Woke to rain pitter-patter on the canvas from early hours of the morning. No rush to get up when it's raining. The trucks and trains were a bit noisy for the first time last night. Eventually decided to crawl out of the truck around 7.30 to find most cyclists were still in their tents although Jacquei's was down and packed up under cover. Had a lovely hot shower and put on some warm clothing. We had planned to leave around 9 am this morning but we left around 9.30 am although Robbo was hanging around for quite awhile after the others left.
Bill was the leader today and he was looking a bit nervous about the responsibility. He wrote down the instructions and away they went. They were following a course designed by Mark, hope it goes well!
We met Robbo just as we were driving into Swan Hill and he was heading for his seniors meal in at McDonalds before hitting Subway for his lunch. Not sure what time he will get in at this rate. No sign of the others in Swan Hill so they must be on the road. We come across Mark on some road works and he was concerned that his were the only bike tyre marks in the sand. Still haven't seen the rest of them. We came to a bend in the road and we had to look at the map to make sure we were heading the right way, so there is every likelihood that today will produce some confusion.
First call came from Jen who was with Bill & Jim and were lost- Collis gave them directions to the highway. Straight away we get another call from Jacquei and Carmen who had stopped to pick some plums and they needed directions as well. As we were talking to them they spot the other three coming towards them. So they team up again and head towards the highway (we think).
We get to the town for morning tea and Mark is the first to arrive (his directions of course), Jim is next to arrive, then a huge tractor goes past and Robbo is sitting on the back of it (drafting at 36 kms/hr). Bill comes in 4th and not looking very happy but no sign of the girls. Another phone call from them (10 minutes later)and they arrived 10 minutes after that- all girls having a great time. Everyone except the leader for today seems to be enjoying themselves. Bill didn't enjoy losing his way and all the riders- but they were not concerned.
The girls found plums, apples, pomegranates and craisons. Jacquei ended up with some stomach cramps. The plums were the best I've tasted in years.
We all went to the serviceman's club for the half way dinner. The group have ridden 710 kms on our route and more on their own (Mark from Sydney, Jim from Melbourne and the others around towns). The special for the night was roast pork and most chose this option.