Day 2: Woke at about 6 am am in the delightful Central Caravan Park, to the insistent cries of Blue-faced Honeyeaters and the tooting of Peaceful Doves… still audible over the rumble of passing traffic. My exped mattress was deflating regularly through the night, which may become an interesting feature of the nightly ritual. We packed up pretty quickly, loaded our bikes and where away by about 7 am, over the Pioneer river to the CBD, searching for breakfast. Crested Terns and Pied Cormorants in the river, sea-willows flitting over head (Welcome Swallows… ask Tiffanie). My bike was feeling heavy, but tracking well, even with the newly installed handlebar bag, the likes of which I have never used before. Tiffanie’s cafe-sniffing abilites, perhaps honed by life in the metropolitan maelstrom of Sydney, quickly zeroed in on a Jamaica Blue franchise, which we didn’t leave until some hours and coffees later.
Somehow we managed to spend the next three hours riding around looking for camping stores to replace my leaking mattress, wires and connectors for tom to overhaul his lighting system, and 15 kg of groceries to make tom carry so we could keep up with him and his peugot…. this achieved we finally struck out along the bruce Highway towards the pioneer valley, Mirani, and ultimately Finch-Hatton Gorge. This was to be the longest day of the tour in hours and km of riding, and the better part of it is on two-lane road with relatively heavy truck traffic and not the widest shoulder, so an early start would be preferable. Otherwise it could be worse, the scenery is quintessential cane-land, and the weather we had was good, complete with persistent tail-wind (which did not bode well for the return journey).