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It’s not that I dawdled but I had some stuff to get done and I decided to do it at Ian’s and in Bellingen on Tuesday morning: the bicycle needed some looking after, I needed to catch up on some writing and posting, and I wanted to post some things home. It was nearly noon when, full of coffee & cake, I pedalled out of town on the North Arm Road bound for the coast.

It was warm, hot even, the sky a boundless blue bowl, the breeze negligible. I was whistling a bicycle tourist’s happy tune as I rode up and rolled down the undulating road past farm houses and paddocks full of milking cows. There was the smell of wood-smoke mingled with cow dung and the river glistened off my right shoulder.

Approaching Raleigh I paused for a heard of milkers crossing the road to be relieved of their dairy-goodness. They lumbered slowly and heavily toward the milking shed.

I turned south and joined the Pacific Highway for the first time for the run to the Urunga turn-off. It wasn’t far and it wasn’t bad – about the same as the New England but with, perhaps, more tucks and, of course, lots of construction zones.

I had only meant to stop for lunch in Urunga but when I pedalled away it was nearly 3 pm already. I got a few kilometres down the road to Hungry Head and realising I’d have at least another 12 kilometres of highway riding to the next town and caravan park so I decided to turn back and make my home in Urunga for the night.

The caravan park there is modern and well-appointed with free WiFi and a good camper’s kitchen – a win all around.

I actually took the North Bank Road route via Raleigh – but can’t get Google to let me embed that map.

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