February 6, 2010
I’d been sitting on packed bags all week waiting for the rain to let up so that I could have a dry departure, but the thunderstorms were relentless and were predicted to continue through the next week. Enough was enough, and I decided to hit the road anyway, and just keep going until I found some sunshine. It was pouring rain, but I
It was a cold-wet-windy-miserable ride. Got to Yass, which is a little north of Canberra, before it finally dried up. While the sun was out, I took a gravel goat trail to Tumut, which is where I am now.
By the time I got here, it was already almost dark so I had to figure out how to set up my new tent really quickly. I think I got it right cuz it hasn’t collapsed on my head yet. Here is a new friend that I made. He’s hanging out in the tree next to my bike and really creeping me out.
I didn’t take that many pictures on the road because I had my camera inconveniently wrapped somewhere inaccessible to keep it dry. Here is the XT600 at Wee Jasper.
February 7, 2010
Location: Thredbo, NSW
I’m at a hostel in Thredbo now. It’s on the western edge of Kosciuszko National Park. I did about 200 km of trails around the park after leaving Tumut, then another 200 km out to Cooma and back. Tomorrow I plan on taking a trail to Omeo and then straight down to the coast somewhere, and the day after that I should be in Melbourne if I don’t screw anything up.
Here are some pictures I took along the way today.
I saw 4 kangaroos today. They were all smashed and dead on the road. I haven’t seen any live ones yet.
February 8, 2010
Location: no freaking idea
Today was both really really bad and really really good. I think that makes it fantastic.
I don’t have a clue where I am right now. Well, camped out behind a farmhouse in the bush. The nearest town is supposed to be Albury, which is an hour’s drive away.
So, let’s begin. Leaving Thredbo this morning, it was drizzling but all was well:
From there, went to Corryong. Then Mitta Mitta. Then, hopped on some dirt trails that were supposed to lead south so that I could end up somewhere on the coast.
That was mid-afternoon. While trying to find my way back onto a main road, it began to rain, hard. The dirt became mud and the XT600 got stuck. I must have spent hours trying to free the poor thing, but it was too wet and slippery and I only succeeded in repeatedly throwing myself in the mud. I gave up around 7:30pm or so. It had stopped raining by then, but it was nearly dark and I needed to get out of the woods, or at least find a clearing where I could set up a campsite. I unpacked my camping gear and backpack, and started hiking.
I hiked a mile, or 2, or 3, I have no idea. I was busy wondering if I was going to die. It wasn’t actually that long before I came upon a farmhouse.
I walked up to the door trying to look as nonthreatening as possible. An older man came out.
“I, uh, need some help.”
“Do you need to go to a hospital?”
“No, my bike is stuck in the mud. Up the mountain.”
And that was that.
February 9, 2010
Location: Still no clue
I’m still at the sage farm. I found out in the morning that there are several people camped out around the farm and on neighboring farms. Apparently it’s common for wandering hippies to set up camp on these farms, work on the farm for awhile, and then move on. Today, I became one of them.
I was up at 5 am today because my tent was soggy and smelled disgusting. Michael told me that the reason I was up so early was because his garden gives off a lot of energy which my body must be absorbing. Yeah, ok. I don’t think he sleeps, but it’s probably from smoking crack. I walked around and took some pictures of the farm.
And then it was time to go rescue the bike. I hiked back out to the woods where it was stuck (I had a little bit of trouble finding where I left it). Now that the ground was all dry, getting the XT600 out was easy.
It was really hot and humid out, and I didn’t want to leave just quite yet. I spent the afternoon wrapping and drying sage with the others while getting hotboxed.
After that, I cleaned the bike and all my gear and checked it out to make sure everything was okay. I should be leaving tomorrow. I’ll head straight for Melbourne this time; no more screwing around.
February 10, 2010
Location: Omeo, VIC
Got a slow start this morning, loaded up the bike.
After studying some maps, I found out that the farm I was stuck at was somewhere near Mt. Tawonga. I figured out how to get to some sort of main road, and took off. Shortly after departure, I ran into a thunderstorm. The rain was coming down hard enough to sting, and the wind was making the bike difficult to control. By the time I got to Omeo, I’d had enough, and checked into a hostel for the night.
February 11, 2010
Location: Dandenong, VIC
I finally made it to Melbourne. Actually, I’m at a motel in Dandenong, which is a few kilometers short of Melbourne, but I figured it’d be cheaper to stay here. It’s been thunderstorming today, but hopefully it should be nice tomorrow. I took paved roads this time, from Omeo to Bairnsdale along the coast to here.
I thought that the rest of my journey was going to be drama-free, but at a restroom stop in Foster, the XT600 collapsed on me.
I know exactly why it broke, too. I’ve been spinning the bike around on the sidestand to get it turned around in tight places when I’m too lazy to back it out. My friend Steve taught me this trick many years ago.
Anyway, Foster has a population of about 10, but I was able to find a mechanic who removed the stand and welded it back together. The whole ordeal barely took an hour. I tried to pay him, but he wouldn’t let me. He said he just couldn’t bear to see me in distress. What a nice bloke. You may also notice that my license plate fell off somewhere on the way from Omeo. ARrrrrgh, the poor bike just can’t catch a break!
February 12, 2010
Location: Dandenong, VIC
I’m currently camped out at Dandenong. It’s rather cold out here. Not much happened today. I made arrangements to take the XT600 to Tasmania on the ferry, and made sure the bike was okay after all the mileage I’ve been putting on it. Did maybe 150 km of trails around Bunyip State Park to let the XT600 stretch its legs.
February 13, 2010
Location: Ferry to Tasmania
I won’t be writing much today because I don’t want to make myself seasick. Today was wildly uneventful. I rode around Melbourne a bit, and realized that I can’t stand cities or people. Watched some kitesurfing competition today. Oddly, I seem to be carrying less and less luggage. The only thing I’ve thrown out is the mat, which was disintegrating after being soaked so many times.
I then hung out at the port, made some friends, and boarded the ferry.
|Next: Week 2 in Tasmania|
Week 1: Sydney to Melbourne
February 20, 2010 by Elaine