Thursday, March 13, 2008

DAY 140: Bundaberg to Miriam Vale

121km at 18.2 km/hr
Weds 12th March 2008
Distance to date 8348 km (5217 miles)
Overcast, moderate S wind

Up early for what looks like a long day, and away by 8 after being waylaid by several other campers I’ve met here. Last night I was chatting to Lynn and Sean from Norfolk who scuba dive, well, Sean is this week on a course here in Bundaberg, and interestingly it only costs around $250 (£100) for the weeks course - much cheaper than UK and apparently an equivalent qualification to PADI that's widely accepted (forgot what it's called). Maybe I should have a go at this as there are likely to be other courses at future destinations seeing how the Great Barrier Reef attracts so many visitors.
Once underway and crossing the pathway at the side of the road bridge over the Burnett River (the only way north for a bicycle) I was to note that the southerly wind was still with us i.e. a tailwind for the 5th day running - just what’s needed for a long day. Although bright and sunny first thing, as per the last couple of weeks it clouded over before mid-morning, and was somewhat humid too.
Once on the Rosedale road, 4km N of the city, the traffic reduced from crazy to just busy, and thankfully after another 20km reduced further to more acceptable levels. There is no shoulder for at least two-thirds of today’s route, but as it got quieter it was less important. I was pleased to have my mirror in action again, the Araldite job seems to have lasted one day at least - fingers crossed.
After 30km I was starting to enjoy the day’s ride - the scenery, whilst not spectacular, is pleasant enough, being predominantly bush, and of course a tailwind is always a good motivator. I stopped for half an hour at Rosedale, where there was a ‘market’ on at the village hall. All that was for sale was a few plants, vegetables, and a load of bruck (jumble) and I was the only customer at the time. I bought a cup of tea and topped up my bottle with chilled water and moved on. From 30km on the road was undulating too, mostly gently with no long or steep climbs - an easy day really given the tail wind too.
At 94km I reached the junction of the Agnes Water and Miriam Vale roads where there is a roadhouse. Gatorade was required at this point and possibly some friendly intercourse, but I wasn’t gonna get it here - the management weren’t intrerested even though there were no other customers, so I gave up and carried on. It’s 26km from here to Miriam Vale, and with a strong tailwind I averaged over 20 km/hr for this leg.
I thought about staying at the MV pub which had been recommended by Aarn whom I met in Caboolture, but it can be a hassle what to do with the bike and bags so decided to decamp to the CP just north of town. After paying my $17 I was disappointed in the place which looked none too cosy and there was not another soul staying here - should have clocked it first and then gone to stay at the pub lol. I was further aggrieved to discover that I left my washing on the line at Bundaburg - my (only) towel, undies and a T-shirt. Grrrrr! I was too busy chatting this morning probably. I can do without the last 2 but will have to buy a new Lifeventure towel in Gladstone (next town).
I cooked a nice dish of pasta and had a glass of red which consoled me somewhat, and a 750ml bottle of iced coffee never touched the sides. My getting very thirsty in the evening probably means I’m not drinking enough during the day.
The pineapple cost 50 cents (20p) at a roadside 'trust' stall! It was delicious too, just right for eating.

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