Day 2 & 3 – Sydney to Robertson
Day 2 – Sydney to Austinmere
Our second day arrived and had to get back on the bicycles! While packing up Ken made us some coffee so that we can get a kickstart for the day ahead 🙂
Jumping on the bicycles we were very exited because we will finally hit the highway and this means that we are out of Sydney!!
Our first 30km of the day was VERY tough as it was uphills until we reached Stanwell Tops. The one other thing that made it tougher was that I had two punctures that set us back a bit.
We took a breather at Stanwell Tops while looking over the ocean from this beautiful view of the coast!
After our rest we cycled another 15 kilometers until it was slowly starting to get dark. We found a spot right on the beach and decided that this is our first rough camping spot.
This was a very nice spot hearing the see and sleeping under the stars. The only problem was that there was a dodgy guy that kept walking past us and there was not really anywhere he could go. In the end we decided to move our stuff 20m that we could have better control of our things. We went to sleep and Ulrich woke up during the night and that guy was standing right next to us!!
He asked us if we are camping here for the night… What type of question is that at 2am??!? He walked off and did not see him again.
Austinmere to Robertson
We woke up early, fixed a few smalls on the bikes, packed up and jumped on the bicycles to start day 3! When we started I did not know that this will probably be one of the toughest days in my life!
We started to get stiff from the previous days. Cycling with this weight was different kind of cycling and something to get used to. During the first 40km we had a few stops and talked with locals cycling, walking around or just pumping their wheels at the garage. Everyone asked where we are headed and when we said to Robertson, every single one had the same reply… ” Are you heading over the Macquarie Pass?? Thats crazy!! ”
Throughout our cycling day we take break and once in a while we take naps 🙂
There was not really a way around this and we just had to get over it to continue our adventure through Oz.
When we got to the bottom of the pass we just looked at it and knew that this is going to be a long few hours towards Robertson.
Macquarie Pass is an eight kilometer long section of the Illawarra Highway passing through Macquarie Pass National Park. It was opened in 1898.
Macquarie Pass links the Southern Highland town of Robertson to the coastal town of Albion Park, descending the Illawarra Escarpment via a very narrow bitumen roadway, which has several single-lane sections and is mostly two lanes with double “no overtaking” lines!!
The signs said 8km of swirly and narrow roads. We were hoping that this was up and down and not just up. Well… If it goes up it must go down…. Mmmm that what we thought….
We started off cycling, but being on the third day this was just to much. So we climbed off and started to walk! At this point we knew this is going to be a problem. To steep to really cycle and there it not really a shoulder to ride on. This means the cars scrape past you and you must really concentrate 100% of the time.
So came 4km, 5km and 6km…. and I told Ulrich that we have to get ready to walk all the way to 8km because I don’t think this is going to end before then. After more than three hours we got a sign at the top saying that it is the end of the pass. We were so happy that this was finally over!! There was just a small problem… we were still climbing! There were now a shoulder and not to many turns, bit the hills continued!
The time flew past and it was dark before we could even see Robertson. We got out our headlamps and jumped on the bicycles to push the last bit to get to Robertson. At this point I was dripping with sweat from head to toe, and the temperature was falling dramatically.
We finally reached Robertson and stopped at the first shop we could get to refill our water bottles. As Ulrich did that I talked to a guy to ask where we could pitch out tents for the night. He said we can cycle till we see the soccer field and then just camp n the fields behind it, and so we did.
After we pitched our tents we saw a light walking coming straight towards us. At that point we were praying that he don’t chase us away!! We had no energy to do just that. The guy said that this is his property, asked a few questions about us and then said he saw us on the pass twice today. Once when he drove down and again coming up to Robertson. He offered us a coffee and a shower but we had no energy to walk to his house. We asked if we can maybe take that shower in the morning and he said there is no problem with that!
After he left we collapse in the tent and fell asleep!