May 31: Half-Day in Overdrive

I slept in until 8 am this morning (gasp!), cooked breakfast, and hung out with my Canadian neighbors. After such a relaxed morning, cleanup and packing set me back even further. I got on the road about noon headed down the princes highway ALL DAY. This made navigating pretty easy; I don't think I checked my phone GPS more than a handful of times. However, as a result, today was the least scenic thus far. The majority was shoulder riding through forests. Princes highway bends away from the coast at this point, so I actually didn't see ocean until I pulled into town less than a mile from my destination campsite. Hence, I mostly kept my head down and cranked away for four and half hours straight. With no landmarks or scenic overlooks, it wasn't too hard to just focus and keep pedaling. I had a 5-10 minute stop about every hour, I think, including one at a roadside sandwich shop/gas station.

The front 2/3 was forested and hilly as mentioned. The back end had more farmland - like the end of yesterday's ride but more hills. Lots of quick ups and downs today as opposed to massive climbs and multi-mile downhills. In general, it seems the terrain and myself are beginning to come to an agreement: hills are not as vicious and I'm getting a TON better at climbing. I was really technical with my gearing today, spending almost half the time on my previously-seldom-used top front chaining. I focused on maintaining a constant cadence and bumped up to the top chain ring on downhills instead of coasting/resting. All in all, I felt that today was the most athletic day I've had yet. I hardly stopped for photos. I kept a really good eye on regulating my system temperature- and food-wise, which kept my mind occupied.

Eventually, I called the ulladulla visitor center to see where I could camp and found out about a few places, one of which is right on the water and a half kilometer from the highway. After making my way there (here), I set up camp, walked to get groceries, cooked (shrimp and pesto spaghetti, sausages, fresh bread), showered, and now I'm in my tent. The campgrounds are sorta trashy; it's more of a "caravan park", so RVs and mobile homes. It's also almost completely empty with out being winter. I think I'm the only one in this area - I talked to the one other guy I saw, who was homeless by most conventional definitions (apparently the Australian govt has a decent stipend for the unemployed). He was brief but interesting and friendly in giving me a lead to another campsite down the coast. This place is also overrun by opossums - Australian bushytail opossums! They're about as big as raccoons, white and brown with a big bushy black tail, and look more like a squirrel crossed with a cat. Kinda cute, actually - Google em! They'll come right up to me looking for food.

I'm set up on what I found to be the best spot here - the whole place is up on a ridge about 100 ft over the ocean. I'm 20 ft from the edge looking straight through a rare clearing in the trees out my left window. I can see and hear ocean and really look forward to waking up like this! The woman at the info center even says they've had a bunch of whales passing through recently. Time for sleep; blogging takes forever on a little smartphone.


PS on blogging from phone - my phone has an app built in so I can post straight to my website but functionality is frustratingly limiting. It won't allow me to post pictures in line with text or caption them, so they all just get dumped at the end in hopes that you, readers, can figure out what they are. I think the order gets scrambled sometimes too. Augh.

PPS I have included a picture of myself so that you know I'm really alive - the scenario my friend Dave pointed out hasn't come true yet, in which the bike becomes self-aware and travels and blogs on its own.

Today's stats:
Total dist: 45.82 mi
Time: 3 hours 36 mins
Avg speed: 12.71 mph
Max speed: 39.76 mph

1 comment:

  1. love the hair. you look like a starving artist. in a good way!