day 3: Rathdowney – Lions Road

The Border Ranges

13th Jan 11; 6:10am(dep)/3:00pmNSW(arr)
82.0 km (dist); 4h 44m (saddle);
19.0 kph (av); 51 kph (max);
182.9 km (tot)

Long before dawn we rode away, and having crossed Hamdh got confused in the broken surfaces of Agunna, an area of low hills. The ground was luxuriant with colocynth, whose runners and fruits looked festive in the early light.” 7POW;pg168


The road is ambiguously closed “past” Rathdowney. But where? We decide to find out.


A closed road makes a splendid absence of any traffic. We string out along the vicious ascent.

Mitchell suffers a 2nd and 3nd punctures. We run out of tubes and wait for backup.

Meanwhile, Leah waits for an hour by herself outside the Sarah Palin Correctional Center. They eventually come out to see if she wants to come in. They let her know that the road is “unofficially” open to cars but not to trucks. so all is good. Mitchell, Mum & I catch up and the road continues magnificently with no traffic.

A few tricky bits (thanks Mal):

We reach the top, but no sign of the others. Only this enigmatic kitchen sink.

Anna Bligh has prudently closed the border to Southerners to prevent them taking advantage of the Qld floods.

We meet the others at the Mt Lindsay Hwy & Summerland Way junction, where Steve fixes Mitchell’s flat and Scott changes into a hair shirt:

1st lunch at Grevillea:

Catching up on the noows:

Time to take a risk:

Back up the Lions Road from the NSW side. Nice.

Just before it starts going up, we arrive at Ronald McDonald’s Rainforest Gateway Caravan Park and appear to be his first new visitors for a while.

We finish the detour which turns out to be the hardest day with the longest distance and over 1000m of climbing. Wendy mentions the original short route along Lions Rd from Rathdowney was actually open too.

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