Friday 22 Feb 2019
It rained overnight and it was fairly windy, so from the noise of the wind in the trees and on my tent I couldn’t detect any wombat sounds. Too bad, I missed them again. The day started drizzly too, so I slept in and didn’t get going until 7:30.
Can you see it? The trail straight ahead, a marker on the left tree?
After 2 kms on Nullo Mountain Road the BNT turns off onto Middle Hill Road. It looked dicey, lots of leaf litter and with it being all wet I feared it was going to be slippery too. I scouted around on foot a bit and slippery it was not, but I was still leery. Was I going to follow Nullo Mtn Rd or the trail. Was I going to make a terrible mistake if I chose for the trail? In the end I did decide to go down the leaf littered track. But why this is called a “road” is and will forever remain a mystery to me. You can barely call it a 4WD track and there had obviously been no vehicle on it for ages. The track descended briskly and soon it wasn’t just leaf litter, but rocks (hidden under leaves), sticks, branches and downed trees as well. Oh f#@k! And yes, the first tree that I oh so carefully maneuvered around and over did it to me again. How I don’t know, but another broken derailleur hanger! After one (1) kilometer of following Middle Hill Rd!
I decided to roll and walk further until I’d find a level area, which appeared after another 1.5 km. First I noticed a white ute through the trees, then a great number of beehives. But there was nobody around. But as I started my derailleur repair another ute drove up with three blokes who came to inspect their hives. I had a good long yarn with the leader of the mob who advised me strongly to NOT go down the Never Never Fire Trail since it wasn’t even navigable with a 4WD vehicle. Not that I really needed his advice, because I am now on my 5th (FIFTH!) derailleur hanger and I had made the executive decision already that I regretfully will have to forego the rest of the BNT route from here on. IT HURTS, I’m somewhat depressed, but I have to be realistic. I just cannot afford to break this one too, the last of my derailleur hangers! From now on I’ll have to stick to roads. Roads without leaf litter, without rocks and branches, without erosion, without any unexpected hazards of any kind. I’ll try to follow the BNT route, but from a safe distance on a decent paved or gravel road.
So I took the sand road that the blokes had driven in on back to Nullo Mountain Road, and from there down to Olinda (there isn’t anything there other than a Fire Brigade station), where I took a short smoko break.
From there the paved road to Rylstone, where I set up in the caravan park. After pitching my little nylon cabin, having a nice hot shower, washing riding clothes, it was off to town where I enjoyed some great coffee. I also bought a bottle of Shiraz and a chocolate bar for less then $10! Then I discovered Oma’s Café and just had to have a savoury Dutch pancake. It was delicious and I had a nice long yarn with Oma herself while she was preparing my order. Then back to my camp and updating this blog.
Dinner, I mean tea, at the Bowling Club next door to the caravan park. Many bowling clubs are like RSLs, very posh dining and drinking establishments with some gambling on the side. Since I already had a terrific pancake earlier I just had a mixed sandwich platter for the most reasonable price of $6.50.
Today’s totals 36k 2:45h 195m+ 610m-