Monday, November 9, 2009

Cohuna Island Road

I prefer to ride roads which I have never seen before. Saturday was no exception. Via a trusted route I slipped out of the city through Lancefield to Heathecote. Then north on a favoured back road for lunch in Moama, NSW. I have been saying for a long time: I want a bike on which I can ride to Echuca for lunch.

Beyond lay roads I did not know. I headed vaguely for Kerang or Barham. This 'swamp' captured the essence of the sun-harsh day.

Torrumbarry was a nothing, but a signpost pointed me to a 'recreational area' which looked like the Murray River. I followed. In straight-road country here was 30km of twists and turns. At a flat open point I stopped to capture the beautiful heat.

Amidst a desert of heat and cindering sun this is refreshing river and swamp country. At Gunbower I stopped at the pub, then on to Cohuna after seeing on my map that a back road hugged a river for 30kms before entering town. I took that road.

It was classic old country. I can't remember the aussie cartoon's name about swamps and fishing which I read as a kid in some dog-eared series of pages, but the author must have lived here, in a time when oil tin letterboxes were practical, not quaint.

That same swampy river opened up, and broadened its colours as it did so.

The road remained the same: empty, narrow, pleasant. Shaded with peppercorns.

Arriving in Cohuna the gauge read 35 degrees.

I set off south. My camera had run out of memory but the road to Pyramid Hill was special, one of those roads that has personality, or rather, which is in some way evocative. Hills of sunburnt grasses, xenophobic clumps of eucalypt or pine in the brilliant light. I crested the pyramid to its lookout as I did in Wycheproof last week.

On straight roads to Bendigo fautigue set in: my eyes involuntarily began to close. The day was ending and I needed vigilance against Kangaroos. I made it nevertheless, for junk-food dinner and the usual race in the dark down the Calder.

1 comment:

  1. Great Photos, good story, and looks to have been a great ride. Excellent country scenes!!!