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Day 2 (Wangaratta - Dederang, 87 km, very hilly)

Ride Guide Map

Elevation map for day 2

I woke up bright and early at 5:20 and already you could hear movement around the camp as the early birds got themselves packed, breakfasted, and on the road. I began the task of packing up inside the tent, and at 5:45 greeted Sophie and Krista. A somewhat disbelieving David emerged from his tent with a quizzical "why am I awake at this hour?" look on his face and he began a slightly unfocussed, distracted job of packing up. I loaded our bags onto a luggage truck as David warmed a bit to his task, but still he was still enveloped by the "I'm not really doing this ... am I?? ... really??" aura which was to remain touchingly with him for most mornings of the trip.

Krista and Sophie collected our breakfasts which we ate quickly and our snack packs, and we set out on the rather daunting ride which began with a 33 km climb to Beechworth. We began comfortably enough, but after the first rest stop, the going got a bit tougher and Krista started to feel the effort. We let Sophie and David disappear into the distance over one hill and we struggled along stoically getting gradually more disheartened as it seemed that perhaps we couldn't really keep up. Krista decided that it was all too hard, and she really would call it a day at Beechworth and we arrived there disappointed but relieved to be there.

All of a sudden, we were greeted heartily by David who was sitting at a cafe with Sophie and Nicola (Sophie's friend) and Tim (Nicola's dad). They had only arrived 10 mins ahead of us, so we joined them and restored our spirits with coffee, iced chocolate, pies and cakes. Krista felt a whole lot better about the day and decided to keep going until at least lunch-time.

The ride to Yackandandah encompassed more hills, but Krista was becoming accustomed to the tiredness and finding that she could keep going with strong determination if not with huge pleasure. We again caught up with Sophie and David for lunch, and David presented to Krista the satisfaction of completing the day with such persuasiveness that she had little option but to keep going, and we arrived at lovely Dederang in the late afternoon very tired but very proud of the day's achievements. We set up camp, had showers and joined Tim and Nicola for gnochi and cheesecake, and then it was bedtime for the girls and coffee time for Tim and David and me. Tim and Nicola went off to the movie while David and I toured the campsite, soaked in the evening air of Dederang, wandered aimlessly for a while to ensure that it was at least getting dark before we too went to bed.