From: Nyah-Vinifera Park
Total Distance Travelled: 1211km
Distance to Go: 1302km
Today was a bit of a crazy day. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just crazy.
I had planned to only do 35km today. I was going to camp somewhere near Toolybuc, which is a small town on the NSW side of the river. Being that it was going to be a short day, I took my time getting packed up and having breakfast. I was treated to an amazing sunrise, so I also took some time to take some photos and video of that.
Kath sent me a message this morning saying I should check out the podcast called “The Junkees – Dave O’Neil and Kitty Flanagan”. Dave and Kitty are two of my favourite comedians and the podcast is them reviewing, taste testing and having general hilarious banter about all sorts of junk food (lollies, biscuits, chips etc.). It is an excellent podcast and very funny, however it did cause me a bit of a problem.
Anyone who has ever been on a big hike/paddle/bike ride etc. will know that food cravings are a big problem. When you are living on the bare minimum of food (i.e. stuff you can carry), it doesn’t take long before you start craving weird foods that you don’t have. Normally they are really random things like pickles or chocolate Paddle Pops or Lebanese bread. Just strange stuff like that. However once it gets in your mind, it is hard to shake.
The other thing worth noting is that when you are doing long hours paddling, you have a lot of time to think about things. And when a thought gets in your head, you will dwell on it for hours.
So early this morning I was listening to this podcast and they started talking about Twisties. BOOM! A mega cheese Twisties craving hit me like a tone of bricks. For the non-Australia’s out there, Twisties are an Australian speciality. They are sort of the chip/crisp but not really. They are described as “an Aussie snack icon that has had a special place in our hearts for more than 50 years. Life’s pretty straight without Twisties!.”
So anyway, I had Twisties in my head and I could not shake it. I decided that I had to get some. I had not planned to stop in Toolybuc this afternoon because apparently the banks are really high and the boat ramp is quite a long walk to town. Plus until the Twisties got in my head, I didn’t really need any supplies. However, I was now going to do the hike into town to get a bag of Twisties. It had to be done otherwise I would never shake this craving.
At about noon, I was having a bit of drift, chatting to Kath on Messenger. I was telling her all about my craving and my plan to go to Toolybuc later in the afternoon, when I looked up and over the top of the bank I saw a green roof and the words “General Store”. It was the Wood Wood Caravan Park and General Store. I had not looked at the map today and I completely forgot I was going to be passing the Caravan Park. The bonus was there was a perfect boat ramp across the road from the shop. So I quickly pulled up at the boat ramp and walked across the road, hoping they had Twisties. They did. It was the smallest pack I had ever seen but it was going to cure my craving. I also picked up a coffee and a Roast Beef and Gravy roll.
Once I had eaten the roll, I actually wasn’t hungry so I decided to hold onto the Twisties and eat them when I got to camp. Strangely enough, once I had them in my procession my mind moved off the craving and onto other things.
So for all the people that have been asking me “what do you think about when you are paddling?”… well this is the stupid stuff that goes through your head. One small thing and it sticks in your head for hours.
Anyway, after my wonderful and impromptu lunch in Wood Wood, I continued down the river towards Toolybuc. My planned campsite was about 3km past the town, however when I got there it was a little bit too exposed for my liking. There was a front starting to come through (with a lot of rain forecasted for tonight and tomorrow) and the wind was starting to pick up, so even though it was about 3.30pm I decided I would push on. There was a regional park (near “Goodnight”) in about another 10km, so even though I would be getting there near sunset I decided it was worth going for.
Fortunately the river narrowed a fair bit and became windy, so the flow sped up from the 9kmh I had been doing to 10-11kmh. Once I got to the Regional Park (which is pretty big) I was greeted by massive cliffs for banks, so I had to keep paddling to find a spot I could not only get up but also where I could leave my boat on the bank. About 5 minutes after sunset, I finally found a bank that I could get up (it was a bit of a scramble) so I decided this had to be it. When I got to the top of the bank I found it was really scrubby, so I had to bush bash about 100m inland to where I found a small patch I could fit my tent and put up the tarp. I then brought up the bare minimum of gear so that I don’t need to do too many trips backwards and forwards tomorrow morning in the rain.
Once the tent and tarp were set up, I was able to sit down and relax a little bit while enjoying my beef ravioli and my packet of Twisties. Even though Twisties have never really been my goto variety of chips, I have to say they were fantastic!
Tomorrow is going to be interesting. It was planned to be a 45km day, but I have already done 20km of that this afternoon. So I am going to see how the weather pans out and decide how far I am going to go. The rain doesn’t bother me too much when I am in the boat, because I am very well sealed up and my Gortex jacket keeps me very dry. It is going to be more of a case how bad the wind is. Anyway, I will deal with that tomorrow… for now I am going to go to sleep because I am knackered.
Oh… if you are wondering why this place is called. “Goodnight”, well apparently there used to be an old shepherd that camped by the river and he used to shout out “Goodnight!” to the paddle steamers as they went by.