Day 27: To Beuadesert and a bit

It's Sunday the 22nd of July.

Map of the area around Beaudesert (click for more map)Woke as planned, had breakfast at the station then kissed Phuong goodbye on the 5:45 to the city. Sad, but I'll see her again in 10 days or so back in Sydney. My train doesn't arrive for 45 minutes, then it turns out that the timetable I have is only partial, or I misread it or something, because once I get off another train goes past a few minutes later. Perhaps I could have gone to the gold coast on a suburban train? Who knows. I wander off down local roads looking for useful signs, but somehow end up looking at the M1 motorway despite my best efforts. I'm somewhat handicapped by having a Brisbane map that ends at Beenleigh then a gap until my NSW map starts at Tweed Heads. So I use info centre maps and "welcome to the district" signs to give me vague guidance. This leads me to see signs like "Beenleigh 7km" about 12km after I've left Beenleigh, when I didn't want to go there in the first place. Bah!

Motorbikes everywhere, it seems that the minor roads make great entertainment for motorcyclists. They pass in one and twos and the occasional swarm. I stop for a chat with one bunch who are standing around a slightly dented motorbike. Not sure of the story, was too busy answering questions about my bike and why I'm riding.

Sign pointing to BoylandI ride through Tamborine and into Beaudesert, so named because despite it being fairly busy the only things open are servos, and the main event is a meeting of the Monaro club (they all own Holden Monaro's, going by the big row of them there). I have pizza for lunch (crappy chain pizza) and get my first flat tyre for quite a while in the carpark of the (closed) Coles. I buy fruit and veges at a stall and milk at a corner store, then ride out towards Warwick. That's about 140km from here, so it'll be a couple of days. By the look of the map, there's nothing significant on the road either so I might be eating rice and two minute noodles for a while. But I manage to scrounge a shower and take advantage of the facilities to do a bit of washing as well.

12km out of Beaudesert the cropland finally seems to be thinning out, I see a few stands of trees and find a spot just off the road to camp for a while. It's noisy though, the road is busier than I expected. But there are farms and fences everywhere, so I'm reluctant to park the quad and wander away from the road. Hopefully the traffic will thin out, I really want a good night's sleep to recover from all the Phuong-related wake ups in the night. She doesn't need as much sleep as I do, and is more nervous bush camping, so I get woken up a lot. Last night a possum chewed its way into our garbage bag going after fruit bread crumbs, so about 11pm we both woke up and faffed about getting the food packed up and inside the tent (instead of just in the vestibule).

The major bummer today is that I didn't tie my washing on well enough, so I've lost a sock. I also forgot to turn the solar panel/battery connection on, so I've been carefully collecting photons into a disconnected battery all day. Hopefully the battery is ok with that, I'm currently sucking a couple of amps to keep the laptop happy but at least the panel is on so it'll have an hour or so of recovery charging tonight then more tomorrow. Allegedly the charge controller has a blocking diode in it, so I pulled the blocking diode off the panel but now the meter shows 20mA of discharge when the panel is plugged in but there's no sun. But Phuong has the soldering iron so I can't fix that very easily, I'll just have to live with it.

Stats: 75km today in 5:14, avg 14.3km/h max 57. Total 823km in 57:16 (14.2km/h average overall). Lots of undulating roads today, many long slow sections where I was barely at walking pace. I suspect I'm higher up than when I started as well, so at some point I should get a faster day when I mostly go downhill. Or if I get the bus in Armidale or somewhere I might do the downhill on the bus.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hehe... Boyland...


3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take care by yourself please big brother. Mum's back today so will probably make a comment/send newsy email soon but meanwhile, you take care out there - they have snakes and spiders and things you know xx

11:04 PM  

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