Day 7: The storm last night was spectacular, both in ferocity and entertainment
Scammell’s Lookout – Colac Coloc (58km / 36 miles)
For an hour I lay in the tent as it swayed and buckled above me, watching the lightning flashes pierce the tent, all the while accompanied by the sound of trees being battered by the wind, thankful that I had not continued riding and been caught in these raging elements.
There was surprisingly little obvious damage to the forest and it was in a calm, peaceful morning when I started the 20km descent into Khancoban next morning.
For days I have been told that it is mostly downhill (See the article “Don’t believe that it is mostly downhill” for my rebuttal on this myth) but today it was true. This was also to be the last of the tortuous mountain sections, “flat” was within reach.
The 20 kilometres to Khancoban was done in less than an hour, including a short stop to take some photos of the Snowy Mountains Pumping Station. There were a couple of hills to be conquered but nothing like the previous two days and racing down the 8-9 kilometre slopes was exhilarating.
A word of caution though, the road surface is not great and I found that some motorists thought they owned the early morning road.
Brunch was a wonderful hamburger with the lot and a chocolate milk, enjoyed under a warm morning sun chatting to the locals who freely offered their unsolicited advice on my bike, route, gear and a myriad of other cycling trivia.
Having lost all concept of time, I found that the Post Office was closed on a Saturday so I did not get to rid myself of the excess luggage, but I did have a shower ($5.00) and was able to wash my clothes ($3 with $1 for the dryer) at the local caravan park.
After one long hill to conquer leaving Khancoban the countryside became more accepting of cyclists and the rest of the day’s ride was spent taking in the lush green farm land that cruised by at a leisurely pace.
Crossing into Victoria, I joined the busy Murray Valley Highway before stopping mid-afternoon for a (another) Schnitzel and beer at a café in Curryong.
It was then back onto the shoulderless highway before camping for the night near the Colac Colac cemetery.
I had intended to ride for another couple of hours, but the pannier mounting bolt that had been repaired several days earlier in Cooma, broke again, forcing me to stop and again make temporary roadside repairs with a hose clamp and stick.
But even with the breakdown and the afternoon rain, the ride today had been the easiest so far.
With only two long hills to ride, stunning scenery to entertain me and good food in my stomach, this had been a good day.
After a tough week on the road, more days like this would certainly not go astray.