Day 38 – Alexandra To Phillip Island (207 km)

I was warm, my gloves were toasty, and my helmet was dry.  Boy, was I glad I stayed in the hotel! This also meant I could make an early start. South to Phillip Island it was via Black Spur.

I actually had a bit of sunshine at the beginning, but that lasted about 10 secs, and the temperature dropped to about 10c for most of the day. Since I wasn’t that wet though (unlike yesterday) it was far more manageable.

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Day 37 – Khancoban To Alexandra

Shite. I keep saying “my original plan”, but for all the wrong reasons. Now, my original plan was to head west to Wangaratta and then turn south and head over Mount Hotham via the Great Alpine Road. Unfortunately, the forecast for the next few days in Hotham was for a mix of high winds, rain, snow, and worst of all – sub-zero temperatures. The major threat I was concerned about was black-ice. I’d never experienced it before, but I was well-aware of its dangers.

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Day 36 – Canberra To Khancoban (289 km)

A lazy start for a good day… coffee/breaky courtesy of Ivica & Co, I packed and departed Canberra at around 10:30. My original plan was to camp at Geehi Flats campground in Kosciuszko National Park, but decided to aim for hard cover due to weather (again!). Man-o-man – the crap weather just seems to keep following me. The forecast for tonight in the area is rain, storm, and snow to 1200m. So, I figured that even though I’d been spoiled by Ivica’s family for 2 days I should treat myself to something in Thredbo. So, off I went…

First stop was Cooma and a visit to the Snowy Hyrdo Discovery Centre. Of course I was aware of it – who isn’t – but some of the detail was quite interesting.

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Day 35 – Canberra (0 km)

Today Ivica played tour-guide for me. The mission was for me to get some exercise off the bike. First up was visit to Mount Ainslie Lookout to grab a view of the city:

Then, to the Australian War Memorial. I’ve been wanting to see this for some time. We wandered around for a few hours (it really needs a whole day, or 2) and enjoyed it immensely. Given my limited time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to see/read everything, but I know I’ll be returning with Ellie sometime soon so I was glad I went.

We then visited the new Parliament House – I’d walked around this a long time ago when I was here for work, but have never been inside:

Again – when Ellie & I return, we’ll come back. I know we’ll need to synchronise it with a sitting.

Next – the National Portrait Gallery – I know very little about art, but I quite enjoyed this.

We then headed to the Kingston Foreshore lunch, then a quick coffee and in the Civic/CBD.

It was a really good day. I got a taste of Canberra – I quite like it actually. The city seems to have a bad rep, but unwarranted methinks.

Having walked to the moon and back (mission accomplished), we headed home mid-afternoon. Again – another fantastic meal was prepared – a Weber roast. Any weight loss on this trip so far was in jeopardy.

Day 34 – Canberra (0 km)

Lindsay left me to my own devices (he had to work) so I took the opportunity to do a few errands. I’d lost my rear brakes momentarily back in Kyogle. While they had behaved ever since, I was always a little concerned. So, I took the bike into the local Honda, pleaded my case, and they carried out an inspection while I waited. No problems as far as they were concerned – everything seemed normal. Although I still didn’t know what was the cause, I figured I’d just keep monitoring the situation.

I was due at another friend’s house later that day for 2 nights stay, so I took a ride around. First up was Mount Stromlo (I’m sure I’d be an astronomer in a different life) which was devastated by the Canberra fires in 2003:

Then Tidbinbilla:

I retraced my steps back to Canberra and stopped at the dam – it took a while of riding around, a few wrong turns, etc. before I realised you can’t actually drive across the dam wall. Oh well. Clearly the dam was full:

I arrived at Ivica’s house mid-afternoon. I was to be a nice relax for a few days. After settling it, I grabbed the tent and dried it out in the back yard – it was still saturated from the rain and fog from Katoomba.

Later in the day Ivica’s wife Jeannie and kids Mark and Sonia arrived. It was great to finally meet them – I’d known of them for some time through conversations with Ivica – they made me feel right at home. Jeannie prepared a fantastic fish dinner – I rarely get to each fish at home!

Day 33 – Katoomba To Canberra (476 km)

Hmmm, I wanted to tour around the town checking out the lookouts before I went. Unfortunately, there was a heavy fog and visibility was down to next to nothing. It made just riding around a little difficult. In the end – that was a waste of time, so I just headed for the next destination which was to be Kangaroo Valley. As I descended the mountains, the fog lifted… or rather, I probably rode out/below it.

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Day 32 – Cowra to Katoomba (207 km)

I had originally planned on zig-zagging to my next destination (Katoomba) in order to avoid riding the same roads twice. However, with the bubonic plague masquerading as a sever case of man-flu, with limited sleep due to friggin’ trucks driving past all night – I wasn’t about to take my time getting there. So, I headed to Bathurst again and replayed about 62 km between Bathurst and Lithgow. Of course, it all looked quite different from the other direction 😊.

On the way, I stopped at the Carcoar windfarm and dam:

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Day 29 – Wooli To Gloucester (578 km)

Keen to get to my main driving routes today I took the motorway south to Wauchope and then doubled back a bit in a NE direction towards Walcha on the famouse Oxley Hwy. This is one of those roads that was probably designed by a motorcyclist… tight corners, long sweeping bends, straights, and all through amazing scenery.

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