This jaunt, this adventure, this research trip, this AaF-for-president-national-tour, this blessed extreme year on bikes in this new era of extreme weather, collapsing economies and peaking crude oil supply is the best bloody thing we've ever done. Predicated on chance encounters, uncertain destinations, biophysical challenges, autonomous foods and unpredictable weathers we approach each day as it so generously comes.
After a week in Katoomba the weather turned fairly wet and cold. We'd earlier met a particularly sweet family in a local park and they messaged us to come over and stay with them to see the bad weather out.
"Yes, we'd love to but only if we could do some sort of exchange, like a garden design..."
Our two babies, Woody and Lily, were born on the very same day, only two hours apart. But we had more in common than this remarkable fact. Food, what we consume and where it comes from, was a significant topic of discussion and so was the subject of permaculture. We took it in turns to cook and we showed off again the gentle delight of daylily buds by tossing them through a pasta dish.
Thanks Lily, Guy and Kirsten! So great to have met you and spent a few days in your home. After leaving Katoomba our new destination was just a short ride away to the town of Leura, passing through beautiful country to get there.
It was in Leura we stayed with another family, old friends through poetry networks: Ruby, Kate, Pete and Felix.
Despite being old friends we were keen to continue the communitarian gift economy exchange, sharing the kitchen work,
the gardening work (which included summer pruning, tomato bed preparation and compost setting),
and, on our last night together, some gentle foraging to make a Blue Mountains salad.
After adding olive oil, lemon and salt we had a classic bitter bowl of goodness to finish the meal.
We said farewell to our sweet friends of the mountains on a cool sunny morning,
and legged it downhill at thrilling speed. Our destination was to be somewhere along a river near Richmond, and so inevitably we passed both the regeneration and rebuilding that was occurring after the recent bushfires.
We arrived at Yarramundi in the heat of the afternoon and hopped straight in to the cool waters where the Nepean and Grose Rivers empty in to the upper reaches of the Hawkesbury River,
where we remained until dusk and prepared dinner,
fished for mullet and bass and aired out our bedding under the river she-oaks.
Much love and gratitude to the beautiful Blue Mountains and the people we met and stayed with. If you're in South Australia, our thoughts are with you. More Catastrophic fire weather there right now, moving across to our loved ones in Victoria. With love and pedalspeed, AaF.