Friday, 6 December 2013

Ups and downs

From 34 degrees celsius in the shade at Colac Colac (note the bike rider's stockings),


to an overnight low of 6 degrees at Paddys River Flats free camping ground, just shy of Tumbarumba,


it has been a short leg of ups and downs, but mainly ups.


We left Colac Colac refreshed and recharged ready for what we knew would be a few big days in the saddle, regardless of which route we took.


We wanted to go through the Snowy Mountains (Khancoban, Thredbo, Cooma etc), but we have Zero with us and (the long and the short of it is) dogs are only permited to pass through National Parks in climate changing cars. Say it like it is Zero!


So we headed north, crossing the Murray into New South Wales at Towong,


and climbed and climbed and strained and at times got off and pushed our heavy loads


right up into the clouds


so we could look out across to Tidbillaga, one of the many Indigenous names for the Snowy Mountains,


and like true ecological mammals, return some precious nutrients to the soil before tackling the afternoon's ascent.


It was an extrutiating 64 kms to Paddys River Flats where the weather turned cold and wet and Woody experienced rain on a tent for the first time. Things got a little wet overnight so we packed up and cooked breakfast in the camp ground amenities,


before we realised Patrick's bike had more issues, this time electrical. With the climb up such ascents as Clarkes Hill (742m above sea level) we've been relying on some electrical assistance. Now we're in NSW the stretches between towns is greater and the chance to recharge the bikes reduced.


Out of the half dozen or so campers at Paddys River Flats was Graeme, a fully licensed electrician. We couldn't believe our luck.


Graeme scrutinised the root cause of the problem while his partner Julie brought us all cups of tea. He ascertained that moisture had got into the controller, something not fixable in the bush, so he offered to take Patrick's panniers into Tumbarumba when he went in to do some shopping and we set off to climb another 18 km into town and find a camp spot here,


hidden behind the melaleucas in the town's park, nestled among the leaf litter


where we can fish for trout, use the municipal BBQs, toilets, power, playground, drinking water, wake with the birds, wait for a new controller to arrive, and


generally practice our particular form of creative frugality.

6 comments:

  1. Wonderful. It seems like a metaphor for life, the ups and downs, the ignorance of others, the kindness of others. You are an inspiration. Cherie x

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  2. so great! thanks for taking the time and effort to digitally share. may your legs be forever strong.

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  3. The one image that sticks with me here is you riding up what is obviously a steep hill covered in sand flies...ah the memories! You are an inspiration to keep going when things get tough because just over that hill "there be treasure!" Thankyou for sharing your incredible journey and for giving us all inspiration to try a bit harder each day to give something back to our environment (even if it is just nutrients ;) ).

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