It was supposed to be even hotter today and I was kind of dreading it. But woke up to sunny blue skies with a nice cooling breeze. The remaining bit of road in New South Wales (down through Eden) was pretty, but unexciting - mostly farms. As I crossed into the state of Victoria the sky started to cloud over, and shortly it was raining - so much for my plans to beach hop today. The highway was beautifully wooded and in quick succession passed through several national parks (Croajingolong, Alfred, Lind, and Errinondra). I had hoped to camp somewhere tonight, but with the weather I decided to make a run for Melbourne.
Despite the weather and the long road in front of me I decided to take the scenic route out to Cape Conran. It was beautiful and completely deserted. At the cape itself the beach stretched off to the east as far as I could see and not a single sign of humans. To the west the east side of the cape jutted out. It was heavily wooded but I could see what surely would be a beautiful and thrilling hike along a boardwalk built near the bottom of the cliffs. I debated doing the hike, but even the few minutes I'd been on the beach had left me completely soaked and it was starting to get colder.
The next few hours were unexciting, but pleasant. The lack of traffic and winding roads make for great motoring. The only downfall was the loudness of the engine and the lack of radio reception. I stopped at an auto parts store in Bairnsdale to buy some oil and started looking at stereos, they referred me to another store down the street and after a lot of questions a debating I bought a new stereo. Installed it myself on the side of the street and my music problems are solved. This one isn't that much louder, but it's the difference of being able to hear my player and not - a huge improvement, and it sounds good!
Started getting nervous about driving when I saw a few kangaroos around the side of the road, and in Sale I decided that I wasn't going to make it to Melbourne tonight. Talked to my friend Sarah (hung out and traveled with in New Orleans in May '97) who is having a party in Melbourne tomorrow and got directions to her house. Started looking for a place to stay and several towns later found a hotel in Moe - but it was full. The manager told me there is a truck show a couple towns west and pretty much all the hotels between Moe and Melbourne would be booked out because of it. He gave me directions for a couple hotels in the previous towns. Found a room my second try fifteen minutes back on the road.