Thursday, 22 May 2014

Quorn to Gladstone - 120 km

I don't know why, but the Blogger app automatically places my photo at the end... So scroll down first, look at them and come back up here again. Might make more sense.

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Felt a bit like Donald today. As I was setting off from Quorn, my mate Paul pointed out that my back tire seemed a bit flat. So he brought out his bike pump with a pressure gauge. Guess what? Turns out the pressure in my tire was 40psi. The ideal pressure is 60psi. That's a shortfall of 20psi... Have you seen the Donald Duck episode Clown of the jungle? Donald tries to take a photo of the beautiful birds, but another bird messes with him. When he finally manages to get the shot and is going to take out the film for developing, it turns out he never put film in it in the first place. He goes loopy. That is how I felt this morning, haha.

Anyhoodle, set off. Heading; south. Immediately I noticed the amazing scenery. After Port Augusta it has improved ten thousand times. The ONLY interesting thing between Esperance and Ceduna was the Bunda cliffs. So seeing sweeping hills, trees and wildlife every day, all day is a most welcome thing. All the locals I've spoken to have all said it will only get better from here. Excited!

Small towns all over the place. Today I passed through six towns, all quite nice. Finally staying within civilisation. Less water and food to carry. Also breaks up the day a lot more and motivates. As I was causally peddling through Melrose, I passed a well equipped bike shop. A BIKE SHOP, in a town with less than 200 people. Got talking to one of the staff and he told me there's a lot of mountain bikers coming through here because of many good tracks in the area. Staying there for a good 30 minutes. So if you're passing through this way, make sure you stop by. They also have a cafe and free WiFi!

Along the way I passed these big hollow trees all over. Reaching probably 20-30 meters into the sky, they all have partly or fully hollowed out bases. So cool to see.

My new setup is working great. I'm still carrying 45ish kg, but all on the bike. It took some getting used to, but so much easier to build up speed. I mean, I was flying today. Reached a maximum speed of over 45km/h and a good average of 22.1km/h (according to my speedometer).

Because I'm now only doing 100-120 km a day, I can take my time and stop at places I like. Not having to rush like I had to on the Nullarbor. Also stopped in a town called Laura and ended up talking for ages with the lovely ladies in the information centre.

After setting up my tent (it needed to dry first) and making a lovely tuna & cous-cous dinner, I had to bring my sewing kit out. My tights have started to...shall we say open up to the world. These tights are amazing. I bought them in St. Maxine in southern France in 2008 when my grandparents took me to see one of my great aunties whos got a house down there. Beautiful place by the way. St. Tropez, Nice, Monaco... If you ever get the chance, go. It is absolument magnifique!! Sorry, back to the tights. We went shopping and bought a few gym clothes, including those tights. So I've had them for six years. Six years! Still going strong, but might have find another pair when I get to Sydney.

Like I said, I'm truly starting to enjoy Australia now. Finally getting interesting. Can't wait to see the rest. Tomorrow is a short day, only 80 km. Heading to Watervale, where I'll be staying with a nice couple I met through the cycling site Warm Showers (cylist version of Couch Surfing basically). Then from there I'll head towards Renmark, camp out and hopefully arrive on Sunday.

Nos da! (Welsh for 'good night')