Friday, December 17, 2010

All roads lead to roam

Tuesday 7th December

Got back into Batesmans Bay around 10 am and put the bike back together. Left the town around 3pm after grabbing some supplies read: food read: chocolate.

Headed back to the free camp in Kiola state forest, 15 k north of Batesmans. There is a eucalypt walk here, signposted with tree descriptions to aid identifying the different species but unfortunately I was feeling especially lazy because of the early start and didn't do the walk.

It was good weather- not windy or raining - so I didn't have any limbs crash down in the night this time around. From trees I mean. My arms and legs are fairly well attached.

Wednesday 8th December

Headed to Lake Tabourie first up.

There is a nice little boardwalk and path along the lake edge to the ocean beach. The water in the lake is clear and there are plenty of small fish. Nice little spot. I had some lunch here.

Lake Tabourie

Lake Tabourie fish
The beach at Lake Tabourie

Next I rode to Ulladulla which is a reasonable size town. Here I visited the Franklins to stock up on food and the info centre to confirm you can camp at the Milton showground.


Milton is a cute little town which was founded back in 1860. There are some boutique shops here and a decent selection of eateries. The showground camping area looks out to a 180 degree view of the rural areas, grassy hills and mountains beyond.

The view from my camp at Milton showground

Very nice. The fee is $15 powered site. The guy didn't come around to collect when I stayed so I got away with a freecamp. The thing about such a big sky view is you can see the rain-pocalypse heading straight for you. It started raining about 2 in the morning and didn't stop.

Thursday 9th December

I stayed put at the Milton showgrounds because it was dumping rain all day and at least this place had shelter to cower in and do my favourite activities of reading and eating.

Queenbeyan near Canberra had got a dump of rain so big that morning they had to evacuate.

I must have been having lunch at my tent during a only light drizzle moment when a retired couple in a four wheel drive drove right up to me and yelled down from their truck was I enjoying my picnic and then fired a barrage of predictable questions at me.

I despise people who will drive right up to your tent or bike in their small tanks like they own the place and treat you like a curiosity rather than a human. What am I? Water buffalo? Get out of your stupid car and be civil. I need to be more assertive and ask whether they would just drive up to the door of someones house and yell some questions at the occupants from their car seat. They probably would though.

The guy asks do I have any problem with guys following me around. Not especially I say. He says if he was 20 years younger he would be. Ok, a) 20 years? That's a stretch. b) Your wife is right there. HOW do you not have a black eye? c) You started off sounding concerned maybe I got hassled by those kind of men and you turned out to sound like one of those kind of men.

Next he patronisingly asks me if anybody ever helps me. This I find insulting. What kind of help do you think I need? Kindness is nice, but pity is misguided.

Personally, I pity people who can't or won't travel by human power. You may have speed but only with that petrol crutch. And there is no equal to the way you will know the land you are travelling than by travelling at human speed and with your own power.

Views from the top of hills are earned, more special, and you have won the right to spend the time drinking those views in. Downhills are the thrilling reward for a bit of toil; only a bike can give you the sweet moment of reaching the pivot at the top and gravity is your friend again as you roll on down.

He left (prior to tooting his horn to tell me he was driving off in case I couldn't judge that myself - another pet hate of mine) by telling me to put something on my feet, like a dad. I was sitting on the grass barefooted, a simple pleasure that doesn't actually hurt anything.

Seriously, I need to look more like i'm carrying a drug habit or something dangerous so I can avoid these stupid conversations breaking my peace.

There was a bit of sunshine at the end of the day where I took some sunset pictures. I'm thinking of turning lemons into lemonade and starting a collection of cloud photos. I see enough of them.

Friday 10th December

I get to Huskisson around 1 pm. I clicked over 4000 km about 8 k from Huskisson.

On the way I stopped at a truck stop to buy a icypole and someone steals my thongs that I had strapped onto one of my panniers. Honestly, who steals thongs? I need my thongs. I'm on a coast trip. I don't like getting sand in my only pair of shoes. How annoying. So, now I need to install a padlock on my flip flops? Is that where we are at as a society? Thongs! I check into the White Sands caravan park for $30. Huskisson, or Huski, is a pretty little place on Jervis Bay that has very white, squeaky sand and great looking blue water as a result.

Saturday 11th December

I woke up at sunrise to take some snaps and I see a pod of dolphins swim past! That is special.

After a spinach and ricotta roll from the Huski bakery I ride off in the direction of Nowra and get there about 9am. Christmas shopping was in full swing already. I picked up a pair of thongs from Target for $3.50 that are identical to the ones stolen, except without my toe prints which must have been what makes them a target for theft. Will be starting up my own black market for used thongs shortly. 
After using the internet at Nowra library I ride on to Berry where I stay at the showground for $10. Berry is a quaint little town that has shops with things like baby clothes and puppets. I hang around the showground eating icecreams and reading. It was a pretty hot afternoon. 

More pictures
Sunday 12th December
I ride about 25 k to Kendall's Beach caravan park. It's $23 for unpowered really close to the beach. I have some fish and chips from Hunky Dory and visit the lighthouse and blowhole.

Kiama lighthouse

Kendalls Beach
There are a bunch of teenagers jumping off the cliff as part of the Australian summer time rite of passage that sees some kids emergency departments and sometimes in wheelchairs before they get to take the same kind of risks on other wheels.
A station wagon with two guys managed to freecamp and get away with it in the car park right next to the caravan park.

More pictures

Monday 13th December

I leave the caravan park about 11 am after replacing my brake pads for the first time. I've put on cartridge brakes which means you can just slot in new rubber, and therefore just carry the spare rubber pads instead of the whole brake shoe thingy. You know the metal bit stuff. The rubber slides on in one direction and is secured by a tiny pin the size of a staple.

Anyway after riding one kilometre one of the pins must have popped out or whatever because I end up having to reverse on a hill to get out of the way of a truck cutting a corner and one brake pad slides off. So I use one of the pins from my remaining set of spares pads and let me tell you it took me a while to get that pin in. I was following the theory that you can slide the pad on and put the pin in without taking off the whole shoe thingy. Obviously I had done the quick release, but my fork seemed to be right in the way of access to the hole for the tiny pin (ahem).

So a lot of swearing later I have it sorted, but i'm wondering if i should be trusting my skin to four tiny bits of metal. Well i haven't had any trouble since so maybe the original pin was never there and i wasn't cluey enough to check? Anyway why the hell don't you get a few extra pins in the packet? You cheap brake manufacturing bastards. Brakes are kind of important to have and this would not be the kind of thing you'd want to run out of in the middle of no where. I'm not sure how good i am at improvised bone whittled brake pins.

I get to ride along a bike path along the coast all the way to Windang. Yay!

At Windang I get a powered site for $28 as they say they can't give me an unpowered one, even though its the same bloody thing except I don't have an air conditioner or a fridge hidden in one of my bags to use all their electricity. The beach front here is full of nesting Terns.

More pictures

Tuesday 14th December

I continue on the bike path that goes along the coast all the way to Wollongong where I stop for an early lunch and then i ride on to Bulli Beach, which was also all on bike path. Along the way to Wollongong you ride through a heritage park (old cannon holder thing) and weird pyramids I'm guessing are related to the cannon holder thing. (Maybe I should read signs?). There is some really nice coastal scenes before you ride through the industrial area with the not so scenic steel works that looks a lot like a coal fired power plant but without the cooling towers.

It makes a big difference to how nice the ride is when the only traffic to deal with is the morning walkers and fellow cyclists on a bicycle path, let me tell you. I say good morning a lot more, that's for sure.

At Bulli Beach there is a caravan park that has unpowered sites for $22.

Bulli Beach has surf beaches, and also these sheltered ocean swimming pools you see along this part of coastline.

I ride into town along the coastal bike path to pick up some food. A find a shady grassy area in the caravan park where a rainbow lorikeet comes right up to me with a curious look on its face.

Later on i'm talking on the phone when the same bird comes right up to my bare feet and goes to peck my toes before i pull them away just in time. What? There not for you! Birds seem to like attacking me head to toe.

More pictures

Wednesday 15th December

I leave early and continue along the bike path that runs beside Grand Pacific Drive and there are more stunning views of the coast.

There are a few hills now, and the path eventually ends up no more than a narrow bit of overgrown bitumen so you end up using the road a fair bit which has an unreliable shoulder.

I get to the Sea Cliffs Bridge about mid morning and spend a while taking photos from every possible angle.

There is a shot from above available here.

More pictures

I take the train from Coalcliff to Sydney Central.

First off there are only stairs at this station so I get over to the platform after several trips over the stairs.

Then I realise I have no change for the ticket machine so I have to ride three kilometres to Stanwell Park where the nearest shops are. I leave my panniers at the station.

I catch the 11.08 because I just love to get to major cities right on lunch time peak hour.

Anyway, theres no big issues with having my bike on the train, and I check into my accommodation in the city without any more hassles.

Now I'm staying in Sydney a few days.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Looking forward to the Christmas update!... Adrian