For the third year running, with NYE approaching, the business of Sydney was swapped for the relative quiet of Jindabyne. On the 30th, with the forecast a little on the windy side, we hopped aboard mounties and ploughed up the valley to Thredbo. Only two nasty climbs in the offing, but after the second one, given the strengthening headwind, we descended a little further to Crackenback Village to hide in the trees, then gradually climbed the 17 km along the Thredbo Valley Trail (TVT) to Thredbo village, for coffee, pastries and pies at the bakery. Last year the trail was incomplete, but this year the missing bits were all in place. National Parks have spent $6 million on bridges, including 3 suspension and two arched spans over the Thredbo river. It's terrific, even more so on the way down. The circuit round Crackenback Village is extremely buff and well worth a look as well. 85 km for the day.
Little wind was forecast for day 2 (NYE), so we chugged our way from Jindy (900 m) up the Perisher valley, on to Charlotte's Pass, and then the final 8 km of gravel to Rawson's Pass at 2100 m (3 and a half hours). Hoofed it to the top of Kosciuszko for a picnic before the tailwind assisted run back to Jindy. 6 hr 18 min for the 100 km round trip back to Nuggets for refreshments. Topping out on Kozzi book-ended a year which started with the identical ride. Austrian Pizza for dinner and asleep by 10. Perfect NYE.
January 1 st, 2015, was a day for walking and birding. We started at Thredbo and worked the valley track up to Dead Horse Gap. Anita ticked Olive Whister here last year and i was keen to add it to my list. However, we were a bit late in getting going, and all seemed a little quiet, to the extent that we concluded we'd have to get lucky some other time. Moments later, the characteristic call caught our ears, and I got a good look at a new bird. We got another one half way up the ridge towards the top of the Crackenback Chair, and after a few more days of riding realised that the place was crawling with them. It was just a matter of spending a little time in the area and knowing what to listen for. Beers at the Eagles Nest were followed by a descent of the Merritt's trail, where we got Crescent Honeyeater, which we'd only ever seen before in Tassie. Not a bad day although the 16 km walk ensured sore legs stayed sore.
Jan 2nd. Time to open the riding account for 2015. GK and Gillian arrived from Sydney the previous eve, and Anita and I met them at the Thredbo Bakery prior to escorting Gillian, who is new to the thrills of fat tyres, down the TVT back to Crackenback Village. At times, Gillian was in obvious terror. To her great credit, however, she emptied several suitcases of courage and eventually got to the end, even confessing that, for short sections at least, she actually enjoyed the experience. Whilst GK dealt with the car shuffle, the mudge and I trundled back to Jindy to complete a 75 km outing.