(49.4km, 12.16kmh av, 747m up)
Our exhaustive study of the map and weather forecast last night left us expecting a relatively flat day with a shower of rain around lunch time. As it turned out, the forecasters and the weather producers had not collaborated, and it was drizzly or showery for most of the day. There were no long or difficult climbs during the day, apart from a few short stiff uphills that were still enough for Pokey to demand a walk break. But Munda Biddi did not disappoint us, and we still managed 747 metres of climbing.
The track primarily followed quiet dirt roads throughout the day, most of which seemed to rarely have any vehicle traffic along them. We were surprised to encounter one vehicle during the day coming towards us on the roadway, but did not see anyone else after we left Northcliffe. With the continuing drizzle, the road surfaces were wet and often boggy. It made for slow travel in the wheel sucking sand and soft mud.
The impact of the high winds of the past few weeks was very evident, with lots of fallen trees across the trail. In some sections we rode across hundreds of small branches and tree trunks littering the trail. The area had obviously been affected by bushfires in the recent past, with blackened logs and dead trees everywhere.
The rain and cool conditions made it less appealing to linger over our snack breaks, and we pushed on for the shelter, hoping to have a warm and relaxing afternoon. Yarri Kartta is now our favourite shelter of the ride. It is set on a small hill beside a huge granite outcrop. The shelter has been reconstructed after bushfires and is clean and new looking. We have the hut to ourselves, and have spent a few happy hours setting ourselves up and organising our gear.
During a short break in the rain, we walked up the granite outcrop to take in the 360 degree view of the countryside from the top. The rock had patches of moss gardens and wildflowers. We could easily see why it was a sacred site for indigenous people. It was a very special and beautiful place.
The temperature was again dropping as the sun went down, and we were keen to climb into our tent in the shelter. I am trying my next keep warm strategy. I have discovered that my wonderful inflating sleeping may is great in warmer climates, but that it lacks enough insulation for cold weather. So I have bought a windscreen sunshield for a car, and will try sleeping on that tonight.