A day of dreams!

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One of the great opportunities a trip like this affords is the chance to meet so many people. Strangers who will never have names and often encounters which are brief and fleeting, yet, in total add a deep and rich pool of experiences. Every day as I stop and check my maps for the next town someone will approach me and lend some local advice as to a more interesting route or a better place to stay.
Taking Peters advice from last night I took a fantastic back road, mostly dirt ,away from Goulburn and out to Crookwell. It was a beautiful, clear morning without a breath of wind and although the air was thin and biting the sun’s warmth penetrated through my cloths to give a kind of sweet n sour effect which made me feel alive. The pub food was good but obviously my taste for coffee was not so easily persuaded and I held out for a cafe further down the road. As I stopped for my morning drop some locals started talking about how good a window of weather was being afforded to me. Sipping on the chocolate froth I decided to change my plans again and save my visit to Canberra for the return leg and hot foot it straight to my goal Mt Kosciusko making the most of the weather window available. This was a long run, around 600km but manageable if I made good time, so with renewed enthusiasm I kept going. Entering the Hume Highway at Gunning it was the first main road I travelled on since leaving Mooloolaba to turn off at Caloundra and sitting on 110km/hr on a straight, dual carriageway for the 25km to Yass was more than enough. I often find it odd that we spend millions of dollars building wide, straight and flat roads so although enabling a fast passage we get distracted due to boredom on them. Needless to say I was so pleased to take my exit. Passing through Yass I kept to my back road promise and enjoyed winding through beautiful scenery which turned inevitably into dirt. As I have mentioned in previous posts my experience on unsealed roads is limited and I took on this new challenge with my usual caution. When I was with Cooper last week he had a lesson on moto x which I listened carefully. The instruction was basically why to remain standing and how to position yourself on your pegs. The theory sounded great although in practice I always felt like my centre of gravity and capsize potential was the opposite to his instruction. Unlike other surfaces this was dry and relatively stable so I spent the bulk of the 60km standing and getting used to the position. Indeed it was well spent and by the time bitumen reappeared I was feeling a lot more confident with the added bonus of great relief for my backside!
Passing through Tumut there was a strong smell of pine in the air with milling being the main occupation in the area. Stopping to refuel I kept on my quest and had the most wonderful next few hours riding as I went into high country then entered the snowy mountain proper. I also passed through some lovely towns, the most noticeable being Batlow. I was really sorry not to stop there. It had all the quaint elements I had been looking for the day before and the trees were in multiple stages of succumbing to autumn. In my ignorance I thought Batlow was a brand of Apple and although the surrounds were filled with orchards the town itself was beautiful and given the opportunity I will stop there next time. On a rainy, windy day I’m sure it would be miserable but today the conditions were perfect and I savoured every moment of the ride. In fact, it was so good I thought why ruin a great day by pushing on and certainly arriving in the dark spoiling the last 100km, so I stopped at Khancoban and stayed in another pub, shaking it up with locals and enjoying a cooked dinner and breakfast in the deal. So as the day ends it has been a sensational day on the road with the last 100km of snowy mountain drive left to savour on a Good Friday.

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