Finally out of the city, I found extra motivation to be on the road, and was on the go at 08.00h. Following the Old Pacific Highway north, a nice road that curved, rose and fell along the coast, occasionally crossing the new freeway that cut a more direct path toward Brisbane. Some of the hills were tough, and I was down in a 24 x 24 gear more than once. Several cyclists passed me, most in small groups that were too fast for me to take advantage of, especially with the hills. As the road twisted its way between the hills, occasional views of the water came and went, until I arrived at Gosford. From there, I took the road that followed the shoreline very closely, along a narrow strip of land between the ocean and a few lakes just inland. I passed through The Entrance and Swansea, where a lady in the tourist info centre was very helpful, and provided me with lots of free maps! From Swansea I crossed the bridge over the entrance to Lake Macquarie and arrived in Blacksmiths in mid afternoon. Tired from the ride, more from the traffic and stress of wanting to get away from large urban areas without knowing which way to go than actually riding, I decided that I'd had enough for today. When I was given free cakes by a friendly shop owner while stocking up on food, my mind was made up. There was no way I could cycle and carry the cakes, and if I ate them all now I wouldn't be able to cycle anywhere anyway!
I saw my first kangaroo today, dead on the side of the road. It would be the first of many.