Thursday, February 07, 2008

DAY 125: Day 2 off in Maclean (trip to Yamba)

Thurs 7th February 2008
39 km @ 18.6 km/hr
Distance to date 7549 km (4718 miles)
Warm and sunny; late afternoon shower, humid

Another sunny start to the day despite the ‘wet’ forecast. Suits me - I’m off to explore Yamba which is about 19km away where the Clarence River meets the sea.
I was away for 0830 and immediately met heavy traffic going my way i.e. To Yamba as the road doesn’t go anywhere else. On my map Yamba looked quite a small place but it doesn’t seem like it judging by the traffic. There was a small shoulder most of the way but a couple of buses came very close to me indeed when I had nowhere to go to escape - thanks guys, remember I’m just flesh and blood and don’t have steel armour around me like you. The road runs parallel to the south bank of the Clarence which is the best part of 500m across at this stage. I passed many flooded fields that looked more like mangrove swamps where there were trees.
Yamba is a medium-sized town but is obviously swollen by tourist numbers - this is clearly a very popular tourist destination. I had a ride around the coast, up a few steep hills as usual, and it was pretty hot and I kept diving into shade for a rest. I fancied a cooked breakfast for a change so had bacon and egg and a pot of tea. A cooked breakfast here always comes with toast under the egg (I thought you’d like to know this lol). Afterwards I did some more exploring and tried to engage a few people in conversation, but they weren’t having any of it - I did hear a lot of foreign languages so maybe that explains. I rode to the end of the southern breakwater and was pretty impressed with the size of the waves - the forecast had said that surfing would be dangerous today in view of this, and they were right, but there were still people engaging in this national pastime. Almost every Australian I’ve met or stayed with has been keen on surfing - it’s a big thing here.
I finally retired to the beach and stripped down to my cycling shorts and went for a splash around or four - sunbathing in between; the middle of my body is still pretty white compared to my brown arms and legs.
Headed back for Maclean about 3 and ‘raced’ with another guy on a lightweight racer; gave him a good run for his money by staying with him for 15km before backing off. This got me back in little more than 30 minutes and into a rain shower, but I managed to get into the library without getting too wet.
It was free internet again here, but I only got around 40 minutes; however it was just about enough, including checking out why I can no longer draw cash from ATM’s using my Nationwide bank card - when I signed in I found my account wasn’t there! The ATM’s have been giving me a message that I need to ring my bank so I will tonight when they open.
Fish and chips for supper and a lovely sunset again, though with a few black clouds here and there yet.