The original plan was to scoot down to Macksville on the road to save time, but after starting on the Highway at Raleigh, by Urunga I had well and truly had enough.
The Martells road area was nice and firm after overnight rain, and after checking out a couple of fishing spots I headed deeper into the forest. At the bottom of a particularly hard side hill, which I went around, was a crew from Queensland enjoying a short holiday ride. As they were admiring my new wheels I started to give JTR a plug, but one of the guys worked there.
Sensing an opportunity I pulled a couple of discs out of my backpack. One of the guys asked, surprised, “Did I have anything to play them on in there as well?”
“No,” I replied, “but I do have change.”
They all laughed, but 10 minutes later I’d sold them two discs, pocketed the money and was on my way again. This proves you’re not safe, even in the middle of the bush. Leave your wallet at home.
A bit of snooping located a couple nice hillclimbs. One was steep enough that the DR barely clawed its way over the top at a couple of towers. It was lucky Dean was busy. The 690 would’ve been a handful to turn around there.
Eungai bottleshop/servo, with its thermometer on the veranda reading 37 degrees, proved hard to leave. I eventually dragged myself west through the forest and across the Macleay River.
The easterly direction proved to be a challenge, but after checking out what seemed to be every road, a way through to a lookout linked up, and then I crossed the highway where endless green gates threatened my progress. The rail line came to my rescue, and after following it for around five kilometres, a faint un-gated track slithered off to the east and followed a ridge before popping out near Crescent Head.
The constant circle work had taken its toll and it was 4.30pm with a storm brewing. Hightailing it home along nice dirt and grass lanes got me back to the highway, a much needed refuel and back into the bush. By 6.00pm, and with still 70km to go, I relented and headed for the highway chased by a few heavy drops and home.
With a couple of choice sections located and memorised it was a well worthwhile day.
I feel a two day Port ride coming.