day 3: Pambula – Wyndham

“It is what it is..”

Depart: 6:25; arr: 9:15; dist: 27.0km; saddle: 1h 49m; ave: 14.6k/h; ascent: 687m.
Total Dist.:146.9km; Total Asc.:2697m.

more data
The push up the Great Dividing Range is via the Mt Darragh Hwy. Today is almost a rest day to the plateau of Wyndham. We start in fog and go through Pambula’s bird sanctuary:

Just before the climb starts and just before vodafone coverage disappears for the next FIVE DAYS, we get a message from Mum: car won’t start. Mal heads back. The road heads up:
(Note Wombat over Kangaroo; cf Vic signs later.)

We fire up the handpresso, and soon another roadie passes. Our first customer! Alas, and I’m still perplexed over this one, a road cyclist from Melbourne who doesn’t drink coffee.

We make the Robbie Burns Hotel by 9:30am and wait for news on the car.

We alternate between a coin hungry phone box and the hotel’s Beer Garden.
(Here Leah can be seen trying to clear her ears after our rapid altitude ascent.)

The proprietress, Bernadette, decides that instead of renovating the 1848 hotel, it would be easier to put us up at a house whose owner is away. It’s rustic and charming:

… but the kitchen is locked. She provides an esky with food. Food disappears, 2nd lunch.

The car problem is serious. We are rescued by Dad and gain: a substitute car, a dog, a lawnmower and some gardening implements. This gives us immediate street cred among the tightly-knit grey nomad mafia at caravan parks. They regard us silently with folded arms before nodding their heads in admiration. Yes! Of course… why not take a lawnmower too?


Lulu is in her element and turns out to be a seasoned traveller, she has never had so much attention.

James checks his recumbent credentials:

Meanwhile back at the pub, Bernadette is blind drunk, but has organised a cook to come in. (Wyndham has a pub and a public phone.)
Before dinner:

During Dinner:

After Dinner: Back at the house, Arthur Rimbaud is on the menu and Scott reads from “A Season from Hell”

It’s grim stuff:
More info here and here

But this sort of stuff pales in comparison to the anguish experienced with a “grease-mark of shame”:

Yes – tomorrow is going to be BIG, but when it’s all said and done, it’s only The Great Dividing Range…

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2 Responses to day 3: Pambula – Wyndham

  1. Scott says:

    Thank you for including the Rimbaud links. Perhaps the roadie from Melbourne was aware of the deleterious effects of caffeine and absinthe … perhaps a distant forebear had once worked for Jacques Poot and Co. in Belgium, the printing firm which had to typeset (and therefore read carefully and repeatedly) the pained outpourings of Monsieur Rambaut. The joy in the text is that one realises at every moment that one is well placed, by comparison.

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