A photo tour of the last couple of weeks: I came back to Canberra a month and over 2,500 miles after setting off on my travels, happy to see the garden I had established thriving. It was good to spend a few days eating my own organic veggies, Tom’s homemade bread and fresh eggs from the three chooks.
Early September: New bed made, dirt and mulch hauled in
But of course, this is my year of travel, so I was off again just a few days later to explore the Snowy Mountains and Kosciusko National Park.
A month prior, I met a woman named Jacqui at the Cavendish Horizons Unlimited event. She was planning a trip around Australia on a Postie with a few others. I met the Postie bike crew on their way through Canberra and then periodically en route to Thredbo, via Cooma and Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains. Jacqui invited me to stay with them for two days in the cabin they’d booked, which sounded like a great time.
On the way there, I started noticing dozens, and then hundreds of motorcycles. Turned out they were all headed to Thredbo too, for the Snowy Ride, a yearly motorcycle event in support of the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation. I bid farewell to the idea of a quiet retreat in the mountains, but was glad the noise of thousands of motorcycles was at least for a good cause. I didn’t join in the group ride, as I’m more comfortable riding solo or with only a small group. Besides, the bikes there were all big beasts, and I didn’t think my little Sherpa or I would keep up.
Since I have an upcoming backpacking trip planned for Tasmania beginning on November 19th, it was time to get some serious exercise and get out of the saddle for a few hours. On our second day in Thredbo, to the sound of thousands of motorcycles revving their engines and zooming around town, I started my trek up to the summit of Australia’s highest peak, Mt. Kosciusko.
I needed to get back in shape, and fast, so I began the hike from the village instead of taking the chairlift half way to the top with everyone else. The first 4km were the most grueling; a set of stairs led up the hillside to where the chairlift stops, zigzagging through beautiful Snow Gum forests. From there it was another 6.5km to the summit, an easy stroll through beautiful alpine wilderness and patches of snow. It almost felt like being home again, high up in the Cascade mountains.
In total it was a 21km (13 mile) round trip hike, and to keep my heart rate and motivation up, I had my timer going. I did it in 5 hours and 16 minutes, but my calves and shins are definitely paying the price…
Back at the chalet that evening, I enjoyed the company of many other motorcyclists over a red curry dinner I made for the gang, and chatted away with Belle and Nadine, known as the Gobi Gals for their trip from London to Mongolia last year on two Chinese 110cc scooters. It’s a trip I’ve been seriously considering for me and my Sherpa, so it was a real treat to get an inside (girl’s) scoop.
The next day I set off for a 400km ride to Moruya via Bega (pronounced “Beega”. Australians laugh at you when you pronounce it “Behga”) on the South Coast of New South Wales. The wind was blowing hard through the golden fields at the top of the Great Dividing Range, threatening to blow me into the dancing sea of grass. If barbed wire didn’t line the road, it probably would have been fun.
But at this point in the adventure, I was already pretty accustomed to handling high winds on my little bike. I made good time, and was happy to arrive at Tom’s mom’s place, where we spent the next week taking care of the dogs and cats while his parents were away.
After a lazy week hanging out on the beach and swimming in the Deau River, I did have to wrap my little Sherpa up in tarps and say goodbye for a while…
As much as I love traveling on two wheels, it’s hard to fit the gear and the boyfriend on this little bike. The next part of the trip will be on 4 wheels and two feet, as I undertake the Overland Track, a World Heritage site as well as Australia’s most famous backpacking trip, followed by the South Coast Track, the most remote hike in all of Tasmania.
Here I come, Tasmania!!