Sunday, August 31, 2014
Cummulative Totals = 7613km and 27,614km
Burra caravan park = $20 unpowered
We woke this morning and there were quite a few clouds hanging around - the forecast is for a change to come through and it will be a cold one with winds swinging from a northerly to a southerly! However despite the clouds this morning our little Kouta still found the sun rays to worship towards (like he has done for most mornings on the trip) - while we pack up he will quietly slip away (but stay relatively close) to find a spot that is sunny!
From Gulnare you start to climb over a small series of hills and then you head south to Spalding. This is a nice town where we had a cuppa and picked up tonights dinner (as by the time we get to Burra the supermarket will be closed). We picked up some bargains - frozen Helgas bread for $2.50 a loaf, 12 pack of farm fresh free range eggs for $4.50 and sausages (500g) for $3.50 ... cheap!
Here I suggested to Neil that we might want to consider going to Morgan today as that road from Burra to Morgan runs in a south east direction and this wind will just blow us along! That would mean a 170km day! He was not very receptive to the idea, he thinks we will run out of time as we still have to get over the range to Burra.
so we left Spalding and absolutely flew through the next 20km to Booborowie. It is a gentle climb to this point but with a tailwind you hardly noticed you were climbing. I did have to stop and take a photo of this bride which Neil liked ... I think it may have been from the old railway line
tomorrow we will make for Morgan or Cadell.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Cummulative totals = 7526km and 27,527km
Gladstone caravan park = $20 unpowered
Todays ride felt like we have done nothing! well at least half of it was either downhill or we had a strong tailwind - woohoo Janet is happy! LOL
It was a warmer night than we anticipated but unfortunately a sleepless one ... this caravan park is very bush orientated and what lives in the bush here ... damn possums! I tell you they are cute little things but they are a pain in the butt when it comes to bags, tents and trees!
Out they come when it is dark and off course they climb everywhere so Neil had to bring his bags in to the vestibule as first they pooped on it and then we were worried they might try to rip into the bags (they tore my seat apart when we were at Horsham on one tour) so the vestibule was very crowded - sometime during the night I hear Neil get up and apparently he threw his sandle at a possum, then another shoe and then he picked up another shoe and went up to the possum and tapped the possum on the head with the shoe! The possum was shocked and took off.
All night you could hear them and when they were close to the tent you always worried that they were eating the gel seats!
So we began our day rather bleary eyed and yesterday we decided to make a run for home and leave Broken Hill for another cycle tour - ideally when we do the Nullabor! The winds today were suppose to be northerlies so we mapped a way home and this included going straight south today to Gladstone.
This road we are on is the B82 and it is a very quiet road, not in a great condition but the traffic is very light so we could ride out in the road a bit.
Early on we passed this tree which you could walk through the center!
Just after Murray Town you go up one last little climb - we have been gently climbing since half way between Wilmington and Melrose, and then you have a long down hill and at this time (about 10.30am) the wind begins to pick up and true to form it is a northerly so we scooted along around 21-23km per hour.
We did consider going further today but there were no campgrounds between Gladstone and Gulnare (where we turn tomorrow) and bushcamping is not really as good as what it is out in the outback!
We stopped at Laura, which is a lovely town, bigger than what we thought it would be and it too has a lovely campground. Just on our way out there was this statue of
C J Dennis - and Australian author (years and years ago!)
Tomorrow we go to Burra - 86km away and over one or two hills!
Friday, August 29, 2014
Cummulative totals = 7446km and 27,447km
Wilmington Beautiful Valley Caravan Park = $20 unpowered
A lovely rest day at Port Augusta - when I went there 20 odd years ago I arrived on such a cold, wet miserable day that I didn't really get to see the town at all, so I was amazed that there was the Southern Flinders Ranges to the east of the town ... maybe that occured there over the past 20 years as I don't remember that mountain range at all!
At the campground we had a garden visitor next to the tent ... a bearded dragon
At sunset the ranges are beautiful ... ode to be a train driver!!!
Onto todays ride ... this morning we crossed over the harbour and this is the view from the bridge ...
The true climb is at about 5-6% so not bad and the legs were okay - the muscles just had to get use to it so we had no problems getting to the top at 14km from the highway turnoff (which 7km is with the 5-6%)
At the top is a memorial to John Horrocks who found this pass over this mountain range to some very nice pastoral land!
Now Neil has Kouta for a while in the trailer and I have the lugguage trailer which is about 10km heavier than the Kouta trailer - but when I have Kouta I also have the food and junk panniers which is where the bulk of the weight that I carry is so by 1km from the top of the hill I could really feel the lugguage trailer and its heaviness! And can you believe this - I was watching Kouta in the trailer and he hardly moves not like when I have him - he is constantly thrashing about wrestling with something!
Anyhow there is a little down hill to Wilmington and on our way down we got to see our first canola field .. and it has emus in it!
On the road again tomorrow ... with tailwinds!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Cummulative totals = 7399km and 27,400km
Shoreline caravan park = $27 unpowered (with TT discount)
It was such a good decision to not cycle the full way to Port Augusta yesterday afternoon with the traffic building up ... as this morning there was hardly any traffic for us going into Port Augusta!
Can you spot something different in this photo?
So it was a very picturesque ride into Port Augusta with the Southern Flinders Ranges to our left - very spectacular ...
The park is nice and there is a small area of natural grass for the tents (also an artificial turf area but dogs aren't allowed on there) I do have a view albeit only a small glimpse of the ranges ...
Neil has pointed out to me that we just completed a Trans Continental Crossing - similar to that of Burke and Wills - but I point out that we didn't quite leave from Karumba, we left from Normanton further down the road ... nevertheless he is adamant that it is close enough to be called a Continental Crossing from North to South!
we will stay here tomorrow and restock on food an then catch the northerlies down to Peterborough - we have to climb over some part of these ranges on our first day out of Port Augusta! It is looking like we won't be having our south westerlies to Broken Hill!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Cummulative totals = 7364km and 27,365km
Bushcamp - free!
It was a good days ride today and again the wind was very light, almost not there! We were on the road at 8am along with the trucks ... the cars don't start until later. As we are getting closer and closer to Port August (civilisation) the traffic is getting heavier ... I forgot to mention in the last post that since Woomera we have had a shoulder ... that is so poorly made that you can't cycle in it ... lets just say that it is smoother to ride on the rumble strips that are painted on the white line to keep drowsy drivers from veering of the road! The trucks don't mind us cycling on the road (as we tend to go into the shoulder when they have oncoming traffic when they overtake us) but I think some of the other traffic don't like it and they tend to pass very close to us ... in fact South Australians are terrible drivers - they really love to squeeze alongside of us even when an oncoming car is level with us ... this happens quite alot since being in South Australia ... in fact it happens every time we are in this state!
Here is what we got to look at for most of the day ...
At lunchtime we decided to bushcamp at 70km leaving us 32km to Port Augusta tomorrow ... we could have made Port Augusta tonight but what is the point of getting there today and having to pay $27 dollars - best to get there early tomorrow and make the most of the day! Besides we are in no hurry! Our bushcamp tonight is about 40m from the road ...
Monday, August 25, 2014
Cummulative totals = 7294km and 27,295km
Rest Area - free!
Sorry these are a bit late Ray but here are a few photos from the outside displays at Woomera ... everything from planes, torpedos, rockets and radar/satellite things!
The wind is blowing from the East south east and is light so not too bad. Sitting on around 14km per hour for the first 30km as it is out in the open with no protection from shrubs. If you look at the profile you can see we did some down and up hills - not hard but appreciated as that allowed for free wheeling and to get out of the saddle.
The first 30km was probably the hardest section of the day. Not alot of traffic going our way but heaps going north - both travellers and trucks. Our traffic going in our direction started around 11am with a few trucks - probably coming from Roxby Mines.
After 38km you come to an area where there is alot of shrubs and makes for good bushcamping and this continues until 50km and then you are back out on the salt bush plains with no where to camp until here at Mona Lena Lagoon Rest Area - we are opposite this rest area as there is a track going to one of the massive power poles. We think there is a water tank at this rest area as we can see one, but we were unsure of the water between Woomera and Port Augusta so we took a full load of water with us so we don't need any until tomorrow at the next rest area.
Just before we selected this site we came across a salt lake that is very close to the road so we leaned the bikes agains the railing and took a walk down to the edge ...
Someone had made a shark fin and put it in the water (the black thing in the photo)
It is a nice bushcamp, on sand but not soft although it is a killer to wheel your bike on this stuff!