Day 4 – Corryong to Adaminaby
Central Vic and the Snowy Mountains truly are (probably) God’s country. Forget “The Shire”, this is -real-.
There is no plasticity, no materialism.
It is man, and nature. (Best personified in The Man from Snowy River.)
Man’s footprint is minimal. What footprint there is is one of almost pure coexistence, or subservience, with nature.
It’s a simple, uncomplicated existence, unfettered by the concerns of city living.
The riders head off into the fog and becalmed mist.
At fences on the roadside, inquisitive cows loom through the fog. They carefully consider cyclist and cud. Both are equally interesting. This may explain why cows look up in serious surprise at cyclists yet have a large amount of fodder hanging out their mouths…yes, these curious chatty beings on fast moving legs are interesting but so is this grass.
Today will be a long way up onto the marvellous Snowy High Plains; truly one of the most spectacular places in Australia, where one can be truly alone. There are no craggy gorges like the Kimberly, no sprawling desert, no sparkling Harbour, no reef and ocean fauna. Instead the beauty is conveyed by the serious and quiet consideration of the windswept and cold plains.
The road heads upward soon and the riders are given free time. The mountain jack rabbits are gone very quickly.
We in the mechanics van stay back and nurse some sore riders up the mountain variously giving short lifts and our famous Sticky Bidon service. Westfield Roy innocently used the Sticky Bidon service and is later (harshly, in our opinion) fined for the privilege.
The climb seems to go on forever, with one truck driver asking incredulously if the riders know how far up they have to go.
Some of the riders spend all day pushing and DRAGGING their compadres up hills. Just crazy.
The ghostly gums – laid to waste by bushfire – reach their fingers to the sky, as if impeacj
Upon finally reaching the rolling heights of the plains, we happen upon a seemingly abandoned bike at a pit dunny. The poor rider had electrolyte-induced stomach problems and found himself in the toilet sans toilet paper. He’d been waiting a while and fortunately we were able to assist him and motor pace him at 60km/h back to the group.
A quick stop at Tumut Pond reservoir then a fast ascent up and up. And up.
We lunch in Cabramurra, a fascinating place that existed as a base for the construction of the Snowy Mountain hydro scheme. It maintains a standing skeleton community to support the ongoing operation of the hydro scheme. They’re a hardy breed up here.
Reputations and legends were forged here amongst the forbidding and uncompromising crags of the Australia Alps. It is humbling and impressive. Shocking, even. The comfort of modern living is brought into stark relief against the hardship and unrelenting spartan living of this place.
The local sparkies and trades look with a mixture of bemusement and interest at this passing pack of lycra clad cyclists.
The hour passes quickly and we have a fairly fast descent to then more climbing. Up, down, up, down, all day!
We arrive in Adaminaby, also a very cool place. Adaminaby – the town – was moved to make way for Lake Eucumbene (more info at Wikipedia).
Lakey and I go for a 30 minute 20km ride in the freezing cold afternoon wind, accumulating some sneaky KOMs. It is amazing to be riding amongst the golden sunlight-washed paddocks as the sun slides gently into the scudding clouds.
Our digs are pretty cool. Pool room, lots of room, TV and most importantly, two $100 bar tabs (thanks guys).
Dinner is simple but wholesome.
Not much else to report – riders filter off for sleep, Tim and I do some more work for our new venture.