day 5: Hopkins River – Yambuk

Staring into the Abyss

31th Dec 09; 6:05am(start)/11:15(finish)
61.4 km (dist); 3h 7m (saddle);
19.6 kph (av); 42.2 kph (max)
404.4 km (tot)

Day of extremes. Plan shorter route as forecast hot. Malcolm departs back to Melb. The peloton of 4 pass Warrnambool asleep. Did the sprint up Raglan Parade. Cav nipple tweak at Warnie finish line. Mark breaks spoke.

Pass Tower Hill. Vultures circling crater like Morder. Old lava flows. Port Fairy. Great cafe Rebecca’s (2nd breakfast). Beautiful river port. Only a short 20km to campsite…..

Sudden shift into parallel universe. Road to Yambuk gets very hot, very quickly. Wind farm lurks like War of the Worlds. Cows become unfriendly. Vultures circle lower. Hammer is down. Camping ground has curmudgeon caretaker rude to all without bookings. We have booking. 2nd lunch. Scott withdraws. Cites signs. Wendy runs over bike. Says accident. Heat increases. Drive Scott & bike back to Warrnambool. Drink lemonade spider while James and Leah are back at camp lying on concrete pouring water over themselves. Feel guilty, but spider good. Hero at bike shop: straightens frame, new rear wheel, derailleur OK. Keeps bike shop open longer on New Years Eve! (Thanks Darren: Bicycle Superstore Warrnambool) Drop Scott at train. Consult oracle ( all good.

Storm arrives. Temperature drops from 41° to 21° in 30 min on way back to Yambuk. Meanwhile James & Leah battle hail & wind. Save tents & trailer.

Go to Yambuk hotel. Full for New Years Eve. Barn dance for oldies. Bonfire and band later. To finish 7am next day. Given private room for dinner. 4 meat – 4 veg. Huge 1 cm thick slices, piled high. James couldn’t finish. Try to see in the New Year but leave at 7:30 and asleep at 8:00. Another classic NYE.

The sign: A full life is a lived life

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day 4 | day 6

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