Unscripted – Rest of week 4 – Millicent to Mt Gambier

2-4 November 2022

75 kms (47 miles)

Total trip kms: 1100 (684 miles)

Day 26 – Millicent to Mt Gambier – Boandik Country – 75 kms

It’s raining at 5.30am. It’s raining at 6.30am. But at 7am, there is a break in the showers and I am rolling up toward the Mt Burr Range on wet pavement that’s been wet enough long enough that there is no steam to rise from the chipseal. 

It’s cold instead. It’s only 6 degrees, and there is a pretty strong wind already. We continue our ‘late winter’ tour, even though we never have had a desire to tour in winter.  I am not sure if I have had a single day on this trip where we hit the average high temp. And we’re 26 days in. Have we ever hit 20? The temps have all been pretty down low for some time.

But right now we are going up. The climb up the range is a little steeper from this side. But luckily, the traffic is lighter this morning than when we came into town, so it’s not stressful. And the wind is helping for now.

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Unscripted – Part Week 4 – Naracoorte to Millicent

29 October to 1 November 2022

Total kms: 100 (63 miles)

Total trip kms:  1025 (637 miles)

Day 22 – Naracoorte to Millicent –   Marditjali, Meintangk, Ngarrindjerri, Boandik Country100 kms

There’s a Husker Du song that goes like this:

Can’t tell you what’s coming next, I don’t know for sure

It could be good and it could be bad, I don’t know for sure

I guess that I’ll continue on from day to day….

And that is sorta how this tour feels. No use having a plan because the conditions are so changeable.  Just taking it day-by-day.

I had, however, planned on coming to Naracoorte when I was looking at maps last year.  But I thought I would come from the east and leave to the southeast. Instead I arrived from the southeast and I’ll be leaving to the southwest. 

Today I’m heading to Millicent – a town I’d never heard of before looking at the map over the past few days.

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Unscripted – Rest of Week 3 – Casterton to Naracoorte

25-28 October 2022

193 kms (120 miles)

Total trip kms: 925 (575 miles)

Day 18 – Casterton to Penola – Gunditjmara, Jardwajali Country – 102 kms

The world has reduced to such a small space – a couple hundred metres in any direction. It is wet and cold and the foggy mist quickly clings to my face, raincoat and rain pants. It is quiet, the world muffled by moisture. It’s like those silent mornings as a kid that excited me so much knowing there had been a big dump of snow and we’d get to go sledding.

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Unscripted – Week 3 – Days 15-17 – Hamilton to Casterton

22-24 October 2022

Part week 3: 87 kms (54 miles)

Total trip kms: 732 kms (455 miles)

It’s an old theatre stuffed full of camping, hardware, auto and gardening equipment. It’s not a place for the claustrophobic or someone of any width. There is stock overflowing the shelves, on the floor and bulging into the very narrow aisles. There’s metal stuff and tools and locks and latches and everything you need for a camping portaloo. There’s stakes and shovels and ropes and power tools. And absolutely everything a bloke could ever want, I think. I imagine my handyman Nigel, who is the only person I know that possesses a width appropriate for those cramped aisles, could wander in there and never come out. 

But I do find a tarp up where the theatre stage used to be and then crab-walk sideways down another aisle to find the cash register. 

And now, with a secondary floor for my saturated tent, we pack up and head out to see another volcano. 

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Unscripted – Week 2 – Echuca to Bendigo; Warrnambool to Hamilton

15-21 October 2022

Week 2: 397 kms (247 miles)

Total trip kms: 645 kms (401 miles)

The gentle, quietly-spoken checkout chick at the veg market asks me: ‘are you safe’?

I’m not quite sure of the question’s intent. Is this related to domestic violence? Is this related to the housing crisis? Or maybe it is because the town upriver is going under with record flooding and the relief centre is here in town?

She must see my quizzical look, because she adds, ‘Is your property safe? Do you have somewhere to stay?”

I say, “Oh yes, I’m fine. I’m just passing through.”

I had used Echuca as a place of safety, as a place to sit out nearly 100 mms of rain over a few days. But I am getting the heck out tomorrow because one of the rivers that runs through town is already very high, and given that it just flooded out 85 percent of the town upstream, I’m thinking it’s not going to be too good for this town either.

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Unscripted – Week 1 – Corowa to Echuca

Yorta Yorta Country

8 – 14 October 2022

248 kms (154 miles)

I had always envisioned this tour as a solo one. But it was evident before we even put one foot to a pedal that I was going to have company.  Murphy decided to come along for the ride.

I know my grandfather, if there is a place you go after death, would be having a good giggle. He subscribed to the theory of Murphy’s Law (if it can go wrong, it will) so much that he even had a poster about it on his garage workshop door.

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Unscripted – Not a shakedown ride

Wiradjuri country

22-24 September 2022

228 kms (142 miles)

It’s not a shakedown ride. It’s not the start of the tour. It’s just a ride. But it follows along with not having a script.

I took the mountain bike in for a service on Tuesday, but the bike shop suggested I replace the rear hub. They will order in the hub and rebuild the wheel and have it back to me by next Monday or Tuesday. And so that is being done.

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