Day 31 – thank god for trees
Day 28 saw me depart Barcaldine far too late at 1000 hrs due to some serious farting around. I paid the price by riding through headwinds and rotting kangaroo carcasses all day arriving into Blackall at 530pm. I was desperately hoping to get a room for the night as had spent a number of nights in the tent but the rooms were full so I grudgingly setup the tent again. In my old age I am getting very soft and had no motivation to take a shower once the sunsets and it gets cold. So I went to bed without having a shower for the third day in a row. I felt a little depressed and dirty, tired of camping and missed the girls so much it physically hurt.
Day 29 was a better day fortunately as I kicked myself out of bed at 630am and was all packed up. weetbix forced down and ready to go by just before 8am. Today there was no wind! Oh my god, for the first time in 19 days the headwinds dropped off and boy did I make the most of it! I averaged over 20km per hour and the final hour of riding I made 25km per hour as I cranked out 101km in just 4 hours. It was a liberating feeling to be riding at these speeds and I rolled into the tiny town of Tambo feeling great and wanting to carry on as it was only lunchtime. However having no shower for 4 days, not having washed my clothes for a week and coupled with the pub having rooms for 50 dollars all colluded to persuade me to stay the night here.
Unfortunately the next day – day 30, the headwinds returned – It took me 9 solid hours of hard work to ride 115km. The winds were constant and in my face and I pulled into another tiny place called Augathella feeling like I had gone through 10 rounds in the boxing ring. I sat in the Roadhouse finally out of the wind in stunned silence for an hour. There is something about being in strong wind for along time that takes it out of me. I set up the tent and went to bed without showering again as I arrived late and was knackered.
Day 31 – today, I set out at 0700 hrs after having this cute little kangaroo come and say hello. Apparently he was wild and had lost his Mum and just turned up that morning.
I had a 90km ride to a town called Morven today. The wind was even worse than yesterday but I was saved by a lot of trees lining the road and sheltering me for the first 80km – the last 10 km I came out into open grassland – what a nightmare those 10km were taking me over an hour to grind down.
Alistair Harding the expedition film producer has returned and we will now take a three day break to do some filming before I continue the last 1000km to Coffs Harbour – I am looking forward to a few days off the bike before getting stuck back in to finish this journey off. I have the great dividing range to cross to get into Coffs Harbour which rises to 1000m in places so need to find the easiest way through that.
Bye for now!