Day 28: Boonah Shire

Finally got to see a decent map and discovered that the "no good options" part is true, it's either crud roads then the Gold Coast, or lots of hills.

wyaralong sign with No Dams sticker on itWoke into first light, decided I couldn't be bothered and drowsed until about 7am. Either way, into bed before sunset, alseep by probably 6pm, then not awake until nearly 6am! Holidays!

Rode about 25km into Boonah township this morning, noting yet another "NO DAMS" campaign on the way, and wondered what it is with all the locality signs along the way. None of them seem to have a shop or even a couple of houses opposite each other, but they all get a nameplate. Ah well, whatever. Going into Boonah there's an 8% downhill" sign but that only got me up to about 57km/hr... taking all that weight out has made a real difference. In Boonah I ambled around wasting time and getting a bit carried away with the shopping. Rang Phuong and chatted, have decided that just biking around aimlessly isn't really helping, I feel a bit bored and listless. So I'm going to get on the bus soonish and start looking for a flat in Sydney.

Museum near BoonahSite of the No Dam at Wyaralong

Then found decent internet access and $7 got me about an hour. Time enough to find my FTP password and upload the last lot of photos, then paste in the blog entries and spend a lot of time playing with email. Luckily nothing from Phuong coz those take a long time to read and reply to, but she was with me at the time and we didn't have internet access. Grabbed seom Google maps screenshots as a rough guide so I don't get quite so lost in the next few days.

Broken bolt from the quadThe info centre at Boonah also gave me a paper map that has more details at least down to the NSW border, and that is useful. A map with distances and stuff! So now that I've ridden 15km out of Boonah and broken the axle bolt in the quad again, I can spend some time typing while I ponder the newer revised plan. I've put another mild steel bolt into the axle, so I can probably go another 500km or so on that before it too breaks. Or it might fail in Cunninghams Gap which the highway I'm now on apparently goes through.

So I have 59km through the gap into Freestone where I join the New England Highway which will hopefully have a selection of buses running through it and I can get to Sydney fairly cheaply. I'm tempted to pack up the quad and courier it straight to Ben, but that would leave me with a lot of gear and no way to carry it, plus I don't really want the quad to be in Melbun. Ben's building a new back end with better bearings (did I mention that the new bearing is failing already?) and better gearing, but the trade-off is that the intermediate drive will have higher losses all the time, rather than tragic losses every 1000km or so when the bearings fail. Or if you're a normal user, they'd probably not fail at all :)

So my plan today is to ride another 30km or so to the start of the hill, or until I find somewhere nice to camp. Or until the sun comes out properly. Or something. Patchy cloud, every time I think it's cool enough to ride the sun comes back out, but it's still not all that warm. I dunno, I'm inj a crappy picnic area and it doesn't feel very restful so I want to keep going, so probably I'll just ride another 5km to Aratula, then on until I find a camping spot. Phuong just texted to say the greyhound bus leaves Warwick at 9:55pm daily and gets to Sydney 14 hours later. So I can panic and try to do another 80km in ... 7 hours, including the gap. Or I can lie back, take it easy, and get into Sydney on Wednesday sometime. Then Phuong goes to Melbourne on Thursday for a week on a school outing. OK, time to pack up and move on.

later: Rode through Aratula which was basically two roadhouses and a motel, didn't stop. The road was nice though, smotth seal and a decent shoulder. About 5km later started climbing and have been climbing since (a whole 'nother 5km or so). I'm camped on a "national trail" that has glyphs for horse riders and bushwalkers, and the track quality certainly does not suit bicycles. But, as with so much of Australia, it's definitely seen a lot of motor vehicles. It gets me 100m or so off the highway and around behind a bit of a ridge so the road noise is not too bad. I didn't get here until just on sunset, and by now (6pm) it's definitely getting dark. I'm also definitely up a bit on the daytime level, but right now I'm feeding mosquitoes and not enjoying it, so off to bed.

Stats: 55.7km today in 4 hours, 13.76km/h average and 56.76km/h maximum. 879km total on the odometer.


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