13&14/3/16. It was another quiet, restful Sunday in Eden (still no apples or serpents), although when we met up after church we were surprised how busy the town was compared to the sleepy place we had experienced on the previous afternoon. When we went down to the harbour we saw why. There was a cruise ship in. This will be us in just over a month’s time. (Did we tell you that we are going on a cruise?!!)
Monday promised to be a long, hard day in the saddle with nothing but hills and trees between Eden and our stop for the night at a little hamlet called Genoa. Thankfully it dawned cloudy but dry.
The road from the campsite to the edge of Eden was a foretaste of what was to come with two short sharp hills in about 800 metres. We were on the highway but it was a bit more scary than usual because (a) the hard shoulder disappeared for long stretches and (b) it being the last day of a holiday weekend in Victoria, there was a lot of traffic racing home for work the next day. This included a high proportion towing caravans or large boats on trailers, many of whose drivers appeared to have forgotten that the thing they were towing was quite a lot wider than the car itself which brought some unwelcome excitement into our lives!
After about 12 km we passed a small garage and store which warned that it was the last petrol for 100 km. We took the opportunity for a couple of cold drinks and some water to replacevwhat we had already drunk. The campsite we were heading for is not a commercial operation and does not have drinking water, so we had to carry enough for two days cycling and for dinner and breakfast. This made us doubly grateful that the weather was not as hot as a few days ago.
The steep hills continued for the first 20 km or so but after that they became less severe with the road undulating. All the way it was through forests which was rather lovely, including two State Forests on the NSW side of the border one of which is 24,000 hectares and the other 52,000 hectares. That’s an awful lot of trees!
We passed two significant landmarks in quick succession. Firstly, we went through the halfway point between Sydney and Melbourne, at least as far as the Prince’s Highway is concerned. Our mileage may vary! Secondly, as is evident from the title of this piece, we left New South Wales and entered Victoria. We may be going slower than many people do but we feel pretty chuffed with ourselves and think we are doing OK for a couple of oldies!
We were glad to see the turning off the highway for the campsite which was very busy, even at 4.30 when we arrived. We had been told that it was popular because of the absence of a fee! (There are no facilities other than toilets and washing up basins with water that is not fit for drinking.)