RTA Big Ride 2006 diary

Day 6: Gundagai -> Junee (65KM)
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I got up this morning with a bit of a headache, so I took some nurofens over to breakfast, which was sausages in some tomato and onion broth. I had no appetite and could only eat half a sausage. I couldn't even face the porridge for the first time ever (which is very unusual - it's sometimes the only thing edible at breakfast). Instead I had some nutrograin, which I also struggled to finish.

While packing up my tent I started to feel dizzy so, after I finished I went to the St. John encampment and had a word with them. They took my blood pressure, which again was elevated, and said that I should sit out the ride. They got a volunteer to take my bags and the bike and I waited for the volunteers' bus.

I got to Junee at about 10:45. The bus took the truck route through Wagga Wagga so as not to interfere with the riders who were going a more direct route through Nangus and Eurongilly. Apparently they got to see a fair bit of fire damage from the new year, whereas there was non I could see out of the window of the bus.

Some riders had already arrived (including James) which makes an average speed of about 25km/h. Apart from the heat, it's a pity I missed it since the profile looked reasonable and the distance was not too great. The local Cancer Assist group had a sausage sizzle, and one of the ladies pointed out where the fire had rushed up the gully next to the camp and started towards the heart of town. No wonder they were talking about evacuation at the time. This year some of the gold coin donations around the camp are going to an environmental fund for Junee too help with bush-fire recovery. The local paper has a full front page spread on the ride, which is nice.

Junee campsite
Junee campsite

After setting up the tent, I tried to stay out of the heat, which was climbing rather rapidly. I lay under a tree for a while and there's no way I was staying on site as it was another open hot campsite. I went into town and got the prescription filled and some aspirin so that I could get pain relieved if necessary with out requiring food in my stomach as is the case with nurofen, which can cause nausea. Then I went to find some lunch. I ended up at a greasy cafe on the way back to camp and found myself craving a dim sim. I ate it while sitting on the kerb since there was no other close shady place.

Welcome to Junee
Welcome to Junee

Junee Hotel
Junee Hotel

Junee is a place with a lot of history, but also a bit of a run down look as the modern building and shops fittings compete with the old buildings. The town prides itself on its railway heritage, and has Australia's Most Haunted House. There's also a licorice and chocolate factory and I believe that most organic licorice in Australia comes from there. Unfortunately most of these places were out of town and I didn't feel like trekking out there. I didn't have my bike yet as it was on the some truck still coming from Gundagai, and the local shuttle bus didn't attract me. These and all the other nice sounding places I didn't get to are mentioned on the Junee Shire Council web page.

Junee clock
Junee clock

Vanishing point
Vanishing point

Railway square
Railway square

Instead I wandered through the Junee Historical Museum in the old Broadway Hotel, which was just down the road from camp. It includes some nice memorabilia from local stores and the old hospital, info on Captain Moonlite, dresses and CWA dolls etc. A nice little collection for a nice old town. There were snippets like the fact that a previous local mayor was only two generations away from convict-hood.

Broadway Hotel
Broadway Hotel

Handmade dress
Handmade dress

CWA dolls
CWA dolls

I went back to camp to replace the batteries in the camera and found out that they were all used, apart from some I might have still on the bike. So I went to the local IGA where I bought some and walked out to find another cafe and something for afternoon tea. The camera wouldn't turn on as I walked down the road putting the batteries in, so I went back to the IGA and asked if I could get a refund and maybe get some others. The woman behind the service desk was most helpful and gave me a refund even though batteries aren't normally covered by their refund policy. I tried the next lot I bought and they didn't work either. (all heavy duty Ever Ready and the like). I remembered that I had the MP3 player in my bag so I tried the new batteries in it and it worked perfectly. The camera just has so much of an energy requirement that I needed extra special batteries. Another assistant came over and said that she could only ever get her camera running with Energizers so I bought some of those as well, which did work.

Bev from the IGA store
Bev from the IGA store

I found the cafe, but it was a dodgey place where their idea of a cappuccino was using instant coffee. I've later found out that this is also an old Mediterranean student trick. I decided to go with a pot of earl grey tea and some scones and jam, which was fine. The business was for sale for about $20,000 which another rider quipped was about the price of a decent coffee machine.

Tonight there is a strong northerly blowing, which is an ominous omen for tomorrow's riding. Hopefully it will die down. The Russian enigma is still with us. Going to the toilet in the late evening, I passed her tent where she was feeding it tidbits of meat and cooing at it. I'm not sure how she copes with the toiletry requirements etc. Does it eat leftovers from dinner? Somehow it seems to spoiled for that. Does she carry food for it?

Moonrise at Junee
Moonrise at Junee

Ride Statistics

No riding today for me.


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