After a night of cool temps and sporadic showers, we woke to overcast skies and a brisk wind.
Quick pack up, followed by a breakfast of ham and cheese croissants to prepare us for the road ahead. It was certainly well needed on the road today.
Day 3, Rosedale to Bargara gave us a chance to test our hill skills (thanks to our coach for all his efforts to prepare us), shoulder checks (because our hill skills were a lot stronger than a lot of riders') and working against the wind.
Hills or wind as a single issue can be hard enough to counteract, but combining them both for a 77km ride is just plain mean. Psychologically they are extremely mentally taxing, but we have to take what Mother Nature dishes up for us, so it was up hill and down dale until Bundaberg, at which point the roads got better (wider and smoother) and while the wind didn't let up, it was more bearable over the flatter terrain. The whole time we were cycling we were both hearing our cycling coach's voice in our head telling us to "gear easier, treat it like a hill." To be honest if he had been there I may have punched him in the nose if he'd said that out loud to us, such was my state of mind.
Our triathlon training certainly assisted today as we worked in a tag team formation to work hard out the front or rest behind. We were so good at what we did that at times we had a train of riders hanging on behind us getting dragged along. Shame most of them dropped off before they returned the favour. Our lunch stop in Bundy couldn't come fast enough, but what a reward to relax on the banks of the Burnett River while recovering, ready for the next session.
After making camp just after 12pm, we raced to secure a "beachfront property" at our site. After all, this is our last two day stay anywhere, it's a rest day tomorrow, so we may as well make the most of the opportunity to enjoy a room with a view.
With blustery winds coming straight off the Coral Sea, it was certainly our second exercise in teamwork to get the tents up. I'm sure we provided more than enough entertainment for those already set up as we struggled with billowing tents, wayward flies and pegs that would not stay in!
But persevere we did and we now have a cosy (albeit windy) prime camping site overlooking the beach. Home for the next two nights as we enjoy the rest day tomorrow.
I braved an icy plunge in the surf this afternoon while Stef enjoyed the chance to get out of the wind in her tent. Followed this up with a walk to the shops for supplies and another quiet drink at the Bargara Pub. Midori Splice cocktail was worth those hours battling the elements!
Dinner was a delicious combo of chicken skewers, satay sauce and cous cous. Caught up with more friends from previous rides (Hayden, I told Dylan you said "Hi") and got myself a nice hot chocolate to settle in and warm the bones while I wrote.
Tomorrow we are catching the shuttle into town to check out Bundy, visit the Rum Distillery and perhaps a walk along the esplanade when we return. We are not, repeat, we are NOT getting on the bikes tomorrow. Our poor bottoms need a rest from the saddle.
I'm hoping to get a run in too, as there is a fantastic beachfront path that winds for km up and down the Coast from where we are staying.
So if tomorrow's post is a little late, blame it on the rum tasting...