Thursday, January 10, 2008

DAY 95: Bombala to Cooma

87 km @ 16.4 km/hr
Tue 8th January 2008
Distance to date 6080 km (3800 miles)
Cloudy & cool AM, warm & sunny PM

Poor night’s sleep thanks to another Mr.Snorer in a tent nearby - couldn’t drown the noise out any way. I was awake at 0515 so decided to just get up and get going. I hadn’t paid the camping fee yet as I hadn’t seen the caretaker last night, so I had to get on the telephone provided at the site (the caretaker lives in the town). he told me to just put the $20 under the door, but I only had a $10 and $50 note, so he said $10 would do (he he). That got me off in a good mood!
I was away at 0650 on a cool misty morning; a few logging lorries passed me early on so I had to squeeze off the road on the initially narrow shoulder. The shoulder did get better though after the first few km, and the drivers gave me a wide berth when they could. I started the day at 700m or so and the whole day was up and down - maximum height 1135m a few km south of Nimmitabel and finishing up at around 830m at Cooma. Some of the climbs were fairly steep - 8% or 9% - but never much more than 1km in length. The descents seemed more gradual though - which is good - nothing worse than a steep descent on the brakes, wasting energy. The landscape is mostly open sheep country, but there was hardly any wind v- in fact it was a very enjoyable mornings ride with the lower temperatures making it seem more like a UK ride. Traffic was fairly frequent but not oppressively so, and as I say a good shoulder most of the time.
Nimmitabel is about two-thirds of the way to Cooma and just the right time for lunch - cheese salad sandwich and muffin, with iced coffee. The latter has a big blob of ice cream dropped in it - mmmm. The elephant is built at the side of the cafe - interesting! It was very pleasant sat on the verandah in the shade - not bothered by flies for a change. The flies are still bad however, and I have to wear the net if I don’t want to get plagued, especially on the climbs where i’m going slow and the little beasts have full scope to mither me to death - in my ears, nose, and the corners of my eyes is especially annoying. I am getting used to them, but not that much. The net works very well though and is not really inconvenient to wear.
A few km after Nimmitabel there is the highest point at 1135 (N is at 1070m) and then there’s about 7km of gradual descent which is very pleasant, cruising down at 30 or 40 km/hr. There are still some steep rises though, which in a way I was pleased about, because I’m aware Canberra is quite high up, and height lost has to be regained.
Thanks to my early start I rolled into Cooma after a hardish day before 2. Yesterday had been harder though, with it’s rise from sea level to 700m, but that’s nothing compared to the European Alps which are twice as high. These are some of Australia’s highest mountains though.
Cooma is quite a nice place and a pretty big town - lots of shops - and a Subway! I spent an hour in the VIC Internet but it was sooo slow I gave up trying to upload images to the blog, it’ll have to wait until Canberra at the weekend.
The only CP ($19) is 1.5km out of town up a very steep hill, but it seems OK; I’ll probably stay another night here. After setting up I went to explore, but there’s not an awful lot that’s of interest to me - I fancied the tourist train ride but it only rides at the weekend - but I’ll probably have a lazy day with the paper and wander around. I need to book a VW campe for a week in Brisbane too, for when Lyn’s here next month - we thought we would try this out and I could show her what life is like in a Caravan Park!

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