Day 42 – the Great Dividing Range
The scenery has changed remarkably in the last week. The massive flat brown plains I have been riding through for weeks have been replaced with the hills of the great dividing range. Green trees and pasture, cockatoo, sheep and balls of cotten are my daily view now as I near Coffs Harbour and the East Coast of Australia.
I was joined three days ago by expedition project manager Dave Field for a day on the bike together with Dave Donahue. We had a very nice 98km ride for the day followed by an enjoyable evening watching the state of origin. Photo below by Alistair Harding.
I have been very mindful of the increased traffic on the way into Coffs and have made a number of route changes to attempt to stay on smaller roads with less traffic. I even spent 15km on gravel yesterday which was really neat but shook the crap out of the bike so it was probably long enough.
Today I made around 800m – 1000m of height gain to reach the small town of Glen Innes. There were a number of hills to chug up but with fit legs now they are no real issue and I am enjoying them more than I thought. Yesterday I passed through the border from Queensland into New South Wales. The nights are getting colder and tonight I am expecting a frost so will be a cold night in the tent. This part of Australia I am in now is absolutely stunning. Each day the weather is clear – the sky is blue and their is little wind. Temperatures during the day are perfect for Cycling and an average day in winter here feels like a perfect summers day in New Zealand. The people are also more refined here and gentle than in the Northern Territory where life is much harder. This is definitely a beautiful part of Australia and the world.
There is only three days of riding and around 250km left to reach Coffs Harbour so I hope to arrive on Tuesday. My aim for the cycle leg has been to reach Coffs feeling healthy and fit with plenty of gas left in the tank to start preparing for the Tasman crossing. I have travelled 7850km from Singapore by human power since the 3 January. It sure has been an adventure. Hopefully my next post will be from the finish point of stage 2, from Coffs Harbour and where I can finally dip my toe in the mighty Tasman Sea.