Day 7: to nearly Bundaberg.

It's the first of July! And it's Sunday.

Last night we had a late dinner (after dark) preceded by a Moz dinner (rice) that everyone else shared. The cooks were kind enough to keep the spicy bits separate from the dahl, so that was nice for me (and Hope), seeing as we don't like spicy foods so much. After dinner was a meeting where everyone was pretty tired so I'm not sure we resolved anything of great importance. June is really struggling and is going to start using public transport where she can, because we managed to decide to still not get a moron vehicle. Which makes me glad I stayed up for the meeting, I'd be annoyed to wake up and discover this had become DANC instead. But have decided I need a bit of time by myself, so will be riding early tomorrow. June will be getting a lift with Pete and Gillian in the "it's not a support vehicle, it's just full of ride crap" troopy. They're going into Bundy then back home, so will drop her at the campsite at about 50km, which should be 10-15km out of Bundy.

I slept in until about 6:30 or so I think, woke up to ducks on the dam after hearing dingoes overnight. Nice mist over the dam to look at, but too many trees to see much of the sunrise. Had a bit of breakfast while I waited to see if I could take the stove or saucepans, but no-one had cleaned up last night except for me cleaning my stuff and putting lids on pots etc to discourage scavengers. Left my tarp under the food and took rice and oat bags as my share of the communal gear. Robyn still in bed at 7:30 so I couldn't take her lightweight stuff (she is willing to carry more, but only has rear panniers). Out the gate at about 7:40, with porridge still to finish cooking behind me.

Riding was pretty nice, felt slow, I suspect my rear tyres are down to about 80psi again and the difference between that and 100psi is quite marked. The road is undulating and fairly steep, so riding the snail is pretty slow. I'm only hitting about 40kph on the down hills, but going up the other side I'm often in bottom gear. As usual there are no sealed shoulders to speak of, so motorists just have to wait. Most of them do, and the only two big trucks I manage to see in time to get off the road for. Much of the time there's "no overtaking" markings, so things can get a bit hairy when some moron gets impatient.

currawongs chasing each other over banana bitsI stop about 9:30 or so when I see a bunch of kurruwongs discussing something, and discover they're pillaging someone's banana palms. They're no fun to take photos of (plain black birds) but I have a go anyway. I finish breakfast and stretch a bit before leaving about 10am. That was about the 25km mark I think. My discover for the day is that my new speedo has separate trip counters for distance, time, average and maximum speed, so they all need to be reset one at a time. I only did trip distance so the rest will be a bit approximate for today.

After that it's more of the same until I reach a shop and stop for chocolate milk and a bit of grocery searching. I get fruit buns but no real joy, it's a tiny general store and there's no good fruit or veges. I get a little bit of water and chat about camping spots, but the one suggested is 2-5km down a side road, probably 25km from Bundy and doesn't sound particularly brilliant, so I decide not to bother. We really want to be 15-20km out when we camp, so everyone can get into town quickly tomorrow for the media and stuff that's been booked.

I stop by the river and have a look around, there is half decent camping but no river access that I can see, unless you count bouncing through vines of uncertain depth for 30-40m down a bank by the bridge. Since I haven't seen the troopy yet and I'm only at the 46km mark I ride on.

Once I'm out onto the plains it's all sugar cane and windbreaks. At about 49km I stop and try for phone reception to see if anything interesting has come in, and learn that Val is only about 15km behind me and is stopping for lunch. Pete and Gill arrive with June and we chat, then Pete drives me up the road a few hundred meters to check out a possible campsite. It's better than I expected, so we go back to get the quad and swap me for Gill and June who'd been left to guard it. And eat strawberries.

So it's 2:30pm, I'm all set up for camping, the solar panel is doing its thing and I'm up to date with my blog. The hammock is providing shade but it's hot inside it, so I'm underneath feeding mosquitoes and trying to think of a better solution.

Eventually the rest of the group arrive and I crawl out of bed to join them. An afternoon nap does wonders for my equilibrium. By the time I'm out it's starting to look like sunset and Evan is holding a bike workshop over Gina's bike. It needs some cables replaced and she's not inclined to do it, so Evan takes the chance to show Val and Robyn what's involved, helped along by Hope (who like all babies loves things that are dirty and sharp. Poisonous is just a bonus). She is still at the "investigate by putting things in her mouth" stage, so it can be quite funny watching her.

Dinner was nice but late, again. Then off to bed.


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