Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The adventure season begins in style!

After having finished the uni term on Monday, the first thing I did was to stock up on supplies. What better way to celebrate the end of term than by carbo-loading and then being outside for two days straight!

On Tuesday morning, at just before 5 am I struck out on my bike. I leant Northwards. The first 90 minutes were pretty difficult: my glutes were still sore from playing football in the park a few days before, and my left quad kept whingeing (harden the @#$% up!). I copped some magnificent views of Brisbane Forest park: it was truly beautiful. After I went through Dayboro, I started to loosen, the quad quietened down, and the glutes were unnoticeable. Perfect timing: I then had to bend myself up a 500 metre climb of Mount Mee. It was surprisingly...easy, but still hard enough for me to excorcise some demons on the way up. Then came the descent into D'Aguilar - spectacular views all around, and the boring, noisy run along the highway into Woodford. 5km North of Woodford, I turned East, heading for the coast. In the back of my mind, I was apprehensive of the short and sharp climb over the Bellthorpe range. It came earlier than expected, and was alot easier. Just under 2km with just under 200m of climb, not too bad even after five hours in the saddle. The only problem was my right knee; it musn't have been tracking correctly, as the inside of it became very sore. I felt it on every pedal-stroke. No problem - basically all downhill and flat from there. I cruised through Beerwah, resting for ten minutes (for the fourth time) and chomping down a Marmite and Chia seed sandwich. I hit a pretty deep low after that, struggling through Landsborough and over the Bruce Highway. About 5km out from Caloundra, I lay down on a bike path to get some rest. The concrete felt ridiculously comfortable, and I think that I saw a wombat in the scrub next to me. I then picked myself up and cycled over Little Mountain (very, very little) and into Caloundra. After messing around with one hotel (who wanted a $250 cash bond), I went to a small motel on the main parade. I got in at about 1pm, with 150km in the legs. I then headed to the beach for a swim, which was pretty underwhelming, and back to the motel room for a snooze. Up at 6pm for Indian, and then a bit of tv before bed.

The next day, I woke at 6:30am, had an unnecessarily hurried breakfast, bought some vegemite (for the salt) and set off. I had intended to ride straight home, but I had a better idea. I felt crappy down Steve Irwin Way into Beerburrum, and was much the same when I parked my bike in front of Tunbubudla East (one of the Glasshouse Mtns), to make a cheeky ascent. It lived up to my expectations: there was no track to the top at all. I hopped boulders, climbed up logs, and thrashed through scrub and grass, before bursting on to some flat rock, which gave me a fantastic view of the rest of the Glasshouse Mountains. I was still feeling pretty rubbishy, and was getting annoyed by the massive flies that circled me. I then went through some thick scrub, which took longer than expected, and reached the summit. After kissing the cairn, I started to descend down the other side. A big goanna scuttled up a tree in front of me, and gave me a hiss for staring at him/her for too long. It was then through some scrub, which became thicker and thicker, and steeper and steeper. At one point, I looked up from my feet; past a row of bushes, I could see ground 20-30 vertical metres below me, directly in front. This didn't make sense - I thought there were no cliffs on this Mountain! It was a good exercise in mental versatility. I panned sideways, and ended up getting to a cliff with a near-vertical drop of about 5 metres. I made my way accross and down it, being very wary of the destabilising effect of my backpack. I descended through a gully small gully onto the track, then taking the fire-trails back to my bike. I was intent on doing the Tunbubudla West aswell, but my mind shuddered at the thought of more bush-bashing. Note to self: learn to love bush-bashing. From there, I cycled through Elimbah township, and felt good on the way to Mount Saddleback/Elimbah. I found a 4wd trail near enough to the hill (it is only 100m above sea level), and followed it along to see if I could find a way up. Nope - bushbashing again. My mind came up with plenty of excuses not to: my niggling hip, my foot, what if I run out of food/water, risk of snake bite, etc... In the end, I didn't talk myself into it - there was no logical argument that I could think of - but just did it. it was mainly thrashing through long grass and rock hopping to get to the top. I then went down the other side (don't I ever learn?) and came accross a cliff. This time, I was able to avoid doing any real climbing by simply manoeuvring around it, while making my way downwards. I got to the bike, cycled into Caboolture with plenty of pep in my legs, and caught the train to mums house for a dip in the pool and a feed.

I was not that elated when I finished, but that's because I never really went to the well on this two day trip: it roughed my quad, hip and foot up enough as it was, I didn't want to put myself out for the whole summer. A great two days, with a few more lows than highs for some reason, but with the constant understanding that my emotion was pure. What a great way to ring in the holidays: a time for great adventures!

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