Never left the main drag, so didn't see the town properly. This was the eighth day of continual riding and after 442 miles in the first seven, I really fancied an easy one. It was not to be. No more severe climbing, but now there was a stiff headwind to contend with - it was like my regular ride from Edinburgh to Glasgow, where the southwesterly is a dogged companion. The terrain was open and undulating, again with very little sign of civilization before or beyond Cooma, where I enjoyed a toasted Turkish chicken roll and the bins had 'Don't be a tosser' stickers. Turned left and headed towards Canberra, with the wind still on my case. I never did get to identify Mount Kosciuszko, highest point of the Snowy's - and the whole country. The traffic went past me too bloody fast and too bloody close on this, the Monaro Highway; some of the cars are towing boats and they still go at about 70. Me and my bike are starting to fall apart; one of the gear covers bounced off on a dirt track and my sunglasses have broken; both are held together with bright yellow tape. A pannier clip has broken as well and a toeclip has come apart. The business end of my bottom is giving me grief too and must look something like a baboon's on heat.
96 miles today, including 10 along more dirt (my bottom was not impressed) to the spread out community of Burra, where I arrived at the palatial home of Warmshowers hosts, Anitra and Ian at 9 pm, and as I had called for directions not long before, Ian was waiting outside with a torch. They served up kangaroo with mashed potato, beans and cranberry sauce, followed by rhubarb crumble with ice cream, accompanied by Ian's homebrew. They chortled at my choice of roads and Ian told me I'd come along the hilliest section in the country. We compared cycling notes, and they gave me pages of a street map of Canberra from a phone book and drew a pink line to indicate my route via Queanbeyan and a bike path through the city. Ian is well into his sixties and goes cycle touring with Anitra to places like the Nullaboor Desert and they always take a tent and cooking equipment. They showed me pictures of their fully laden bikes, which have twice the number of panniers of mine. In different circumstances I would have stayed up later, but at 11 my bottom and I had to make our excuses.