Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kangaroo Valley

It'll be after the climb over the mountain range that we'll meet up again with Jeff and Gerda.
Crossing through Sydney from north to south was easy. We rode from the house where we stayed for over a week to Manly, the south side of the peninsula. From there we took the ferry that took us straight to Circular Quay again, right in the middle of Sydney's highlights. Maybe the most beautiful way to reach Sydney. We hang out for a while and then boarded a train on the railway station there. We changed at Central station and travelled straight on to Sutherland, a suburb in the south. We had booked a room there. A trip of app. 70 k in half a day.
From Sutherland we cycled back to the coast through a national park. We took a 10 k dirt road (track is a better word) with the poetic name of Lady Carrington's Drive and after having reached a sealed road (Lady wakehurst Drive) we got to a fantastic ocean-lookout that is famous as a hanggliding spot, but only when a southerly wind blows. Fortunately for us this was not the case this day, we had it in our backs. The route along the coast was scenic, with a ocean bridge as a remarkable part of it. We stopped in Bulli in a beachfront caravan park. The next day we continued to Kiama. Scenic by all means, but always undulating. In the end this made us very tired again. Then the next day was supposed to be a quiet one. But a serious accident had happened on the highway and all the traffic was rerouted along the small road where we were riding. Close to a nightmare, but we reached Bomaderry safely and whole.
From there there are two climbs to be done to reach the altitude of Canberra. From Bomaderry we did the first one today, app. 500 altimeters. But, for us no surprise, we dealt with this steep slope much more easily than with the endless undulating roads elsewhere in New South Wales. It was hard work, but the distance was limited and known by us. And once on the pass it was down towards the pleasant little town of Kangaroo Valley. We have made camp at a quiet caravan park just past the town, along the river and next to the medieval, for the looks, famous Hampden Bridge, built in 1898. On the other side of the river is the Pioneer Settlers' museum, an open air museum where some settlers' houses, a bush school, tools, carriages and the like are exhibited. Very interesting. In town there are some small shops, restaurants and caf├ęs, in one of which Jack roasts his own coffee and makes the nicest mochas. And there is a pub, annex bottle shop. It was a hot afternoon, but we spent it pleasantly.
Tomorrow there is another climb, a bit higher and longer, but we are confident that we'll conquer it. So it'll be some days before we will make the call to Jeff and Gerda.

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