Difficulty: Shanna 8, Sam 7
Weather: Rain patches, overcast and sunny, VERY windy!
As we packed up our tent and our possessions the rain continued to fall. It was a welcome relief in the night - slightly drowning the noise of the noisy campers and cooling the air. But as we packed our things it was not so welcome, and we realised that it splattered the tent and our bags with mud.
Sam spent time in the bathrooms drying the tent and tarp under the hand dryers and Shanna packed the bags. We left in the rain, but within half an hour the sun was out and it was as hot and muggy as ever. That pattern would follow us throughout the day, short periods of rain followed by sunshine.
We were headed to Burleigh Heads to stay with the people we'd met in Grafton and initially decided to avoid the highway and take the coast road. Within 1km we were grinding our way up some steep hills, and watching the highway next to us meander up much nicer gradients. So at the first opportunity we switched to the highway.
The gradients and pavement were nice to ride on, but the winds were stronger than we'd faced yet. Although Shanna was riding behind Sam, she struggled to keep up and Sam often lost her to the wind. As we neared the border the highway became wider and busier. We crossed the border in the early afternoon and exited the freeway as it turned into the motorway to Brisbane. From here we would take the Gold Coast Highway.
Barry, who we'd met in Grafton, met us at Carrumbin and led us to their house, taking a series of side roads and riding paths. As promised, they lived at the top of a short but steep hill. We made it up with a combination of riding and pushing and were glad to be welcomed so warmly by our hosts.
We showered and spent the afternoon resting before some of Laura ad Barry's fellow cycing friends came over for a dinner in our honour. One of those we met was Jonah, who has the world record for cycling from Perth to the Gold Coast - an amazing 15 Days!
It was the best meal we had eaten for weeks and it was so enjoyable talking to everyone. We felt so welcome and went to bed having made the commitment to stay another day.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia