peteg's blog

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I was hot going to sleep but got a bit cold early in the morning; these hammocks really do need insulation, even with temperatures in the high Celsius teens. It's still hard to find the right posture. It probably helps to be exhausted. The dawn chorus woke me up. Breakfast was once again Weetbix with UHT milk and a carrot. Packing up was easy (snakeskins and just stuff everything into the pack). I schlepped back to the carpark in maybe 90 minutes. The CB400 was still there and looked unmolested.

I rode to Ballina directly through loads of roadworks. Had a Byron Bay Coffee Company coffee at Burntwood Cafe and Pizza, Woodburn, on the Richmond River. Ballina has 2P motorcycle parking on its main drag (River Road), where I had lunch: a pie and sausage roll at a bakery, after which I caught up on the internet at the town library. I had in mind to go for a snorkel at Shaws Bay but ended up settling for a soak as the water didn't seem especially clean. The locals were blasé about that, and chatty.

The Channon Campground, and Carl's earth moving equipment.

The road to Lismore was chokkas by mid-afternoon. It reminded me a bit of Việt Nam: a big sprawl along what once may have been a highway between distinct settlements. I had another coffee at Rainbow Wholefoods (earnest but not great; they charge for water?!?) on the way to the turn to The Channon (and also Nimbin). That road is not so bad. I got lost in the village itself because I wasn't aiming for the right thing: The Channon Village Campground is at one end, and the Tavern at the other.

This is a beautiful spot. The campground is the front drive of a small beef cattle farm that is ringed by two creeks and the main road. An unpowered site is $10 a night. Owner Hugh has a hammock and was keen to chat, kindly helping me find a suitable pair of trees. (His son in law is an arborist and hangs hammocks high.) I later met his wife Nan; together they have done a lot of work on rainforests, some of it recorded by their Terania Rainforest Publishing. After setting up I had a chat with Queensland Kiwi Carl who owner-operates an excavator on contract. He's got a sweet setup (sleeping in his cabin, carrying loads of comforting things, being on the clock whatever the local disorganization) but it takes him away from his family for long periods. He pointed out a koala in a nearby tree: it seemed a long way out on a fairly thin branch. The shower was too cold for him to use. There are no picnic tables but plenty of things to sit on. The water is apparently from town and proved safe to drink. I had a decent steak for dinner at the Tavern, and passed out around 10pm after reading some more of my book.