Australia Blog 13
A chap, was wandering about near my tent doing some site maintenance/gardening. When asked, he said I might see kangaroos nibbling the grass the next morning. Excited, I arose next morning, with camera poised, to hopefully find Skippy having breakfast. As you have correctly deduced, Skippy was dining elsewhere.
My tent was not completely dry but it was better than having to endure torrential downpours. I had my porridge and packed everything away. Most mornings and nights I’ll catch up with Anna via a call on WhatsApp. As always I’m anxious to get off, I have a long way to go. So I hooked up the bluetooth headphones and set off cycling and talking to her. The road I was cycling on should have been quiet given that it was Sunday. It was, relatively, but it was only a two way road, due to roadworks, and the traffic was bunched. Our conversation was fine but I don’t think she was encouraged to join me on a future expedition as she heard the roar of the trucks or pick ups as they went past. However, this passed a pleasant 6 miles for me before we were done. It still seems more than odd that I’m starting the day and she’s finishing hers.
I added to my sustenance in Woodburn. The weather now was squally and a morale boosting pie seemed a good move. This chap below is a ‘breakfast pie’. So lots of eggs and bacon? Well of course but sat on top of minced beef and gravy. Australia’s culinary imagination, as always, to the fore.
Restored I trundled on. This was mainly on this two way until the dual carriageway was back. By Ballina I was searching for some lunch and steered off the Pacific Highway into town. The rain had started and I was into this regular stop and start pattern to put on or take off a rain coat. Ballina had its sights…
I cycled through the town. It may have been the lack of enticing food stops or Mel C’s interesting and distracting Desert Island Discs interview. In retrospect I maybe should have stayed on these minor roads to Byron Bay. I’ve heard it’s special. Anyway I decided to return to the motorway. These towns that folk say I should definitely see, as I cycle up the coast, I believe are embedded in their memories with warm thoughts after their brief visits. I’m getting to to see some of these places a little out of season in the rain. Even Whitby on a wet February is lacking some allure.
So I ascended the most wicked hill yet on my way back to the Pacific Highway and soon we were united.
Now I don’t scare easily on a bike but a tunnel is my ‘Room 101’. Firstly, they are dark and traffic can’t see you well (remember, like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects a bicycle), secondly, the sound trucks make in this insulated chamber is deafening and thirdly if the tunnel is on an upward gradient you can find yourself moving very slowly in this torture. So welcome to a tunnel..
Shortly after passing through this I turned off for Brunswick Heads. I planned to stay here and also correct my lack of hot food. This small resort had a couple of campsite options but first I had to endure an enormous water dump of a rain storm as I cycled in. Not propitious.
I checked out both campsites and decided which one I preferred. I booked a pitch and then thought rather than put up the tent I’ll go and eat. The town centre was next to the site and so easy to do. Whilst I’m chomping another burger. The rain that fell was like in ‘Singing In The Rain’. I had visions of the Morecambe & Wise version rather than Gene Kelly.
So when it abated I go back to the site and look at the weather forecast. This is forecast to continue intermittently until tomorrow. I can’t face a night in the tent. Also it’s chilly. Not a good combo.
I returned to Reception and ask them for a refund. (For only about twice the price of the tent pitch I get a motel room up the road). Muttering about this weather not being unusual and her necessity to get approval from her manager off site this transaction was completed. I scooted off. Bring me sunshine….
This is a rare lapse of showing I’m human (normal?) Normal service will be resumed shortly.