June 5-6

The 5th was even more brutal than the day before, but at least it's been interesting. I'm really enjoying how each day is completely distinct from the next. It began with my hostel in Merimbula. Having heard of the storm front moving in, I opted for the dry room in the overpriced hostel. I was "upgraded" to a double room, and as it turned out, my roommate would be an upper-60s man complete with giant beard, walking stick, and some form of whooping cough. He was a little out there and followed me around the entire time I was there, including when I made my own dinner and sat to eat it. He showed me just about everything in his pack and the hostel. The list goes on, but we'll just leave it at the conclusion that I'm 0/2 on non-crazy hostel roommates.

I waited out the downpour trying to see if it'd slow up at all from about 8:30 to 10:30. It finally did long enough for me to make a break for it (note- it didn't last long). I made it, rain gear and all, to Eden around noon. I went to a grocery store where I had some huge finds, an info center, a bank, and a library, where I scared the hell out of myself by reading about funnel web spiders (I probably should've picked any other book in the place). After wavering on facing the elements or finding a place to stay, the weather started looking up around 3:30, so I pressed on with the hopes that the rain had finished for the evening and I could set up camp somewhere on the roadside. Here I was mistaken. 
The good thing was that with the road ahead being closed for several miles, traffic was really light - maybe only a car every 20 minutes going my direction. The bad part was that the rain was on its way back. I ended up riding until 6 pm, basically in complete darkness, with the help of my front light (there are no street lights on highways here). I had my sights set on the town of Narrabarba, which I mentioned in an earlier post was not actually a town. A little after that, I spotted a guy with a big lantern collecting firewood in his yard. I pulled over and asked where I might find a good place to stay and he instead offered his floor. Awesome!

Howard was a pretty humble dude, 46, putting an addition on his house by himself and living somewhat day by day. He had a cool dog named Gypsy, too. We watched TV and I dried my clothes in front of his fire. I made spaghetti and slept on his floor; simple night.

June 5th MVPs: rain fenders, $2 Swiss cake roll, 3 minutes of cumulative sunshine seen at Eden, Howard and Co.

June 5 stats:
Total dist: 34.14 mi
Total time: 3 hours 42 mins
Avg speed: 9.21 mph
Max speed: 38.88 mph

June 6 was different but ultimately pretty disappointing. The sun was out in the morning and I was cranking away down the princes highway at 8:30, still no traffic because of the road closure between Genoa (25ish, mi) and Orbost (100 mi). I figured if I could make it to Orbost in two days, I'd be in good shape. Sun was out, hills and headwinds were still prevalent but I was feeling good. HOWEVER, the road remained closed despite sunshine. I was told by roadblock enforcers that trees had fallen on trucks and were still falling. Additionally, there's flooding and mudslides. I found a way around the block but thought it would be too shady if I came upon a tree/truck clearing site. Definitely a bad idea in general so I stayed at the Genoa caravan park and set up my tent.

They have no power, phones, or water here, so I'm about to switch off my phone. I'm not sure if I'll even get power til Orbost and I still don't have a gauge on how well my little solar charger actually works. I just hope it doesn't get too cold tonight; it's been in the low 50s during the day lately.


PS stars out here like I've never seen before, whoa.

June 6 stats:
Total dist: 28.95 mi
Total time: 2 hours 40 mins
Avg speed: 10.86 mph
Max speed: 31.21 mph


  1. I've read every word you've written so far, mate! Keep in there dude!

  2. By the way, I saw the Transit of Venus! Hope you got to look for it before hitting the no-sun zone...
    Keep up the good work, it's gotta clear up sometime soon!

  3. We're following your adventures, keep going! We love checking your progress. I wish I could have tried an adventure that big, maybe you'll inspire mine to try your brave route someday.

    Hope the sun stays out or that you find a great place to crash and rest up if you are still stuck. You've had great luck overall, kind hosts, a few fellow travelers, a couple of dry nights rest, beautiful ocean views, Woolworth's, parrots, and sausages. I am not sure if I can get in my email today but we'll try to send you a few pictures to pass the time (when you get enough power and time, end of a night maybe). We leave on a trip Friday.

    How about a news story to entertain? A woman in Colorado was pulled over and ticketed for not belting in her toddler. In the infant car seat was a gas can, securely fastened (so it wouldn't spill).

  4. You're super brave Mike. I'm glad you've run into so many helpful people so far (minus your crazy hostel roommates). And to think you kept going after reading about those funnel spiders... :) Out of morbid curiosity, I checked what the other scary spiders are in Australia. Turns out there's one that's very common called the Redback spider. It looks like a black widow with a red stripe down its back, but the good news is that you don't need to worry about it - unless you plan to go around petting them while they're in their webs.
    Keep truckin' Mike!