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The Lost World

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

The Lost World is a magical place where the Albert River has carved out a couple of lush valleys through the Border Ranges. Today we explored those valleys.

Kerry is a farming district, not far from Beaudesert. We started our ride amidst its emerald fields, and headed south.

The Albert River follows the road for most of the way.

We’d be crossing this river many times today.

After a couple of crossings, the river splits into Left and Right Branches.

For the first half of today’s ride we followed the Right Branch.

The paved road eventually ended, and we crunched over the gravel.

Ahead lay “Razorback”, an imposing thousand-metre high knife-like ridge which separates the left and right branches of the river.

We splashed through more crossings.

We would definitely be getting wet feet today.

The cool water was freshly inviting.

“Is that a track over there?”

We waited while Adam checked out if it was rideable.

Adam decided he had more important priorities than investigating potential trails, and chilled on a boulder for a while.

We carried the bikes over the river, rode upstream a while, then hiked a bit further.

What a stunning place!

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Sometimes before a ride I silently ask: “Is this going to be a fun ride?”

The answer usually comes a few kilometres later, when we’re presented with wonderful places like this.

The rocks, trees and water seemed to nod in confirmation, “Yes, you’ve come to the right place today.”

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

We crossed the river again and headed back down the valley…

…we still had a second valley to explore.

The landscape rewound before us as we retraced our tracks back to the confluence of the two river branches.

“Left Hand Branch Road” is a farm track which follows the river up a hidden valley.

If I hadn’t seen the line on the map, I wouldn’t have realized the road was there.

Since it looked like a farm track, I decided to call the land owner beforehand to make sure they didn’t mind us riding through their paddocks.

Unlike the previous valley, the crossings here were rough and rocky.

We waded through half a dozen of them as we made our way up the valley.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

A few years ago I would have tiptoed over the rocks in a vain attempt to keep my feet dry.

Today I enjoyed it. Having wet feet is all part of the fun.

Adam took this “wet feet” thing to a whole new level.

As we neared the end of the valley, the road devolved into a couple of 4WD tracks.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

We passed through one final gate.

At the end of the valley, we said “G’day” to Peter. His family owns the land, and he kindly pointed out a few fun-looking tracks where he thought we’d enjoy riding the bikes.

“You can ride some of those steep tracks that go up the mountain to O’Reillys if you like”

We graciously declined. The mountain tracks could wait for another day.

Peter also suggested a swimming spot we might like to try out.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

The water was cold, but we jumped in anyway.

(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Through the tree tops, we watched Morans Falls cascade over the cliffs.

After the swim we got back on the bikes and headed down the valley back to the cars.

Total distance: 49.13 km
Max elevation: 291 m
Min elevation: 132 m
Total climbing: 652 m
Total descent: -641 m
Average speed: 17.72 km/h
Total Time: 04:26:59
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We travelled fifty kilometres in about four and a half hours.

During that time we climbed about 400 metres in elevation and I burned about 1,800 kcal.

I’ll rate this one six out of ten on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Darb, Adam, Simon and Kaye for another fun ride.

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