My anxiety of not having planned a holiday over the xmas break resulted in this last minute cycle tour to the wilderness (better known as Bungonia National Park). Famous for its gorge, pretty popular canyoning spot as we later found out when we bumped into another Sydney Night Rider that night at the camp site.
Lesson # 1. Invite people who are spontaneous
For some reason I couldn't do this last trip on my own. I hadn't been on a long ride in a while and I wasn't feeling the most confident, even though I'd been to this place before. So I invited people who I thought would enjoy a mini tour. 2 people caught the bait.
So on Friday the 30th December 2016, after some false starts with bike malfunctions and missing trains. Daniel, Jeremy and I set off into the wilderness from Moss Vale at 13:30 and managed to get to camp before sunset.
Lesson # 2. Chat to people. They always have great advice. Like hidden swimming holes
At the campsite one of the boys was tipped off about a swimming hole, so with the tents half set up we ditched everything and ran for the bush to find this hole, for a twillight swim. Swimming at twillight in a gorge surrounded by a forest is just magical. Even more so when there's thunder and rain.
We were still swimming when the rains hit.
Lesson # 3. Always close your bags. Always cover the tent. You never know when the rains will hit. Especially when you're twillight swimming at the bottom of a gorge.
We were 40 mins away from the tents when the rain hit. Should have closed the tents but it probably wouldn't have made a huge difference as there was a stream of water running through the ground sheets anyway. Lucky the camp site has a shed and hot water. We slept in there that night.
Lesson # 4. Sleeping mats are soft and comfy
Sleeping mats make hard floors comfy to sleep on.
Lesson # 4. Butt Cream
After the whole trip (160 kms, return) my butt was pretty chaffed. Not sure if it was because I was wearing underwear the first day or because I wasn't wearing underwear the second day. My crack was a raw and riding back home wasn't fun.
Elevation Gain (click link for Strava details): Day 1 - 582 m , Day 2 - 668 m
Lesson #5. Check the Burger joint you plan to have your victory post-tour dinner at is open.