I started out in a high speed along the Old North road, determined to avoid the highways. According to Google maps the road would be a dead end but the local maps that I got showed that the road would joint with another road and that I could cycle on it. I decided to trust the local map....
Wrong decision. The road became narrower and narrower and were then just a tiny gravel road before it came to an abrupt end. I had to go back, don't like backtracking but this was just 4 km so was really no issue. In the end it turned out good because it forced me to go out on the New England highway. My initial plan was to turn off the highway again as soon as I could. But this early Sunday morning it was not much traffic and almost no trucks on the road. So it was quite OK cycling it. And it was much faster then the other roads.
Decided to push on and get to the point where the highway splits into New England Highway and Golden highway. Reached the junction by lunch time. Last hour it was a bit windy, but I could still make good progress. But during my lunch break the wind grew stronger
A handful of times I just had to stop and hold the bike to stay on the road. So strong where the gusts. It was a painful slow progress but eventually I reached Jerrys plans after 89 km of cycling. The longest distance done so far on the trip.
The camping area was just next to pasture land and I was stared out by 20 beef cattles when I cooked my dinner and did the dishes. Dinner was pasta and beef sausage,, but I didn't tell them that....
A car did a U-turn and signaled to me to stop, I was glad for that meant a break in the monotony of fighting against the wind. But when the driver stepped out and said - "Are you Mr Fredrik?". I was really surprised..
- Uhhh... yes. was the only answer I could say while I desperately tried to figure out how she possible could knew that. Cause it's not many people that know me in Australia.
But I soon got the explanation, it was Julie, the warmshower host I would stay with in Bathurst. She and Andrew were a bit worried because of the strong winds, +50 gusts in Bathurst, and just wanted to see if I was alright and if I needed a lift!!
Such a nice surprise, and so kind of them!! I was very happy to accept leaving all my gear with her and cycle the remaining 30 km without all my luggage. Took me still a couple of hours before to get there.