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Seasons Greeting 2003 !

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Journal for 8-Dec-2003 : Tura Beach

Another beautiful clear sunny summers morning in the Snowy Mountains greeted us. We wrapped ourselves up in all the warm cycling clothing we had, which isn't much. Five minutes later we were climbing the first hill of the day, and we were seriously sweating.

Very pleasant morning riding through Cathcart past quiet farms and steams, with the odd wallaby scooting across the road in front of us. Certainly not flat though. By Mt Darragh we'd climbed from 700m to 900m, at least three times. From here the road plunges off the tablelands down into the Bega Valley. A 20km twisting descent, you little ripper! We could feel the air getting warmer as we got lower. And it was all through beautiful National Park and eucalypt state forests, with the cicadas ringing in our ears, punctuate only by the odd bird squawk.

From Wyndam in the south coast hinterland the road makers decided a series of ridiculous up and overs was in order. Tempered with wildlife though. At one point we stopped to allow a large black snake to cross the road in front of us (actually, get half way, stop and sniff at us, then slither electrically back into the bush where it came from), and a substantial goanna. We could tell we were getting closer to the coast by the increased local traffic, and teenaged hoon with their provisional licences. I thought we were going to be killed at one point as a car piloted (a poor choice of word as it suggests a degree of control obviously not there) hurtled straight at us while failing to negotiate a bend. With a guard rail to our left (nowhere for us to go) it was up the car's suspension to save the day and take the corner using only most of our lane. All I can say is he was very lucky the cement truck that came up behind us a few minutes after was running a bit late.

The last climb of the day up Magic Mountain was one of the steepest of the trip to date. It also carried a lot of traffic treating this like a suburban freeway as they travelled back to the retirement centre that is now Tura Beach. Duffers in hats were over-represented.

We are now at Linda's parent's place where we hope to spend a few weeks relaxing and waiting out the end of school holidays, if I can manage not to insult them too much in that time. Maybe I should remove that previous line about drivers wearing hats.

Seriously (I meant it!):
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who's e-mailed us with encouragement, shown us courtesy on the roads (a lot more people than these logs might suggest), offered us their hospitality and especially those who've offered us their food. A special thanks must go to Jo and Al, Bev and Linday, Nancy and John, Steph, plus Warren and Jenny who have generously (and courageously) allowed us to stay with them during our travels. It really is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

And to everyone else who's read this far: Merry Christmas !!!

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