After going to Bright and the High Country I returned to Melbourne for a few days longer. I enjoyed hanging out with my daughter again and she spoilt me some more with great food. I also got hang out with riding mates Trace, Pete and Kenny in Frankston and Alaine in the city. But all good things have to end and by Monday it was time to head to Queensland.
I planned a short ride for Monday as I had a parcel to send in the morning and so I had time for breakfast out with Tia and her boyfriend. I pigged out on a huge, sweet breakfast which was guaranteed to keep me full and buzzing until camp that night. Around midday I headed off for a free camp beside the Murray river at Corowa. It was a great spot and my tent was pitched right above the river. I cooked a nice meal of cous cous and tuna for dinner and had a couple of red wines.
The next day I camped at a caravan park near Cowra which was quite nice. There was a pool so I had a swim and then cooked a BBQ for dinner. I had made a trip back into town for steak and veges.
On Wednesday I had a reasonably short ride to Mudgee to stay with the family of another Advrider, Bill. When we did the Scrapheap Challenge 3 years ago I met Bill and his family and they helped us a lot with their famous hospitality. They are such a lovely family so it was great to see them again, minus Bill who was working away. It was a great night and nice to sleep in a bed again! They have an adorable dog called Charlie who wanted to ride away on my Charlie with me.
Charlie and Charlie
Thursday I rode to Nelson’s Bay to visit another Advrider mate, Glenn. I took the easy way there which is still lovely but I regret not going through more of the national park. Both Mudgee and Nelson Bay are gorgeous and the scenery all around both is fantastic. I really hadn’t expected such nice riding.
On the way to Glenn’s house I got stung by a bee on the back of the neck and had to ask some council guys to remove the stinger for me. It swelled up quite a bit and it was probably lucky I took my antihistamines.
Not long after arriving Glenn took me on a short tour of the area. It is very pretty and quiet, especially considering how close it is to Newcastle. The family was very welcoming and I enjoyed a great night there and hope to return some time.
The next morning was wet and it was very hard to get motivated to pull on wet weather gear (improvised) and get started. I knew it was only two more days until home and I planned to free camp as money was very low. It rained all morning as I tried to push towards where it appeared to not be raining, according to the net. Finally in the early afternoon it stopped as I was at Nambucca Heads. I decided after looking at forecasts for the next day (and because I was soaked through) that it wouldn’t be a great idea to camp. The decision was made to call the cheapest motel I could find in Coffs Harbour and book a room. That gave only a short ride more in my wet gear before a nice hot shower and hot chocolate.
The motel had only a kettle but from my supplies I managed to make a yummy hot chocolate and a tuna – couscous meal that was edible.
Funny side note here.. My ‘wet weather’ gear that was apparently so crappy was a Rainbird hiking rain jacket and a pair of hiking rain pants. I was pulling them over my usual gear. My blue jacket had always been quite waterproof but needs a new spray and my good wet pants were posted to Qld. Anyway.. my makeshift wet weather gear may have been quite okay if I had half a brain! On the last day I found that I had been leaving all of the zips undone on the rain gear. Ummm.. yes I can be quite dense at times.
On my last day it was wet when I awoke.. again. But I wanted to make a push and see if I could get out from under the rain. This time it worked well and I barely got wet. I had an uneventful and quite fast ride home to the Sunshine Coast and my excited niece and nephew who I am nannying.