Heading to Mexico….

Bermagui to Eden 106km (65m)

Understandably, you may be mystified by the title of this post. No, I am not jumping on a plane to do an unscheduled stretch of the Pacific Highway. I was chatting to a hairy biker the other day (you know the sort I mean), and when I told him I was heading south to Melbourne, he said “Ah, so you’re off to Mexico then”. He explained that when you go south of the border (of New South Wales, that is) you are going to “Mexico”. I smiled to show appreciation……. But tomorrow, I will be crossing the said border, so …….I am off to Mexico!

Most of my blogging has been done on a little smartphone, using one finger to carefully type the message, and uploading only the pictures I have taken with the phone camera. The upside of all this has been that it has (through fatigue and distraction) limited the word length of the posts. Thank God, I hear you say! Well, sorry about this…..but I have the use of a keyboard for the first time in 10 days. So sit back and allow those eyelids to gently close…….zzzzz

At 5.30am this morning, as I was gently stirring and contemplating an early start, I heard pitter patter on the tent. Yes, it had started to rain, and NSW weather was trying to intercept my plans again. So the tent had to be packed damp, I dressed assuming the worst, but as I set off just after sunrise, things improved significantly, turning very warm and sunny in the afternoon.
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If signage warns motorists to beware of wild animals, what does that mean to a cyclist?
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Not that I am likely to collide with one of them, but that I might actually see one or more. Well today was my day. You may not be able to see two kangaroos in this photo (the zoom on the phone camera is rubbish) but, trust me, they are there.
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But no sign of a koala……yet.

But for much of the ride, I kept passing these,
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of all shapes and sizes, scattered about in the forest. Termite mounds?

And then I nearly ran over this little creature.
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An Australian porcupine? Imagine the damage he could have done to my tyres! I’m sure that not even Schwalbe Marathons would withstand a porcupine on the defence.

Over the last several days, I’ve lost touch with what it’s really like to cruise along on the flat. There has been absolutley no flat since leaving Sydney, and some of the climbing has had me twiddling in bottom gear for long periods. The maddening thing is: what takes you 30 minutes to climb only takes you 5 minutes to descend. There is no justice in that! But it has to be said, the descents can be very fast and hair-raising. Like this one…..
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I began braking at 40 mph. Had I let go completely, I could easily have reached in excess of 50 mph, or even 60 mph. Imagine what it would be like with 40-50 kilos of luggage on the bike!
But to round off the day, I wasn’t lured by this holiday park, the scene of original sin
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….but by a cheaper municipal site where I could pitch my tent by a lake
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and be entertained by pelicans, cormorants and egrets. (Sorry about the laundry!)

So across the border tomorrow, which will mark approximately the halfway point between Sydney and Melbourne. As they say in Spanish: “la ultima recta”….the last lap. Only 500km to go 🙂

The Children in Syria Appeal: www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on March 3, 2013, in Australia: Sydney to Melbourne 1000kms and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Denise McAdam

    Hi Frank,

    They’re termite mounds…some of them are absolutely huge.

    I don’t know how easy it is to look up when you’re cycling but you’ll often catch sight of koalas way up in the eucalyptus trees and often in areas where there aren’t the yellow road signs depicting whatever wildlife you might see for the next ?? kms.

    All the best,

    Denise

  2. Looks like you’ve missed a good show, Frank!
    “Roaring past in front of a wall of fire, the Tinstix of Dynamite team perform at the Melbourne International Airshow. The team mix dramatic flying techniques with fire displays to put on a stunning show (Alex Coppel / Newspix / Rex Features)”

  3. Frank, well done on your cycling, and braving our weather! The second ‘warning’ sign is a wombat – I hope you don’t see one of these lovely creatures as road kill. And the spikey little chap is an echidna. You did well to get a shot without him/her curled up in a defensive ball. Enjoy the downhills!
    regards, Rob

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