Wednesday 21 February: Riding Narooma to Dalmeny

Author: Mr A

Location: Narooma and Dalmeny

Distance cycled: 25.5km

My first waking thought “Now what will go best with that sourdough?”. A quality problem to have. I rustled us some poached eggs and sliced up the loaf Catherine had baked last night. Delicious start to the day – but things just kept getting better. We headed off in the car to Narooma, I had loaded the bikes the night before, finally finding a way to use the new Yakima bike rack legally, by taking off both front wheels and loading them the same direction. The trouble with having an offset spare wheel with a bike rack mounted on it results in the bikes sticking out beyond the wing mirrors, which is illegal.

We parked at the town wharf and set off on the cycleway we had started walking yesterday. We were soon on new ground and climbing up and down headlands with sweeping views along the coastline to the north. The information boards spread along the path told the history of the land, and the cycleway.This area has been a gathering place for various Aboriginal tribes, the abundance of seafood in the many lakes and estuaries seems to have been the big draw card. The boards talked respectfully of tapping into the knowledge of the traditional owners to help manage this beautiful stretch of coast. It really does look like the councils here actually have a coherent plan. There were no out of place developments spoiling views. The public areas all neat and scenic.The cycleway seems to be another success judging by the amount of use it was getting on a weekday. It was a community project started in the 60s and stretches from the south of Narooma through to the next town to the north, Dalmeny. Over 600,000 volunteer hours where contributed by the locals. All inspired by the town mayor with a vision, not of feathering his nest from developers dollars, as seems to frequently the case, but to link the two communities and inspire them to work together. The end result, a 12 kilometre stretch of some of the best coastal riding we’ve ever experienced. It was heartening to see it so well used by local cyclists of advanced years – more advanced than me even.On the way back we stopped by a boat ramp as we saw a crowd had gathered, and there were more seals being fed fish scraps, and then massive stingrays 2 metres across were amongst them. The rays even came up onto the concrete ramp for a pat (or a fish titbit I suspect). Narooma is like one big sealife show – fantastic.We finished the day with a stroll from our campsite out onto Handkerchief beach a few hundred metres away. The storms over the last few days are still making themselves felt with a powerful swell. However, we have rebooked on our Montague Island trip tomorrow, so hopefully the sea has calmed a little more overnight, or we are in for a very rough ride.

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