Day Fifteen: Dubbo

I finally decided not to take the Queensland option. It would mean no rest days for the rest of the month. I've taken the south route, but will be able to come home a little more slowly and gently

The trip home has begun with a quiet country ride down to Binnaway and then Mendooran, far preferable to the "direct" and longer route on the Newall Highway.

Warrumbungles

 

I then cut across to Dubbo on an aptly named Forest Road, which passes through some 40 kilometres of forest. It’s cut through with trails that are a campers delight for people on a bike, and a gift for the Ivan Milats of this world.

 
Forest

There was one flaw with  this ride.  There were no blow flies. This is because they have been driven out by the March Flies. These are huge, and they  bite through clothes. By keeping moving I was mostly unbothered.

Forest

About 30km out from Dubbo, in the middle of the forest, I was passed by 7 bright clean garbage trucks of  the sort we use to empty wheelie bins! They were in convey with a sad caravanner caught in the middle. This burst of cleanliness fervor is not matched by the road verge, which  was one long extended tip.  Ninety five percent of the rubbish was stuff which has refundable deposit in South Australia. NSW legislators show a stunning lack of imagination and, I suspect moral fortitude in the face of the beverage and container industries. Virtually none of this rubbish exists in SA. In two places I saw where people had taken dozens of bottles out on the road and dumped them!

Shortly after the garbage trucks I met another cyclist. Ralph, a New Zealander somewhat older than me, arrived in Brisbane and walked into a bike shop and asked for a bike to ride to Tasmania, around it, and back!  He was not quite satisfied  with what they sold him and made some additions at a hardware store. He then learned to ride, on the way. He was on the way  back, and having met a Scot who had ridden from Scotland, is thinking of riding to Europe.

He was headed for a camp on the roadside, but I’ve chosen a motel tonight.  I was surprised by how  upset I was to  leave Coonabarabran, and in no mood for a bush camp. Leaving was a saying goodbye to  lots of my childhood. As Neville says of the generation who nurtured me, they’re “getting thin on the ground.”

Today was 161 km. Tomorrow I am aiming for Cudal, which is about 145km.

Striking Gold - Brocklehurst Village

 

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