(written by Nancy)
Cold last night – our neighbor said it got down to 6C in the ‘annex’ to their caravan. Unfortunately we don’t have an ‘annex’ in our ‘caravan’ but it felt pretty cold in the tent! The tent and tarp were pretty wet from condensation this morning, but were pretty dry by the time we got everything else packed and on the bike.
Today was a short day as we wanted to be off the roads pretty early to avoid the Easter holiday traffic. Given we didn’t have far to go we kind of putzed around in town a bit, went to the grocery store to get supplies for the next couple of days and then splurged on pancakes at McDonalds. I don’t think we left town until about 9:45.
We were on the New England Highway for the whole ride today – good shoulder and not much traffic while we were out there. We had sunshine most of the way – though it got chilly quickly when the sun dipped behind a cloud. Pretty scenery continued from the last couple of days, but a bit more forested. I had my new flag on that was a gift from the neighbors in the caravan park so we were very visible. We held ourselves back from heading to a garage sale that was signposted on the highway – you could see for miles and there was no garage in sight.
We had heard that there was free camping at the Deepwater pub so that was our destination. I think we arrived in town about noon after a pretty non-strenuous ride. There are three pubs/hotels in Deepwater (to serve a population of what must be less than 100 people) so of course we tried the other two first (with weird looks from the proprietors) before we went far enough to find the luxurious Deepwater Inn. Free camping in the big field next to the pub, with $2 showers available. Living pretty high on the hog today! It may be a bit noisy, between the barking dogs next door and the highway on the other side of the field, but what are adventures for?
Deepwater doesn’t have much other than pubs though there was a cute little café in town that we went past. There is supposed to be some good fishing, and we saw a sign to a golf course. It also lays claim to some connection to Captain Thunderbolt – there is another Captain Thunderbolt lookout nearby. A bit like all the towns in Victoria try to lay claim to Ned Kelly, all the ones around here try to lay claim to Captain Thunderbolt. Not quite sure if the man out front of the pub is supposed to be Ned Kelly or Captain Thunderbolt, or just some guy in pink latex gloves trying to woo customers – you make your own story, I think.
After setting up the tent and eating PB&J sandwiches for lunch, we headed into the pub to hang out for a bit. Unfortunately the beer selection is not stellar so we split a big bottle of lemonade while playing cribbage and gin rummy for a couple of hours. I am ahead on gin rummy, Dave is ahead in cribbage. I have never played cribbage before but my sister Linda gave us a little travel game so we are trying it out. Seems to be a bit of a complicated game (maybe it’s just Dave’s instructions) but hopefully I’ll get better at it! I think I am at a bit of disadvantage as Dave spent his formative years living in Nevada so seems to have a better grasp at any kind of card game.
We had dinner at the pub – hmm, life of luxury continues with gourmet meal…. Okay maybe not. Interesting anyway, though I don’t think I’d recommend it to any of my friends. Shiraz cooled in the refrigerator, beet root, grated cheese and a slice of canned pineapple in the ‘salad’ that accompanied fish and chips – yum. It is now pitch black and we can see the stars quite clearly so that is one benefit to being in the middle of nowhere!
Tomorrow we head to Tenterfield, the next big town on the New England Highway. We expect it will be a quiet day on the roads, given its Easter Sunday, but that also means there will probably not be anything open for supplies along the way. We are going to carry some extra water with us, though it is less than 60k total so should not be too bad. It is already chilly now that the sun has gone down so I expect it will be a cold night – better get out the beanie!