Thursday, 26 August 2010
NO TURNING BACK NOW
Since my previous report from Katherine, Leana and I cycled at a fair pace deeper into the Australian Outback – we even had a tail-wind at times. As we’ve moved Southwards the vegetation has become more sparse, and “towns” on the map are mostly just roadhouses (shop, petrol station, and basic camp site, etc.). However, so far the longest distances between water points have been only about 90 km, as there are regular rest areas at the roadside – where we’ve also camped. The stretches where nothing much happens are at times so vast that we even become excited when we see a road sign, but there are some interesting places in between. We camped at Bitter Springs near Mataranka where we were the first people in the steaming water the following morning – sending the wallabys hopping off into the bush. Devils Marbles is a spectacular formation of rocks, a rare feature thus far (there we met Italian Antonio, cycling Australia). Besides wallabys we’ve also seen a bit of the local wildlife, including a dingo in the road at dusk (he gave us a wide berth – maybe it had something to do with our smell!). So, after initially making good time, things have now ground to a bit of a halt. We had a rest day at Tennant Creek, doing laundry and stocking up at the local supermarket. Only 2 days later, after cycling a few k’s in the AM we camped at Wycliffe Well (UFO centre of Australia). This morning we awoke to unseasonal cold rainy conditions, and decided to stay another day. Just as well, because here we’ve met another SA cyclist, Clyde, who has joined us in the campsite where we’re sure to be swapping stories until we go our opposite ways tomorrow. Daily distances cycled since Katherine have been:- Mataranka 115 km; Larrimah 81 km; Daly Waters 104 km; Newcastle Waters 127 km; Renner Springs 118 km; Tennant Creek 166 km; Wauchope 119 km; and Wycliffe Well 18 km. Total distance cycled so far in Australia has been 1 189 km. Total since leaving Cape Town at the start of this journey is 61 696 km.