I’m writing this from the Uki Guest House, where they very generously provide a computer as well as home-made banana bread It’s been a taxing three days, and I’ll write up more notes in detail once I get to Wilson’s Creek. However, here’s a synopsis:
Coffs to Grafton – hot and a westerly. If I recall, correctly, it took me 6:30 or thereabouts. At any rate, it was just around 14km/h for the 85km. I arrived with a massive headache into a town that was almost completely shut down for the day. After a sleep and some panadols, I found the only open pub (and it’s only just opened) where I had one schooner of muscle relaxant and a meal. Then I went back and slept.
Grafton to Casino: 101km and stinking hot. I threw a back muscle packing and had no power in my legs all day. Due to the state forests, there was coverage from the wind until the final 15 km. From about 40 km out, I was running short of water and daydreaming about some cute girl stopping to offer me a ride. At Leeville public school (I think) I refilled the water bottles and then struggled into town. I arrived at about 4pm, which is 7:30 on the road. Sore, no headache and had some of the best pub food at the Cecil Hotel that I’ve had in ages – better than any commercially prepared food in ages, actually. About 14km/hr average
Casino to Uki: again, about 8 hours on the road.Â The average was about 12.5km/h. After climbing what I though was a big hill out of Kyogle, I was faced with two bigger ones before Cawongla, (which has a very nice general store with Devonshire teas).Â Looking back from a while after that, I could see that I had crossed the shield wall of the old volcano – of course it was steep. For the next 25 kms (I think) It was big undulations, and I was walking up every one; for the hour after Cawongla, I covered 11km. Finally there was a second massive downhill (after the one into Cawongla), andÂ I was into the Tweed Valley. There were still undulations, but they were smaller, and I managed to ride up almost all of them. There’s no way I’m ridng over the back way through Main Arm tomorrow. Given what I’ve seen of the terrain today, I know that attempting the same on dirt would be extremely foolish.