Our big day started at 8:45 this morning. Once again the temperature was cool but the skies were cobalt. It was hard to imagine that the forecast for today was for heavy rainfalls. Our route took us straight up the Newell Highway and our first stop for coffee was in Coonabarabran, which is at the foot of the Wurrumbungle Ranges. The good weather held out and so we set off on the next leg which was from Coonabarabran to Naribri, where we stopped for lunch. At this stage it was actually getting hot and some of our riders were discarding layers of clothing. Not long after we left Naribri we could see massive clouds gathering to the West, and the wind was starting to gust. The Newell Highway is known for its many large trucks (called road trains) and the combination of passing these with the gusty conditions made riding challenging. Soon our way ahead was blocked by massive dark clouds and it soon became clear we were in for a drenching. Before it got too wet we pulled over into a service station to don our wet weather gear. Not a moment too soon as we were quickly riding in very heavy rainfall, and still a long way from our destination. Now we had heavy rain and wind and very large road trains to contend with. All we could do is to forge ahead although at somewhat reduced speed. Finally we reached Moree for our final fuel stop before completing our final run of 124km. Fortunately not long after we left Moree the skies cleared a bit and the rain stopped but the wind became strong and gusty. The last 80km or so was completed through sheer determination and it was a very tired but relieved group of riders who pulled up at the Goondiwindi Tourist Park. We had planned to BBQ at the park but it was actually quite cool this evening so instead we headed into to town for a drink at the Victoria Hotel.
From here it was just a short walk to the New Dynasty Chinese Restaurant for a very pleasant meal.