Day 80: 282km Mount Warrigal to Cobargo

Last night I slept in a bed that was previously occupied by a Dame. My aunt’s best friend has been instrumental in bringing down the pedophile priests in the Australian Catholic Church. I feel proud to be somehow connected to such a force of nature, who stood up to everyone around her and brought the bastards down. Her actions meant that the good guys are untainted and the bad guys have had to pay. Good one, K. Proud to sleep in the same bed. Some of my family are very religious. Somehow K doing this makes it trouble me less. (not that I think anyone in my family was culpable or suspect, but the association is hardly without problems).

I was meant to head off early today, get to Cobargo by lunchtime, but last night I’d gone out and turned the GPS on to check how long it would take to get there and I forgot to turn it off = flat battery… damn…

I lifted the seat off and was perplexed by what I saw. I checked the manual and it warned me to disconnect the electronics, but had no diagrams or anything to let me identify which cables exactly to unplug, or what to connect the jumper leads to. The whole setup looked completely foreign (first job in Denmark: dismantle, and get to know my bike).. so I called BMW and they weren’t much help either. First they assumed I wouldn’t know what year my bike was. Second they assumed I wouldn’t have the necessary tools. The guy was new and surprised that I thought I could handle something as simple as charging a battery (which I clearly couldn’t without checking in – so stupid of me not to have gotten across something so simple).

Over two hours later and I was still sitting there waiting for roadside assist. when the guy finally did come, there was no need for tools, or anything fancy. He showed me where the positive was (it had a simple plastic cover over it) and used one of the seat hooks for earth. There was no need to disconnect the electronics or do anything at all really… a bit pissed with the misleading info, but glad the bike started first go.

Cobargo isn’t too far, but it took about 4hrs to get there because the roads were full of gorgeous sweeping curves, interspersed with road works (they are widening and improving the Princess Highway, which is great), breathtaking river crossings on old ironwork bridges, and small towns where the speed slowed to 50, and in school times 40km/hr.

At one point I saw a guy on a bike up ahead. I gradually overtook the traffic and approached him, riding behind him for a bit – his speed was good. Not too fast and not too slow. It was also good to kind of ride with someone. At a certain point I overtook him, on one of the glorious sweeping upward curves. Then he rode behind me. Not much later I got stopped at a road block and he came up behind me and passed – overtaking me, the truck in front of me and everyone else in between us and the stop sign. Woohoo – made total sense. I popped over the double yellow lines and followed him to the front. we got there just as the guy holding the sign turned it from STOP to SLOW, he indicated for us to go first, and off we went. For the next hundred km or so we rode in tandem, enjoying the astonishing views, and when we approached my turn-off, I sped in front and waved him goodbye. I have no idea who he is, where he’s from (he had NSW plates, but was looking around as much as I was, enjoying the scenery. He was also flexing his hands and wrists from time to time, so I figure had been riding for a while). He tooted me on his way past and that was that. Lovely.

I turned in to my mum’s and was home. Home again and almost at the end of my ride. Here’s my map so far – the pink will join up in a matter of days (only a tiny bit in the bottom right corner to go), and I’ll be back in Melbourne almost a year to the day since I got my Learner’s permit, having ridden all around Australia and done over 35,000km:

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