Kenilworth to Kandanga Range

Kenilworth to Kandanga Range: Day 69

Headed west over the Conondale National Park. Great dirt road through some amazing forest.

Conondale Nation Park

Conondale Nation Park


Conondale National Park

Conondale National Park


Stopped for a snack out the other side only to discover my water bladder had escaped. That’ll teach me for not securing properly! So back over the Conondale Range I went looking for my precious MSR Dromidary 10L water bladder, which, unlike afore mentioned headset, is a really good bit of kit. After meeting a 4WD half way back and asking if he had seen it, to which I got a negative response, I wondered if I just needed to let it go. They guy said he had not seen it. Maybe someone had already picked it up. Maybe my assumption that it should be in the middle of the road because it fell out of the right tank pannier wasn’t right. I went on anyway but the doubt in my mind was pretty strong. I also thought it wouldn’t slide far as it was only half full (a floppy object). Then all of a sudden, there it was. Just at the edge of the track. A little dust covered but in one piece.
What a relief. Te guy had missed it. It did slide further than expected and although was black in my mind, it was closer to grey brown after hitting the road. I have learnt not to give up my search just because someone else didn’t see it and perhaps more importantly to store those things I can not afford to loose inside my panniers in a secure fashion. I am grateful for this latter lesson as I have been storing many things including my tools in spots in my forward fairing in an effort to move weight forward and low down which has worked well so far but after this experience I think I will limit the use of these spots to non-vital items like my 1L of engine oil rather than say my tools. It’s easy to loose sight of the big picture when trying to achieve a smaller goal. In this case, improving the weight balance of the bike a little and inadvertently compromising resilience and autonomy (loosing tools etc) which are at the heart of adventure riding, even more so when solo.

So, after that little lesson I chose to head back across the range and continue west. Not 200m past the spot where I discovered I was missing the bladder, I came around a bend to find an amazing sight. A hill side of dry sclerophyll forest covered in an air plants of some description( potentially Bromeliad Tilandsia Usneoides).

The "bearded hill"

The “bearded hill”

Air plant detail

Air plant detail


View back to Mawson from the "bearded hill"

View back to Mawson from the “bearded hill”

I am feeling even less in a hurry to be anywhere now that I am traveling alone. I guess I am in the honeymoon stage of solo adventure riding. I think this reflects more on my self than Raman. He is an amazing person to travel with. Very calm and willing to go with the flow, aware of his own needs and yet able to accommodate mine. Perhaps I can continue to feel this new level of slowness when we end up together once again. I suspect it will only be a few days or a week before we are travelling together again.

I rode quite late today and when I did finally stop it was close to dark and drizzling. The riding had become very slow and slippery. I was alone on some hill top on the Kandanga Range.

In the middle of...nowhere...somewhere on the Kandanga Range

Camp on a hilltop in the middle of…nowhere…somewhere on the Kandanga Range

I feel such freedom. I feel so alive.
A simple dinner cooked on a small camp fire and an early night.

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