This morning I ride back up on the other side of the valley and I’m soon hitting the tar.
Cyclists can take the short way to Blackbutt, the next town, and I gladly take the easy option. Arriving mid morning in town, there is enough time for a big second breakfast and to work out my route moving forward. I’m finishing a section of the trail and starting another one.
Unfortunately, as I discovered yesterday night, I only have outdated notes and maps from 25 years ago. On top of this the notes are north to south and I’m going the other way. It is just like riding in chinese to me.
I have a contact who takes care of this section and I contact him asking for help. Waiting for his reply I also get some help and maps from the information centre. Those people are very kind to me, turns out their son rode the National Trail across the entire state of Queensland a few decades ago, so they are willing to help.
After breakfast I have a pretty clear idea of how to get back on the trail. I head off and I’m soon riding on the Old Coach Road. As the old man said at the information centre, it’s not a good track. When someone gives me their opinion on the quality of the road, I always wait to make my own judgement. Something difficult for someone else can be easy for me after all I went through, especially in the Alpines.
Turns out the old man was quite right, not a good road. Not for pedestrians, horses or cyclists.
Trying to capture it on video, I fall over on the rocks. I will be bruised, but fortunately my camera hit the ground in the dirt, close to a rock.
On the downhill, my front tire goes flat suddenly. The sealant has dried out. It’s a quick fix as I just have to insert an inner tube.
I thought I had all the time in the world to reach Nanango, and I make it there only at the end of the afternoon. Once again I’m pretty exhausted, but not as bad as yesterday.
There are many caravan parks by the highway but I have the feeling that the showground might be better and could be near free. I show up at the showground and, after short reflection accept that I will camp there for free. Mostly they take horse riders but as I’m travelling on the National Trail, it works the same for them. They are closing the gates soon but I get the combination lock in case I need to get out before 8am next day.
After a nice hot shower, I decide to get back to town for dinner, but surprise; I can’t open the gate! It had been chained the wrong way, and despite being able to unlock one of the locks, I cannot get out. I’ll have to leave the bike inside and go under the fence. I’m so skinny now, it’s not even a problem.
A couple of dinners later, I head back and get some sleep.