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HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT!

Start – Stop: Khancoban – Granya

Distance: 73.4 mi.

Elevation Gain: 6115 ft.

Riding Time: 7:07:35

Time Awake Spent in Pursuit of The Trip, Roughly: 9:00:00

Weather: Ants under a magnifying lens.

Day 07 Objectives & Points of Interest

  1. Ride to Bungil (PS, there’s no hotel in Bungil, but there’s one in Granya).
  2. Smoothies and middies in Walwa.
  3. Take a splash in the brown fetid water of Murray River off of Kennedy’s Reserve.
  4. Enjoy at least ten pre-made pizzas at the Granya Hotel.

A Brief Timeline of our HOT Ride from Khancoban to Granya

  1. 8:45am: Wake up and hit the most generic continental breakfast on the Australian continent.
  2. 9:30am: Stop by the pool shark cafe for a real coffee before we start the day.
  3. 9:45am: Honestly feeling really good today, the wind’s at our back and the terrain is pretty level.
  4. 10:15am: Hit a spot of gravel. The sun’s out, the sky’s clear, and Kevin Franks is hard on the pedals.
  5. 10:58am: We almost did a pace line… almost.
  6. 11:52am: We reach Walwa and stop for refreshments. Daniel is beginning to suffer from a combination of hay fever and a heat allergy. Basically he’s really red and feels really awful.
  7. 12:36pm: After taking some allergy medicine, Kevin and Daniel take off. Lachlan and Kyle decide to give them a little head start and enjoy a middy at the Walwa pub. It smells like cigarettes and there are framed photographs of local rally car racing from the early ’00s. Nearly every reason to ride on is voided by the setting and circumstance.
  8. 12:51pm: Lachlan and Kyle decide to continue riding.
  9. 1:33pm: The group reforms.
  10. 1:34pm: The chip seal is cracking under our tires as the tar liquifies. It will reach 104 degrees today.
  11. 2:45pm: The going is slow. In order to conserve energy, the group takes a break under some trees across from a farm. We watch one of the farmers get in his truck, drive no more than 50 feet to his mailbox, collect his mail, and drive no more than 50 feet back to his house. It is, in fact, THAT HOT!
  12. 3:15pm: The group stops at Kennedy’s Reserve. The water is a caramel brown and mostly likely a fertilizer party but it’s better than just sitting around in the heat.
  13. 3:17pm: A van wizard pulls up to the swimming hole.
  14. 3:18pm: The van wizard sits in his car, surveilling us.
  15. 3:34pm: The van wizard is still sitting in his car, watching us.
  16. 3:40pm: Still there.
  17. 3:41pm: The van wizard gets out of his car just as we are leaving. My memory is fuzzy, but I seem to recall that he was a beautiful angel. Thinking back on this now, there is a distinct possibility that either the heat or the wizard’s sorcery planted this heavenly memory inside of my brain.
  18. 4:06pm: Today’s heat is a heat that does not quit. Lachlan and Kevin surge ahead while Kyle and Daniel toil in the heat.
  19. 4:27pm: The finger of land on the horizon I had assumed was the location of our hotel is not the location of our hotel.
  20. 4:31pm: There is a distinct sensation that my bicycle is riding through gum.
  21. 5:03pm: Daniel and I arrive at Granya, where we are greeted with Cokes and beers by Lachlan and Kevin.
  22. 5:25pm: We check in and the hotel manager asks, “Do you have your own linens?” No. No we don’t. We forgot to pack bed linens on our lightweight normcore bicycle tour.
  23. 6:15pm: Dinner options include and are limited to pizza. We order pizza. Actually, we order seven pizzas.
  24. 6:53pm: We’ve finished our seven pizzas and we’ve returned to the front porch for a couple after dinner Carlton Draughts and a discussion about the Bunyip with a friendly local.
  25. 7:05pm: After extolling the virtues of the movie Square Grouper the aforementioned friendly local gives Kyle a burned copy. “Mate, take the DVD, you’ll love it.”
  26. Present Day: Kyle has yet to watch the DVD, and as such he can neither confirm nor deny that he loves it.
  27. 7:06pm to Z:ZZ: Read for a while while listening to insects throw themselves against the halogen light just outside our rooms.

Communication is a KEY component to an effective and efficient investigation of a culture. In order to 1) understand what people are saying, 2) fit in, 3) keep your foot out of your mouth [You won’t make the mistake of telling your wife you’re looking forward to sharing a coupla sluzzas with friends after dinner because you assumed a sluzza was a mixed ice drink not unlike a blended margarita.], and 4) demonstrate respect via a willingness and excitement to learn, Yonder Journal collaborated with a team of Australian Linguists and Cultural Anthropologists to create an interactive glossary module of common expressions. Especially those which we’d be likely to hear and/or use in the context of a Normcore Bicycle Tour in the Australian In-and-Outback.

DRY AS A NUN’S NASTY: dry, extremely low humidity.

BILLABONG: watering hole.

BOGAN: redneck.

BUNYIP: it’s either a carnivorous otter crossed with a dingo, or it’s a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks and riverbeds.

TOO EASY: no problem.

Khancoban to Walwa

Bearded legs. For those who find themselves truly inspired by this image, there's probably a face swap opportunity with that kneecap situation.
This kinda thing doesn't just happen in America, my friends. Roy & Madge are 4-EVER worldwide!
THE GRIND.
This is an image of a road that is beginning to melt, or cry, or dissolve. Which is totally fine, it's its own road, and it should feel free to express itself. But you know road, hakuna matata, we're all in this together. So if you're going to melt that's fine, go ahead, but have a little respect and wait till we're not riding bicycles with rubber tires over you.
Look at this spot! The water is flowing strong and clear, there's some nice shade, a little bank to chill out on, probably no Rock Fish. A piece of heaven! But did we go swimming? Nope, because we were in a huge hurry to ride our bikes smack dab into the heat of the day, get mild sun stroke, and find a wallow to cool off in much further downriver and much less heavenly than this bend. We all make mistakes, but sometimes it seems that we make more than others.

Walwa to Granya

Sums up the whole thing. The town. The vibe. Our enthusiasm. Stark, blank, and shut down.
This is more indicative of the swimming hole we would eventually settle on.
Lachlan looks on as that guy (probably in his late 30s, by the way) saunters over to his truck and saddles into the driver's seat to get the mail forty-five feet away from his front door.
When you pass up perfect swimming hole conditions this is what you get. Yes it's water, yes it's cooler in the water than not in the water. But, but, but this is def NOT a put-your-eyes/ears/nose/mouth-in-the-water kinda swimming hole. There was a dire straits vibe about our water entry. We didn't get the booster shots to cover this type of thing before our trip, know what I mean?
If memory serves, this sign basically just said, "A whole bunch of people died here from heat exhaustion last week." It was not the most encouraging sign.
This went on for miles. In terms of a landscape having a psychological impact, I'd have to say this forest of once-drowned but now desiccated trees was at best discomforting and edging toward harrowing.

Granya

I stared at this image for at least 10 minutes. In no way did it make me feel cool or refreshed. Mostly it made me feel sad for Gnomes.
There were three of these dogs. Molly, Percy, and Hatch. They all looked the same and no matter where you were on the compound they were there too, watching and judging. This caused more than a fair bit of speculation. Although they were kind and gentle dogs, their omnipresence elicited a very palpable sense of unease. If there were six different squads of these three dogs deployed around the compound for surveillance purposes I wouldn't have been surprised. If these dogs were actually the masters of the compound and were dictating directives to the human operators by ESP, I'd understand. Without a doubt though, there was something calculating and ominous going on here.
PORTRAIT SESH! LET'S GO!
This feeling.
It's called being a PRO.
Hunting for rays. #tooeasy
There's a camper hiding in front of that double wide. Its right behind that green abstract impressionist painting. YOU JUST HAVE TO TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
Essentially the sweatpants of shorts.
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