My second time watching the sunrise from the Lions Park in Premer is as good as the first time I saw it last week. What’s not to like about watching the thin sliver of red become a band of orange and then a gleaming blue sky as the big red ball of fire rises from the horizon changing into a yellow sun.
Today I will retrace my steps back to Gunnedah; a ride I did in the reverse just a week ago. I remembered the day being a series of steady climbs. Unfortunately, my memory was skewed because today was not a series of steady descents. If anything, it was fairly undulating. It’s funny how the mind can play these tricks on us. Still, the first 44km to Mullaley disappear quickly under my wheels. I stop only to take some photos.
Mullaley is still as tiny and sleepy as it was last week. Nothing has changed. The general store sells a wide array of hobby equipment for people who make models but no milk. So obviously there’s a keen hobbyist or family of them living in the district but people buy their groceries down the road at Gunnedah, which is only 45 minutes away by car.
The Oxley Highway between Mullaley and Gunnedah is just as busy as it was the other day. And the undulating hills here are steep. Even with a slight westerly wind blowing at my back, it is a struggle to get up some of the climbs. Not a struggle in an “I wish I weren’t here” way but a struggle in a “man, another hill?” kind of way. I think my worst days on the bike are still better than my best days working in an office, so I’m not complaining. It would just be remiss of me to make out as though everything is always rainbows and lollipops when you give up the corporate world to live nomadicly. There’s still always yin and yang … just in a nicer environment.
Despite the hills I reach Gunnedah by early afternoon, having ridden 85km. I check in at the RV camp near the showgrounds. For $10 I get a place to sleep, hot showers, access to drinking water and power to charge my devices. It’s across the road from a series of grain silos, freight trains will clank and clunk around all night long, and the highway is about 10m from my bivy. But I don’t care. The lawn is mowed and there’s a delightful park-like atmosphere to the place. Besides, as I think I’ve said before, I sleep like the dead and not even a freight train will wake me from my generally dreamless slumber.
A hot shower and shave go down a treat, as does an egg and lettuce sandwich and some pastries from the Vietnamese bakery in town (I think the Vietnamese do the best bakeries). I punch out some work while lying in the sunshine, taking in the last of the sun’s warmth before I am forced to admit I’m cold. I’m feeling too relaxed even to blog and turn my computer off as soon as I’m done working. A second walk into town to buy snacks for the coming days ensues when I realise I’m out of museli bars. I feel almost grown up to be walking around town after 8pm instead of being tucked into my sleeping bag (which I do early most nights because it’s warmer than sitting up).