Tuesday, January 08, 2008

DAY 94: Cann River to Bombala

90 km @ 14.3 km/hr
Mon 7th January 2008
Distance to date 5993 km (3746 miles)
Cloudy, warm

Today I crossed into New South Wales - my fourth state so far.

I was away just after 8 on a cool cloudy morning for a change - much more comfortable riding weather than the recent hot stuff. The road out to Bombala / Canberra was very quiet indeed - just a few cars an hour until noon or so when it started to get a bit busier. Quite a nice scenic road with gentle undulations for the first 40km, then some steeper stuff. There is nothing along the way today so I stopped for a couple of jam muffins after 3 hours or so.
The road is pretty good quality with a decent shoulder and smooth surface. The shoulder increased in width to around 3 metres in places once in NSW - but this didn’t last because after 10km it returned to 600mm (2 ft) or so. In NSW the road is less winding; the sharp bends have been smoothed out, and this means you can see further ahead, and see just how long the hills are! There is one long climb on the Victoria side but a much longer one on the NSW side that goes up to over 700m as far as I can make out on my practically height-less map. Best guess would be that the NSW climb lasts for at least 10km and much of it’s at 7% and up to 9% in parts - tough with lots of weight on board. However the low gears served me well again, and I’m very glad I chose the lower option of 36-16. Because it was cooler the hills didn’t seem as bad as yesterdays in the heat.
There are few homes to be seen on today’s route but one I did see must have belonged to a railway enthusiast because he had 2 carriages on his land - 1 older carriage and a more modern diesel unit fitted with porch and all (see pic).
As I said traffic increased as the day wore on, and there were increasing numbers of logging trucks, but thankfully I either had a good width of shoulder or they gave me a good wiode berth. Bombala is a logging town so no surprises. I’ve also had quite a few toots lately so I surmise there may be more cyclists passing in cars.
After the long NSW hill you emerge onto a plateau, and from toiling away at 6km/hr all of a sudden I was bowling along at 26 km/hr with a tailwind! This lasted for 8km then the road became more undulating with a short steep bit thrown in here and there. Today's route really has been a mixture of terrain. There have been trees all the way except from the top of the NSW hill it’s been sheep country and very open; little cover.
On arrival in Bombala I looked for internet first thing as I am well behind with uploading - I’ve had trouble finding anywhere open these last few days - and there was a cafe in town that allows uploads (despite the lady assistant saying they didn’t - but speed was so slow I was only able to send 3 images (in 20 minutes!). Images will just have to wait. I’m riding to Cooma tomorrow and plan to spend 2 nights there, and as it’s a largish place I should be able to get up to date.
Bombala is famous for it’s large population of Duck-billed Platypii, but despite sitting quietly by the river for a while as recommended I didn’t see one. I did see a dead Wombat on the road today, my first, and also quite a few dead snakes - does this mean there are more around here? Galahs and Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos were screeching around noisily tonight bless ‘em.