Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day Seven: Barooga to Moama 110 kms

I can't believe it has been a week already although I should know by now that the time flies when you are out on the road. The day started with some very light drizzle that just tapped on the awning over my bed, just enough to wake me from a lovely snooze. I slowly wake, get dressed and gradually climb out of my little cocoon. I have put my rain jacket on but it is not required because the drizzle has already stopped. The sun isn't quite up as yet but it is close. It's nearly 7 am and the rest of the group have been up for a while now and I'm really surprised to see Mark at the camp kitchen eating his breakfast along with Robbo. My first thought was that we were going to have a bad day because Robbo must have woken Mark but this was not so. Mark had his own purpose for being up before the sun.
The team leader today was Jim, who was wanting monetary recompense for taking on this enormous responsibility. According to the group he excelled at the task and they are happy for him to be the leader on most days. The responsibility must be shared around and tomorrow I think Carmen may need to take her turn. If they are never aware of who may get the job then they may all listen more closely to the briefings.
The majority of the group left camp around 8 am and we all met up for morning tea at the 40 km mark. Jacquei and Carmen came bearing fruitful gifts. They had found peaches on the ground under a tree- a nice treat.
A couple of loaded up cyclists came along the road at the end of our break and they were cycling to Cairns- taking a similar route to the one we took last year. They had a little dog they were carting with them in a trolley at the back and they have done a lot of long distance cycling over the years, always with their little pup. Mark arrived late as he had a puncture from the bindi eyes or 4 corner jacks (they have quite a few different names). We must remember to warn everyone next year that they are prevalent on this route. There was a 56 km straight road today. Jen, Carmen and Jacquei had a close encounter with a large brown snake which they disturbed on the side of the road and fortunately lived to tell the story.
The wind was not kind to them today and it started to heat up after morning tea so we had hot northerly headwinds for most of the day. Lunch was at Barmah near the river. It was getting hotter but the locals were talking about a big storm that was supposed to come through with a big drop in temperature, lightening strikes, thunder and hail as big as golf balls. We looked to the heavens but couldn't see any sign of the threatening weather- maybe around the next bend. The bend and the storm never came and the relief from the headwinds did not appear until the last 10 kms into Moama. Disappointed with the chosen camping ground so we moved to the one across the road which wasn't a big improvement but reasonable.
Went up to the local hotel for a well deserved drink (or two) and then the girls walked into Echuca for a shop and dinner while myself and the boys had dinner at the pub. Not bad with bangers and mash for $9 and lambs fry $9. Collis was very pleased with himself and his lambs fry. A quick go at the pokies with an eventual lose of $10.

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