Friday, March 07, 2008

DAY 134: Nambour to Jamie’s

Thurs 6th March 2008
95 km @ 15.1 km/hr
Distance to date 7985 km (4991 miles)
Sunny, cloudy later, warm

Had a good nights sleep and a leisurely start, leaving around 9. Straight into several kms of climbing and I soon realised it was going to be a hard day because I had very little energy. It felt as if I had ‘hit the wall’ in racing parlance, but I yet had around 80km to ride today.
Within 10km I was on the Bruce Highway - which is still a motorway at this point, but bicycles are allowed on. I learnt from the guy I met at Caboolture yesterday that bicycles are actually allowed on north of Caboolture whereas the motorway designation lasts until well north of Eumundi. South of caboolture bikes are banned. I didn’t fancy riding with heavy traffic so near but in the state I was in I needed to take as direct a route as possible to where I was going. It was around 50km down the highway to Gympie and I fully expected to find a filling station or cafe where I might find a coffee and cake and have a rest, but no joy - it was fully 40km to a rest area, only 10km from Gympie itself.
That 40km seemed interminable, and the heavy traffic played havoc with my nerves and demeanor, and I was thoroughly p***** off the whole time. This was by far the most miserable day on the bike of this tour. I think lack of fitness and my recent cold conspired to cause the energy loss, and mental negativity after parting with Lyn played its part too.
Anyway after a steak sandwich I plodded on to Gympie, and spent an hour in the park watching the birds and even snoozing for a while, after which I had recovered somewhat. Just as well, because the next 2 or 3 hours were a bit of a nightmare.
I thought I knew where Jaimie lived from our telephone discussions, but when I didn’t find the road I expected I phoned him to check, and learnst that I was completely on the wrong road, some 14km away, whereas I had thought I was nearly there! I miserably retraced my course and arrived at the minor road on which Jaimie lives 10km down this road. I had omitted to notice a couple of weeks ago that Jaimie had attached a map to his e-mail response to me, so I could have made life so much easier for myself. And this proved one of the hilliest roads I have found in Oz - true Toblerone country if ever I saw it, straight up then straight down, this after more that 70km battling against weariness. At one point whilst furiously changing down from 14th to 1st at the bottom of a dip, my chain came off and I had to push for a while since I couldn't get going uphill again. After 10km and not having found his road I phoned again, and Jaimie thought I was somewhere other than I described, and advised me to go another 4 or 5km yet. After another 6km and still not having found the road I tried to phone yet again but there was no mobile signal! It was getting a little dark and I was getting somewhat concerned. This was a very quiet road but thankfully a lady finally passed in her car and I flagged her down to ask directions. She hadn’t heard of the road I wanted but very kindly offered to go back and look for it for me. She was gone some time but finally returned with Jaimie in his estate car in hot pursuit - saved! I think this lady worked in Coles supermarket (in Gympie?) - I don't suppose she'll see this but thanks to her anyhow. I had been getting desperate.
We bundled the bike and bags into the car and drove the 6km back to Jamie's house. After a bath and change I felt quite revived and had a lovely evening with Jaimie and Deb, and a terrific curry dinner, a delicious tart, beer, and wine. A true Warmshowers host 5 star treatment.
We had a good blather until about 10 but by then I was severly flagging and got off to bed, falling asleep instantly.

The house is set in a magnificent position, elevated some 5m above the ground at the north side, which looks out over miles of forest. there is a balcony / terrace all the way round in true Queensland style, I really like this arrangement.

It had been a traumatic day but as often happens, ended on a high note!

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