Wednesday the 25th of March – Hells Gate, Brumby Hill, Limestone Creek

It rained a little bit last night. My first alarm rings at 6.30am, today I manage to wake up not long after. All my gear is wet, but I’m ready to get in the game and battle on this climb. Although my fire must have last a long time last night, it didn’t survive the rain.

So as usual I pack up everything whilst making my morning porridge,  using my metho stove. Time goes by so quickly. Final step is to pack up a wet tent and tarp, which is never a nice thing to do. I’m excited this morning and have a lot of energy. I know there is another punishing hill climb,  but from what I can see, I should be done with the steeper section at around midday. The climb starts very steep and doesn’t get better for a while. Unfortunately the trail starts to get slippery, which slows me down even more.I’m back at doing my four step process to climb, sometimes moving only 10 cm before having to catch my breath again. At times the bike loses traction and slowly slides downhill, so I have to move faster. I get hungry not even 90 minutes after the start. My snacks are so yummy I worry how long they will last. I have up to 11 days of riding ahead of me before the next resupply town. It’s wet and cold here as I progress and make my way out of the gorge, but as soon as I start pushing the overloaded bike, I get hot a sweaty and only need a single layer. No point putting another layer on when I’m going up. image I had to pack six litres of water, that is six kilos, plus around eight kilos of food. The bike hasn’t been this heavy since the beginning of this trip, but I don’t have much choice. At the top of the hill there won’t be any water and it could be not until the next day that I get down. I usually drink a lot going up, so there is the risk to run out before the next Creek, even with six litres. At the end of the morning I reach 1,300m altitude and I know it’s not that steep anymore. It’s not even midday but I’m hungry. I decide to push on though as I’m making good progress. My trail mix helps me out here but its starting to run out. Sooner than expected I reach the top of Brumby hill. image

I manage to get my wet tent, towel and tarp out to dry and take the time to charge my phone on the solar panel, there’s a little bit of sun so I’ve gotta grasp that opportunity. I need a good rest anyway, my legs are aching, and if I don’t rest, things can get painful to the point of me not being able to walk. Brumby Hill is named after the wild horses that are everywhere around her. I haven’t seen one yet though. Yesterday I did see dears jumping around in the fields,  so I’m very satisfied with the wildlife experience. After my rest I decide to leave, this place is pretty but I’ve got plenty of time left and I usually try to avoid sleeping at high altitude without access to a shelter or Hut. Bad weather can come at any time, mist,  snow,  strong wind, you name it. I’m packing up but decide last minute to call the owner of a property I have to go through in a few days. I don’t know when’s the next time I will have mobile coverage. I’m feeling very apprehensive about the phone call, but  I go ahead. Last time I got a bit of a cold answer and it was all very confusing. Maybe I just called too late, I’m also worried that I won’t be able to understand the person on the line. I don’t speak  Australian English fluently, especially in remote areas. Fortunately, this phone call goes well. The man is curious, not in a hurry, and starts a bit of an interview, which is a strange thing to do out in the bush at 1,550m above sea level. He tells me to give him a call when I arrive and that I will be sleeping in a house and offered a meal and warm shower! This is a first, and a lovely surprise that pumps me up. Happy, I leave this place and get ready for some undulations and good downhill. I’ve got 28kms to go. I try to not be obsessed about the Gps and take my eyes off it. Soon, I realise I’m not following the right track, but manage to quickly remedy this after finding the track and doing a little bit of climbing. image Fortunately the scenery is magnificent and the trail is nice and smooth. I spot two wild horses, even better!

In no time I reach the beautiful campsite. image While I’m on the lookout for a spot with a fire pit,  a couple offers me to camp near them and use their fire. I can’t believe it,  can this afternoon get even better? Derek and Simon share my passion for camping and soon are asking me bunch of questions about my trip. They are intrigued and are having a hard time believing I went through this demanding terrain. They know every single place I’ve been to. They own a land somewhere near Marysville and are exploring for years the toughest trail out there on bike,  4wd and horse. image I swallow my dinner and the evening is spent chatting openly about camping, about my adventure and how I got into this. I get offered a second dinner and coffee (with a tiny bit of whisky) and biscuits and a tea! They don’t want me to go hungry and my body is loving it. We can’t stop chatting, what an easy and exciting conversation, we will meet again for breakfast. I have a lot of big hill climbing tomorrow but could the day end up as good as this one? I got invited twice for dinner and breakfast. I’m happy as Larry despite my body aching a bit and not feeling sleepy after coffee.


  • Distance: 45.7 km
  • Moving Time: 4:58
  • Stopped Time: 3:51
  • Min Elevation: 811m
  • Max Elevation: 1582m
  • Ascent: 1623m
  • Descent: 1538m

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