Today I wake up at 6am and jump out of bed.. I mean sleeping bag. I just can’t wait to hit the trail and get to Lithgow, and from there to Sydney and Manly.
I skip breakfast as I imagine I can get an egg and bacon roll in Hampton. Tough luck though, Hampton does not even have a Cafe. It does not matter too much though, Lithgow is not that far.
I am on my bike at by 7am, it’s not warm but it’s really enjoyable. I see a lot of small houses, as well as cattle and sheep yards, and I’m riding on a nice road with not much traffic.
The trail follows a road that leads to Ryan but after 20 km I take a right turn and follow Magpie Hollow road. It leads to Lithgow but first descent to Lake Lyell which holds the drinking water for Sydney. This steep 200m elevation loss means that when I’m back on the trail, I’ll have to climb that back. I’ve decided to start the trail again exactly where I left it. At times I do take some shortcuts when it makes more sense to use the road for a little while, and other times I get lost or I need to urgently find a campsite. Those are the occasions where I don’t follow strictly the BNT, but in general I stick to it.
Making my way to Lithgow, I feel so sleepy. It’s not my muscles this time. It is just tiredness. Not sure where it comes from, but I just want to lay down on the grass and take a nap. After 35 km I’m in Lithgow, I grab some take away and jump on the train that is about to depart. From that moment I just keep dozing off while keeping an eye on my bike that is blocking the access to the door, depending on which side the station is. I try to adapt to the noisy environment and all the chatter without much success. Once in the Sydney CBD, things get worse. I’m riding on the boulevards, and I feel like a deer surrounded by lions or something.
After the city I have the busy ferry ride to Manly. I drop my bike and hit the pub for a meal and then the chocolate bar for waffle and hot drink. I’m writing those notes on my favourite rock, overlooking Manly Beach. And in that way I sign off the chapter 1 of my adventures. To be continued in a week or so.