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Around Australia 2003

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Journal for 15-Nov-2003 : Edenhope

Nice early start, and some fast riding over a somewhat bumpy road without those dam headwinds.

At Lucindale we discovered our early start was probably a wise move. They were staging their annual "Southern Ute Muster", where every country hoon and his dog (literally his dog) were gathering to compare the length of their ute's antennas, and listen to some country music. Free camping there means they are all staying for the night, drinking water and orange juice no doubt.

Great tailwind riding to Naracorte. If you believed the map you'd think we'd crossed the Swiss Alps, crossing no less than 6 named ranges. None of these required us to get out of the large chain ring though, and most looked more like a band of trees than a series of enormous mountains. This country is very flat. In fact it's so flat that winter rains don't flow away, sitting around in swampy pools. In response a whole bunch of artificial water courses and drains have been dug to convert swampy muddy forests into traditional grazing land. So believe it or not, there is a section of Australia where the farmers thought there was just too much water.

The country is starting to change. There are plenty of large trees, lots of little creeks, ponds, natural lakes and a remarkable amount of bird life. Fortunately most of the magpies have had their chicks, so we're not being constantly bombarded for the air.

At the Victorian border the transition from empty plain to dense forest (apart from the clearing for agriculture) seems to have finished. The roads are now wider, smoother too. Victoria is a small state and their road budget doesn't have to spread that far. But best of all there are lots of large trees lining the road reservation, exploding with bird life.

Endoscope/Endofhope/Edenhope is a small town by Victorian standards. But it's twice the size places like Meekathara, which is considered a regional centre in Western Australia, and the only town substantial town for hundreds of Ks. The nearest equivalent town here is just 20ks back down the road.

Oh, and just to confuse us (which isn't hard), we've changed time zone again. Another half hour of our lives has been stolen by the evil time fairies.

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