Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tathra to Batemans Bay, then Canberra

Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd November

Cooked some breakfast on the beach at Tathra, and then leaving Tathra I battled a headwind again to get to Bermagui, vowing to give myself a rest day. Stayed at the Zane Gray caravan park which is apparently named after someone famous ($14 per night).

There is an Aboriginal camp at the top of the cliffs not far from the caravan park, making a point about land rights. It is really windy at Bermagui at this time of year. There is a boat harbour there, and stunning views from the cliffs. Apparently it is where Billy Connerly's 'The Man Who Sued God' was filmed.

Bermagui sure is a lot nicer since it was upgraded from BermaCLI (geek)

On the rest day I didn't do much but potter about town taking photos and using the library... and having BBQs.

Formerly the Bermagui Vetinary Clinic
I'll update this post once I get more photos uploaded.

Wednesday 24th November

Riding past Wallaga Lake and the turn off for Mystery Bay (stunning views here, even from the highway) I made it to Narooma just on lunch time. I visited a couple of op shops and then found a cafe where I bought the best vegie burger ever (perhaps) to eat at Forsters Bay.

I left my bike resting up against the CFA shed and walked up to the lookout. Unfortunately, this whole time I've been on the coast where its good to see whales its been too choppy to see anything that might be a whale breaching because everything is white caps. Nevermind.

View from Narooma lookout
Again, I'll update this post once I get more photos uploaded.

Freecamped at Eurobodella National Park. A combi with two modern day Woodstock-types showed up about 8pm and attempted to play 'Feelin Groovy' over and over again on the guitar until around 2 am. You want peace, man? How about a little PEACE, man?

Thursday 25th November

Another hot day. Got to Moruya about 11 am and rested in the shade by the water, reading and eating until about 3pm.

Free camped about 10 km North of Moruya. Had a chat to a couple from the UK about places we have all been and then someone from the Sunshine Coast asked me a barrage of questions and told me about how he shops with his bike and everyone thinks he's crazy. He then told me a story about how he was stalking a 67 year old lady who was riding around Australia, and then asked me when I'd likely be in various places, to which I gave vague answers. I hope I don't see him again.

About 10:30 pm someone shows up and turns on their generator. I don't know how long they left it on for as I put my fingers in my ears and somehow got to sleep. There is a special diesel powered hell reserved for these kinds of people.

Friday 26th November

Pulled in many of the beaches along the way to Batemans Beach (coastal route), and anywhere there was a shop, I bought an ice cream. Another hot day.

Got to Batemans Bay around 1pm. 

Went to the library for a bit to charge my phone. Decided to go visit Canberra as it is 'just up the road'. Looked into how far it is and how steep the Kings Hwy is. It did not look fun.

Decided instead to look into a bus or something. Cheating.

Freecamped that night on the edge of Benandara State Forest. I found a bit of grass in amongst spiky thistles on the ege of a gully. I think there used to be a rest area here but now it is all horrible gravel mounds and swaled soil full of thistles. Well, no getting woken up by generators and bad guitar at least! (Not entirely sure how I will get out in the morning either).

Alas, about two in the morning I am woken up by what I'm guessing was a very angry wombat (well I'm hoping it was just a wombat). It continued to wake me up making angry noises every now and then right by my ear. I had a few dreams involving being attacked by a humicidal wombat in which I embarrassingly get bitten on the arse (comes with the territory when you sleep in a swag).

Saturday 27th November

After taking about 30 minutes to climb out of the gravel pit that was my free camp (who's idea was this anyway?) I ride back into Batemans, use the internet in the library to figure out how to trip up to Canberra. I find out there is a Murrays coach that will take me and my bike (as long as it is in a box). It goes up the Kings Hwy.

I need a shower badly so I stay at the Shady Gully caravan park for $26. This is actually the cheapest caravan park in Batemans. One charges $37 for an unpowered tent site. Criminals. There caravan park I stayed at is also a YHA and was full of schoolies douche bags driving lowered utes around the caravan park, scraping on all the speed bumps.

I ask my mate Luke if he has been to Canberra before and he says he has not so we make a plan to meet up there.

Sunday 27th November

It's still raining in Batemans Bay (I have only managed to see it for an hour without rain I think) so I book the bus one day early, to catch it Monday at 3pm. I ask at the bike shop if they'll have a bike box for me the next day, and being Christmas time they have no issues giving me a box.

I free camp at Kiola state forest 15 km North of Batemans during a storm and listen to the gum trees dropping limbs all around me in the wind and rain. I somehow managed to get some sleep.

Monday 28th November

I head into Batemans again and get organised for the bus trip. By 9:10 am I've already got packing tape and a bike box. The bus isn't until 3pm. Maybe a little too organised. I hide the box in an alleyway and write on it 'Please leave here, Cheers'. I probably need about an hour to pull the bike apart and pack it without stressing out. I waste some time reading, eating (pattern forming?) and using the internet in a gamers lounge. Wow, the computers actually work in these places. I'm used to shitty library ones where its keypress, wait one minute, keypress, wait, mouse click, wait. And, the lights are all off and the keyboards glow. Sure, the gamers do swear a lot and throw things and call each others mothers this and that. But the computers actually have some power.

At 2pm I take the bike and box to the bus stop and pull the bike apart and box it. I need to take off both wheels, the handlebars, detach the rear fender somewhat, bend the rear fender, and take off the front rack. I can only fit one wheel into the box, so I leave the front wheel out. I didn't bother taking off the pedals.

At 3pm the coach takes off up the Kings Hwy. The first hour is the bus making its way over Clyde Mountain. This is very steep, lots of switchbacks, and pretty much no shoulder. I was sitting there thinking ...well, thinking I think I'm going to throw up, but also thinking I am SO VERY VERY GLAD I'm not riding up this.

Two and a half hours later I'm in Canberra. I put my bike back together which takes about an hour (fenders!) and make my way tot he caravan park. I'm riding up Northborne Avenue straight away on the bike lane and it's busy with traffic like Collins Street peak time times three, but with the advantage that most of the drivers aren't actually driving in the bike lane (what? I know right?) and aren't really out to kill you (also strange). So despite being in a new city and riding fully loaded up a busy road, I wasn't freaking out. I was liking Canberra already.

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