Difficulty- Shanna 8, Sam 8
Weather- 32C (sunny)
Winds- Tail wind before lunch, headwind after.
Foods consumed- Weetbix, McChicken burger, Tuna Sub, Pasta in a packet, tuna, loads of Gatorade.
On Wednesday 20 Jan we set off again from Newcastle. We'd spent a busy two days chasing up our passports and visas, lots of phone calls to make the final arrangements for the sale of our house and cancel our utilities, get our vaccines, update the website, see both my nan's and let our butts and legs recover.
We planned to leave early in the morning but just as we were loading the last pannier Michelle pointed out that I had a flat tyre. Sam went to change the tube but the brand new one from the box had a hole. Meanwhile I'd used a bucket of water to find the hole in the original and despite two complete checks while squeezing the tube, there were no bubbles. So Sam put that tube back in, but realised it didn't fit properly as the bike shop back in Melbourne had put a too wide tube in, causing our original problem, plus we didn't have a good enough pump.
So we went down to Wallsend bike shop, only to discover it doesn't open til 10. A check of the bikes shops around led us to Hadleys in Lambton where we bought a new tube, got the original checked and pumped, and bought a better pump.
Back at Michelle's and my tube was flat again, so we had to change it with the one we bought. A couple of hours after we planned, we got on the road. Our bodies were screaming at us to stop - we'd become soft in our two days with Michelle and Stewart.
Our first stop was Hexham McDonalds. Perhaps not too far... but breakfast was hours ago! Sam was impressed - declared it the best McDonalds he'd ever seen.
Once we get back on the road we made good time - the road was flat and it was not too windy so we seemed to fly along. Our biggest problems were that we had forgotten the sunscreen and our water got very low in between rest stops. Luckily 'The Rock', a giant replica of Ularu, came into view and saved us with some ice cold refreshment.
The final 30km into Bulladelah were really hard - there are hills, a strong headwind and our bodies are starting to ache... But we get there ok and even manage to jump off a pier to have a wash, cook some food, and set up the tent. While we ate a crazy man walked past, stripped off naked, washed himself in the river, chanted and sang in the bushes for a while, and then, whilst moving on, yelled something unintelligible at us. Very strange... Despite being close to the road we slept quite well and woke early at 6am.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia