We’re off again. We decided to stay in Australia this year, and somehow or other we finally settled on riding Sydney to Melbourne. Because, why not?!
After much deliberation and research, this is the (roughly plotted) route we decided on.
Estimated distance – approximately 1300km. Time frame – 17 riding days, 3 rest days.
Booked (in bold) and then planned/likely (not bold) stops are Picton, Moss Vale, Tarago, Braidwood, Krawaree, Cooma, Bombala, Delegate, Orbost…. Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale or Paynesville, Heyfield, Tarra Bulga, Toora, Tarwin Lower, Cowes (ferry) and then Melbourne.
We are heading through the Southern Highlands (Moss Vale) as we used to live there, and there are people to catch up with. We also opted not to ride down the coast as there is a lot of unavoidable highway riding that didn’t appeal to us. We’ve had to plan this route pretty thoroughly to fit within the timeframe of Marc’s leave, with crucial accommodation bookings necessary to make sure we’ve got somewhere to sleep on some long distance days through NSW in the first week … and then at the other end because I managed to time our run into Phillip Island on the Monday of the Moto GP and only discovered this when trying to book accommodation for the Sunday night!
So the bad news is we’re likely going to have to ride each day rain, hail or shine, especially for the first week. Knowing the way our luck is running this past couple of weeks, we’ll probably see the drought in NSW breaking as soon as we set out. Marc found some forecast which predicted rain for our scheduled departure from Sydney on Thursday next week. For purely selfish reasons, fingers and toes crossed it’s completely wrong, just until we get through.
We’re booked on a flight back to Sydney on Nov 1, with a drive back home so that Marc can go back to work the next day. No pressure!
I’m still not sure whether north to south is the ideal direction to be heading (with prevailing winds), but the desire to get the worst of the climbing over and done with won out! We’re looking forward to easier pedalling along rail trails in Victoria.
We’ve got a few dirt roads to negotiate in places, so more fingers and toes crossed for reasonable surfaces. Not too corrugated, not too loose if you please Cycle Touring Gods.
I can’t promise to have the energy to do more than upload photos each evening, but I’ll try to use my words. At least this year I have a newer phone, so it may not be quite as frustrating. (There will definitely be nights where we have no mobile phone reception/internet though.) We’ll be taking the laptop again, which is easier to use, but I found last year it was me sitting on the bed yawning and typing, whilst Himself was lying next to me ripping off a few zzzzz’s.
I’m not sure I/we are fit enough. We’ve done a couple of big rides (partly dirt) the last two weekends, so the theory is that they will help! Marc insisted that they were necessary, despite his usual M.O. being ‘Train on Day 1 for Day 2″ and so forth.
It’s countdown time now, though, so stay tuned for blast off in one week and one day.