It has been a while since I've had the chance to sit down and write about my journey, and a week has past since my last blog update. Luckily, I can catch you up on the scenery with just a few photos:
(above: some scenery)
(above: some more scenery)
(above: a little more of *ahem* the same)
Alright, you got me. I just posted the same photo 3 times, but the Hay planes were showing me the same thing repeatedly, so I feel like you have now seen what took me 3 long bike days to see.
Hay is 170km from Narrandera, and with a slow mothers day breakfast with the parents, I decided I would camp about half way between the two. Mum and dad drove out about 5-10km along side me to take a few action shots, before turning around back to Sydney, and leaving me to pedal into the distance. I copped a few nasty punctures along the way (both tires at the same time), but I'm now a pro at fixing tires and changing punctures, so I just kicked back and made it my lunch stop.
At about the time I wanted to find a place to pitch my tent, I saw a small sign saying “Yallada State Forest” with a dirt track leading off into some trees. I couldn't have picked a better spot to camp. I was a few hundred metres from the highway, in an oasis of trees, which once I got to them, stretched on forever. I set up my tent and cooked some dinner in plenty of light, then bunkered down and watched the stars come out. It wasn't until the last of the sun's glow was extinguished that the initially quiet forest came to life. There was one particular noise, very close to my tent, that sounded menacing, like I was in its territory. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what animal or even family of animal was making the noise, and I was transported back to the childhood sensation of lying in bed, scared for an illogical reason, and trying to build up the courage to get up and close the blinds. Haha it was pretty funny. But being the masculine, testosterone fuelled, pioneer that I now am, I managed to quickly close the tent flap and curl up into the foetal position until sleep took over :p
(above: dinner at my camp spot)
All in all, my first night camping was a 'screaming' success, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There is a small issue regarding the length of my body and the length of my tent, which translated into very frosty feet during the night, but that minor issue was remedied by the morning sun. After a warm breakfast of toasted muesli with hot milk, followed by hot baked beans and Lebanese bread, I was off... to fix ANOTHER flat tire. As it turned out this flat tire was not due to one single hole, or even two, but FIVE punctures! It was getting to the point where I was running out of repair patches, and as nice as the forest was for one night, I wasn't planning on moving in permanently. Finally, with two patched to spare, I got back on the road, and headed off to Hay.