Day 80What a day! Up and down adventure, exactly what this trip is supposed to be about!
It started badly when I work up to the rain hammering the tent. Having run out of food my breakfast was dry bread and rehydrated milk, plus a few squares of chocolate from my snack bag, so adding that to laying in a wet sleeping bag and then putting on cold wet clothes was not my idea of fun. Anyway, eventually I set off up the steep hill in the cloud. Exactly 0.7 miles / 1km later I reached the summit, turned a corner and found a 24hr cafe / petrol station and motel! Curse you Google Maps! Well, at least I could get coffee and a bacon sandwich, so I was happy once more.
The running was tough all day; incessant steep hills up and down, sometimes with a shoulder and sometimes not, and the cloud I was in made it scary with the traffic. A few hours in and I saw blue flashing lights behind me; the cops pulled me over! Apparently there had been ‘complaints’. The guy was super chilled and we had a good chat, so I put my head torch on backwards and continued on. Result! Although if a driver has nothing better to do than complain about a guy running in a gutter in the rain while he doesn’t move his car/truck over a foot then I think I’m probably the winner between us when it comes to the ‘life’ game.
I reached Lithgow – which was surprisingly scenic – as the rain stopped and had a meal in what seemed to be the world’s busiest McDonald’s. Who WERE all these people! Anyway I was soon out and on the road as the sun came out. There were roadworks and the smell of fresh earth and trees was fantastic – I was in the mountains now! Unfortunately the roadworks meant there wasn’t any shoulder for sections, and with the Friday night traffic the EPIC climb up to the plateau was horrific. In the end I stopped worrying; they were either going to hit me or not. Worst, most stressful moment of the trip.
FINALY I got to the top and I was done. With the sun already set and it was 6km to the town with all the motels so I stopped at the main hotel in the town (Mt Victoria). Turns out it was the oldest tourist hotel in Australia, and it is fabulous! Super old and nothing works, but it is AUTHENTIC. It even has a roaring COAL fire in the bar. Haven’t seen one of those for a long long time. What a great end to the adventure of today, James is a happy man.