Up before dark, it was so cold my fingers and toes quickly went numb – a stark contrast from the warmth of my sleeping bag. Breakfast and a hot cup of tea helped. Packing up is a bit tricky in the dark and everything was wet with dew. Both setting up and packing away went smoothly and I took about the same time as the others.
Campsite at Hillston
The roads are very straight! And they go on for as far as you can see into the distance. After a while coming across even a slight curve becomes exciting and I lean the bike over to make the most of it.
Endless, endless road…
We stopped at Mount Hope, an old mining town, for a quick break and to listen to the silence.
Old hotel at Mount Hope
It had heated up now so layers were removed. Then it was straight through to Cobar for lunch.
Me on my bike
We set off to do the last 160km to Bourke. We stopped at a rest area with about 60km to go, for a drink, and soon there were about 20 bikes there. While chatting about my bike I noticed one of my pannier brackets had lost a bolt and had come away from the frame. It was fine to get me to Bourke but didn’t bode well for all the weight I was carrying... One of the nice things about being a female rider is that when something goes wrong you end up surrounded by guys who all want to help. Actually, it’s the same for the guys, too, when there’s a problem with a bike. In this case it was Jeff, who rides a Moto Guzzi California EV. Once we got to Bourke he took the bolt from the other pannier and disappeared to find a matching one. I went to the shop to get food for dinner and by the time I got back it was fixed!
The rest stop before Bourke
Bourke, after 5, goes into lock down. Roller doors are pulled down on all the shops in town and we were warned not to leave anything unattended, even for a short time. There is a Liquor Accord in place that restricts access to alcohol, with the intent of reducing crime and domestic violence. When we went to the bottle shop we found that you could not walk inside, but were served from a window.
Our campsite was well out of town so it was a bit more relaxed. We prepared and cooked in the camp kitchen and had a wonderful time chatting with other riders. The oldest rider, Alf, is 78 and also rides a Moto Guzzi. We sat around listening to his stories.
Today’s distance: 426km