Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Temptation of the Lights

from 17/8/2009

ODO 80243

All the bright lights, those city sounds - all tempting me to blow my budget, on coffee, frivolity and beverages.

Another early rise - does 6:30 sound ridiculous to you too? - but a relatively relaxed departure, due largely to unforseen cloud cover shadowing my dewy tent. I took some Northern Rivers back roads through Alstonville - pleasant going, a bit of fun stuff, but largely tame and too much traffic. I ended up on the coastal road. I had figured that after yesterday's dustfest I was due for a shower. I was tossing up between finding somewhere along the road to have a quickie and staying somewhere civilised. Having stopped by the beach for a late lunch, I decided to do the unthinkable: a mid-August dip in the Pacific. Much to my surprise, the water was nearly as balmy as the weather, which was getting quite temparate by that stage.

Having traded red dust for sand and salt I ventured further North, passing briefly through Byron (a town I wouldn't mind spending more time in; Midday Monday in mid-August and the place was more alive than I would expect anywhere outside a proper city. And a good atmosphere - young and pedestrian. Reminded me of Glebe - but happier.) With some menacing hot-weather cloud developing I took a new route over the mountains at the border. If anything, this route towards Currumbin is even better than the more famed road to Nerang, though ultimately very similar in character.

Although most of the cloud seemed behind me, I decided that the threat was real enough to justify heading to Brisbane where I could ride out (by, literally, not riding out) any wet weather.

After finding the only traffic jam in town - I spent twenty minutes coasting with the engine off - then haplessly looping the city trying to find bike parking, I was more than pleased to be able to jump off and declothe. I had removed my thermal that afternoon, but the waterproof liner was stifling in unexpected heat and humidity. I know Queensland is renowned for it, but for this time of year it is ridiculous! Having sourced a few leads for hostels on the West Side (Brisbane seems not to follow the West>bogan trend), that rain hit just as I got back to the bike. Fortunately, while the showers kept returning they were mild and little concern.

The evening passed hastily, but with little filling - showered, ate and shopped (three days of food plus sunscreen for $16 - take that capitalism, and the temptations you send to woo me!), all generally mild-mannered and urbane.

It has now just passed midnight,
and is hence an appropriate time to say



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