark twain on his antipodean tour said maryborough was a railway station with a town attached :)

John W Naylor said...

Hi Maree

Glad you are on your way.

We are in Verdun, France.

We had an experience like yours with the trail yesterday when our canalside path turned to a wildflower garden. Extricating ourselves wasn't as hard as it was for you.

Some stuff on

Happy pedalling.