(written by Dave)
Today is the end of two weeks on the road. Here’s a summary of the day and our two-week observations.
We started the day with a great big brekkie (eggs on toast with all the trimmings), followed by laundry and some good old lounging around. Free internet and power in the camp kitchen is quite nice, and the warm sun didn’t hurt. We even made some Skype calls to our moms – nothing like a chat with mom to cheer up your day!
There was a Citroen car club here overnight. They were really nice folks, with many of them stopping by our table in the camp kitchen to swap stories. It is funny to watch them leave. It was not spoken but I think the only way to start an old Citroen is for a handful of men to stand around an open hood, staring at the engine with the owner turning over the key. I’m not sure that any of the standing men did anything more that hold their hands on hips but there must have been some connection as that’s how all the cars started.
Eventually we got motivated to stroll to the Australia Standing Stones and to have a wander through the historic part of town. The stones were interesting – makes places like Stonehenge even more impressive. There are 40 total granite monoliths, with a circle of 24 stones representing 24 hours of the day. There are four cardinal stones representing east west north and south, and stones that mark the summer and winter solstice – plus a whole Iot more. Groups could sponsor the stones, so many clans and Celtic groups did so – I managed to find the Mackenzie Clan Stone – and felt a real connection (ok, maybe just a little connection but there was something there). Next weekend is the big Australian Celtic Festival here – apparently there will be over 5000 additional visitors to the town, so good thing we arrived here this weekend!
The historic part of town is fairly impressive. They have done a nice job keep the town centre lively. Even the big store (Woolies) has built the new box building just in town, rather than out of town where they are the only thing around. We stopped to share a bit to eat and then headed back to the caravan park where we took some photos, played with our neighbor’s dog Trixie and cleaned the bikes.
We’re planning on a short day tomorrow, only to Deepwater. We are looking at short days for the next four days – we don’t want to be on the road late during any of the holidays. It is holidays here until Tuesday, with long Easter weekend and Anzac day overlapping this year so traffic will likely be pretty heavy.
As for the two week summary:
Miles/Ks ridden: 490/790
Budget: On track
Flat tires: 0 – hope I’ve not jinxed tomorrow!
New seats: 1 for Nancy – she liked her old seat but it wore through
New seats that are comfortable: 0, sadly, Nancy’s new seat is not quite there yet
6 Caravan Park
1 National Park
Best day riding – Walcha to Armidale
Worst day riding – To Walcha – but it still beats any day at work!
Sore parts Nancy: Left achilles (getting better), bum – see seat notes above
Sore parts Dave: None, changing stem fixed wobbles
Things we will send home: The list of candidates is growing – the items in the bottom of almost every pannier have drifted there through little of no use – we’ll look this over again in a couple weeks.
Attitude: Good – more ups than downs. Seeing the two other couples that have both been on the road for more than 1 year was a nice boost. The WarmShowers stay with Cath and John was timed perfectly. The fact that we took a rest day today to look around, not because we had to rest, is a good sign. It means that we are getting into the swing of “no schedule.”