You better run, you better take cover.
I paid for the errors of my ways straight from the gun on Day 2.
Everything (General store) was closed when I exited the pub in Lake Bolac the night before.
That mean't I had no way of buying breakfast, and the publican had told me the local cafe opened at 7.30am. I was already 80km from where I wanted to be so figured I could manage the 30km hike to Glenthomson on an empty belly.
It was dark dark dark when I rolled at before 6am into the silent countryside. Nothing but the wind tickling my ear could be heard, and the white line was a faint beacon of which direction to ride.
I rolled into Glenthomson an hour or so later and ordered two ham cheese tomato sandwiches, a coffee, and a muffin. After devouring these, I ordered another sandwich for the road, but overcome by hunger, ate that too.
A local rolled up with his dog and greeted the store owner.
'Hey Bill, I'm going to Cairns for a week'
'I don't care if you're going to bloody Fiji'
Great Australian Country humour at it's driest. Much like the land.
Again, on a map it doesn't look that exciting.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Today was probably one of the best days I've had on a bike. From the first pedal stroke to the last.
I suffered, I sweated, I swore. It was spectacular, gorgeous, brilliant and overwhelming.
It was hot, windy, and hard. It was an everlasting gobstopper and I was turning purple with all of the amazing things passing me by.
Of particular breathtaking beauty was the Grampians.
From the eastside they look like random pimples on an otherwise clean landscape. From the west they form waves of rock that have been created by the winds that blow constantly.
A cafe in Hamilton was the next stop, and I cleaned them out. Another two HCT sangas, blueberry muffin, banana, coffee, and gatorade. It doesn't mix well on paper, but it barely touched the sides.
I asked the cops at a petrol (gas) station which was the best way to Casterton, they shrugged and pointed at the highway sign. Narracoorte was still a long way off.
The distance beween Hamilton and Narjeela is just about the most relaxing piece of riding I've done. You ride up on a high plain, and descend into a valley below and see the sparse vegetation change. Then you heave back out of the valley up onto more plains of golden paddocks.
The road twisted and turned, and was a gentle roller coaster lined by farm houses and cattle.
Unfortunately I had no one to share this view with. Aided by another huge lunch and coffee in Casterton, I was high on life on the road.
In Australia, the names on the signs can often mislead you. Unlike in the cities where towns have cafe's, petrol stations, supermarkets, towns out here are often defined by a property, a cross road. When I filled my bidons at Dergholm pub I asked a local where the next blip on the map was.
'No fuel to Narra, but I reckon you could get water from the tank at the CFA in the Jello.'
Poolajielo was an intersection, with a CFA indeed, an unused War Memorial Hall and a house on the corner.
The heat radiated off the aluminum walls of the CFA shed and I swear my SIDI's were going to melt. If I didn't score water here I would have really suffered the rest of the day.
I looked around and there wasn't a sole in sight in any direction. I hadn't seen a car in hours, and the road had dwindled to a single lane, shrouded in gums.
Later in the day I passed a sign telling me leave my fruit and vegetables behind.
I had reached the Victorian border. There was no welcome sign. Just a warning.
As I scrubbed my bibs and jersey in the shower that night, the soap wouldn't lather as much as I tried.
I went downstars to the pub, ordered my standard parma fare and washed it down with a beer shandy.
I'd ridden another 10 hours solid, and covered 260km today. Could I really do it all again tomorrow?