We took a final warm shower at Gunning's free camping ground and packed up early to once again beat the heat.
We passed through startling, brutal sheep country and wondered how long the wool industry can last in a climate changing future.
We came across a mirage indicating the grounds for a thoughful utopia where energetic and environmental commonsense prevail.
We passed dozens and dozens of roadside stone fruits, these ones having naturalised along the old Hume Highway near Breadalbane.
It's been five weeks on the road and we're finding out that bike touring involves much careful thought about food, as Zero here attests.
As we've been climbing towards the Southern Highlands and inching closer to Moss Vale for Christmas lunch we've been building enormous appetites.
And as we slogged it out we thought about what we would serve if we were hosting the lunch ourselves. We're compiling a menu which we look forward to sharing with you later.
We picked up some supplies in Goulburn, free-camped the night in a park in Marualan and were relieved to climb into cooler country and find less and less anthropogenic waste along the roads.
Sights like this disposable water bottle became rarer as we closed in on Bundanoon, and passed by arcadia.
Bundanoon is Australia's first bottled water free town and as anti-bottled water activists who have a track record of advocating for the humble water bubbler, we where excited to meet Huw Kingston,
who initiated the town's action to rid Bundanoon of the wasteful product, and who invited us to camp at his family home. Thanks Huw and Wendy!
We spent several days in Bundanoon and found it to be filled with richly warm people, such as Glenn Robinson from the excellent YHA, these touch footballers and their dads who invited us to join their BBQ,
and this lovely family, the Smiths, who we met at the Bundanoon Hotel and who invited us to stay in their guest bedroom, our first real bed in 36 days. Thanks Kylie, Paul, Dane, Charlie, Shannen, Jai and Bonnie!
In Bundanoon we were able to recuperate and sit out some fairly hot days,
pick and eat more cherry plums,
laze around and wait for more roadside free fruit to ripen,
hang out at the wonderful Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe, a friendly free-internet-cafe-social-hub,
and meet fellow travellers such as German tourist Chris, who is cycling from Sydney to Melbourne and back again. Safe travels Chris!
We also hooked up with veteran American cycle tourer Jeff once more and had time to properly swap notes on all things bike touring. Happy days Jeff!
We were steered (by one of the friendly locals) to the town's community garden, which we found incredibly well organised,
with excellent signage, so important in a place where many garden but not all at the same time.
We went along to one of their working bees, which like ours at home are always great social events,
and met the convenyor, Tony Coyle,
who with a core group has done an excellent job in just two years, establishing a vibrant productive food and social environment. Missing our own community, it was a joy to pitch in and give a little back to the community who has been so incredibly generous to us.
We hope you have a peaceful solstice and holiday season and we look forward to sharing more with you soon.