Getting ‘out of office’ – Destination and route

My favourite place to visit in Victoria is the Grampians National Park. It has unique and interesting vegetation growing in its sandy soils. It also has a landscape unique to other places I’ve visited, and its walking tracks are well-defined. The tracks lead past different plant communities to spectacular viewpoints and I’ve always enjoyed my visits there. Read more

Getting ‘out of office’ – Preparation

“How Bob Mould changed my life and this short tour”

In 1989, as a 13-year-old, I discovered Bob Mould through a review of his “Workbook” album in Rolling Stone magazine. I couldn’t relate at all to the pop music my school friends listened to (New Kids on the Block, Whitney Houston, etc). Consequently, I felt very empty and alone. I’d experimented with rock and pop metal, but Bob Mould was a revelation and changed forever my world of music. I quickly discovered his former punk band, Husker Du. I loved it – it was raw, fast, loud, hard and noisy! I went hungry for the rest of my time in junior high, saving my lunch money so I could purchase the entire Husker Du back catalogue as quickly as possible. From Bob Mould, I discovered many other bands that I still listen to today. And I’ve gone to see him perform quite a few times since. Read more

Day 1 – Albury to Wangaratta

Sunday February 17, 2013, 70 miles (112 km) – Total so far: 70 miles (112 km)

I’m rolling at first light – 6.19 am. We live on the north side of Albury, a town of 50,000, ten kilometres from the Murray River, the state border with Victoria. Verne, the turtle, and I ride in shades of grey and and a calm warmth that foreshadows how hot it will get today.

We take the bike path along the Lincoln Causeway over the Murray River and into Wodonga, Albury’s twin city of 30,000 on the Victorian side of the border. Read more

Day 3 – Tatura to Elmore

Tuesday February 26, 2013, 40 miles (64 km) – Total so far: 162 miles (261 km)

Thunder rumbles in the distance and the wind picks up. The low pressure trough is stubbornly staying put. It’s been sparking off storms and creating an uncomfortable level of heat and humidity for the past several days.

The storm arrives around 5.30am and starts with a spattering of sprinkles on the tent, then a hard rain, then silence, then a steady rain for the next hour. I keep sleeping through my alarm at 6am – my desire to get on the road at 7am (just after first light) is dampened by the sound of thunder and the somewhat frequent flashes of lightning. At least it is cooler with the wind and rain. Read more

Day 4 – Elmore to Dunolly

Wednesday February 27, 2013, 68 miles (110 km) – Total so far: 230 miles (370 km)

The mosquitoes have flown three successful sorties before I realise I’m under attack. It is then thirty minutes of rustling sheets so they’ll land near my head, then looking for them on the tent walls with my headlamp and attempting to squish them, before I land the bloody fatal blow. Ah. Ten minutes later the high pitch whine in my ear tells me it was not a solo mission. Another thirty minutes and I’ve killed mozzie bitch number 2. Even with the itchy insects now dead, it is still a hot and sticky night with not heaps of sleep. Read more