Weather today was sunny most of the time with a few thunderstorms in the mountains which I just missed. Temperatures rose as I cycled lower reaching 30C and quite humid.
Although I was coming down from the mountains the day was far from easy with many ups and downs and a good distance.
After a Motel breakfast in the room I was on the road by 8.00. After a lot of ups and downs near Omeo there was a good downhill with great early morning views across the mountain ranges.
I came down to the small mountain town of Swifts Creek and spotted a bakers for 9.30s. An apple and raspberry slice just out of the oven filled the spot. The owner told me of the great bush fires in the area further down the road which had raged for 69 days and been put out in late January a week after we arrived.
Further down I stopped for an elevenses break from my own supplies at a beautiful spot by a farm bridge. Rather ironically considering the difficulty Peter W had in getting lifts a farmer came along and offered me a lift to Bairnsdale as he was concerned it was going to be a very hot day. I reassured him I was used to the heat and the riding.
The road followed the valley of the River Tambo eventually into a gorge where the serious fire damage was evident for about 10 miles.
Dark thundery clouds had been building behind me with the occasional flash and rumble. I started worrying about another deluge but it passed to the east behind me with only a few spots.
Later there was a long 5 mile climb as the road left the valley. On the way down I spotted a really enormous lizard at the side of the road killed by a car. See the picture below with my foot below it for scale. I would not like to meet that when it was feeling better and I prodded it with long sticks to make sure it was really dead before getting near. Anybody know what it is? Add a comment at the end of this post.
As I continued down the road another thunderstorm developed just to the west. I was cycling along under clear blue skies and sunshine while a short distance away there were dark clouds and flashes. I continued south and left the storm behind.
I couldn't resist a stop at the small town of Bruthen which had a lovely caf? and garden called Le Caf? and an apple tart with ice cream went down well.
After more ups and downs I got into Bairnsdale and the thunderstorms made it there in the evening.
So far I have updated the Blog every evening (morning UK time) My next destination is a place called Loch Sport on the coast in the Lakes National Park where I stay 3 nights until Tuesday. There might not be a mobile signal there in which event I will next update on Tuesday.
74 miles for the day and 3103ft of climb and 5055ft of descending.