Day 10: Laura to Melrose

It was grey and cold outside when we looked out the window of our very quirky residence in Laura. Three kittens were playing in the lemon tree. The wind was pretty strong but nowhere near as strong as the day before.

It was a very easy ride out of town, as it is most days. The trail is just lulling you into a false sense of security. It was cool, there were no flies and definitely no hills in sight. Of course that changed dramatically after about eight kilometres. The path turned uphill, with rocky bits, my favourite. I stopped to take a photo of the crap path, on top of an ants nest. After some rather elaborate dancing, I managed to evade them, with no harm to me - sorry ants.

Once we turned into Forest Rd, I knew we were in for some climbing. 23 kms in, Ray started saying we were at the high point, and that every other hill wouldn't be so bad. That continued for 9 kms, as around every corner was another high point. The low point came when I made an unexpected stop, i.e. I fell off my bike, when going through a patch of soft dirt at speed. I was thrilled, and told Ray as much.

We did manage to come down a hill into Melrose at 51 kph. That's the fastest speed I've reached on this trip. We are staying in an old bank building. The lounge room is called "the vault" and we are staying in the Westpac room. The ceilings are hung with old money bags and the walls lined with old money boxes. Wazza, who runs the place, is a hoot and he must be nice, as he has a dog just like Dougal. He is also very tall, so I have to stand on a chair to comb my hair. Now that I look, the bank must have been expecting some very tall customers, as the ceilings are at least 14 feet high.

Melrose is a hub for mountain bikers. They go down crazy trails on Mt Remarkable, which is just across the road. We walked up to the war memorial, across the swing bridge and up a bit, passing the usual kangaroos. The scenery is remarkable and we could see the road that we came down to set the land speed record.

I'm not sure there will be any records set tomorrow. It will be a long day of up hills and fly swatting, I'm sure.

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Ah finally, a piece of decent track.

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Mmmm... not so good, especially as it is going uphill at about 5%. Don't think that is steep? Just try it  with 30kg of gear on the back of the bike.

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This is the weedy stuff I mentioned a couple of days ago. Not sure what it is, but it is a crop.

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Screw loose.

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A giant just dropped his (or her) box of matches

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1. My God, who (or what) is eating all this stuff.

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2. ... and this.

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3. The bike hasn't fallen over yet.

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4. Pics 1 - 4 were all taken from the same spot. Pic 4 is a young crop, possibly the same stuff that looks dead above. It is moments like this when you realise how lucky you are to be able to have this experience.

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Wozza's B and B was a former bank. He was very enthusuastic in making as many bank puns as possible, including Tellher and Tellhim on the fake teller windows out of shot here.

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A monument ot fallen diggers from WW1

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A monument to foolhardiness and probable future killed moutain bikers who hurtle down Mt Remarkable at incredibly stupid speeds.

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If you look very closely at this shot of the town of Melrose below, you can see a road coming down the hill from the mountains on the right. Unfortunately we had to slow down towards the bottom of the hell (or hill as the case may be) as it leads into the main street.

 

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