Thursday, 2 September 2010
THE RED CENTRE
Well, Leana and I have pretty much made it to the (red) heart of Australia – to the central town of Alice Springs. Locally referred to as “The Red Centre”, the Alice region is still a little off the geographical centre of Australia. Just North of town we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn for the first time since jumping that line on the way North through Botswana more than 3 years ago. After that we crossed the Equator twice, and have cycled back and forth over the Tropic of Cancer about 8 times. We found the tropical divide to be well placed, as we’d been battling into the wind the whole day and reached the line in the late pm (there was a water tank at the rest area, so we didn’t think twice about spending the night). I’d rather not say anything about the road and the scenery, except that it hasn’t changed much since my last report – however, it has gradually become more arid. The “feared” road trains are still not a problem, and the “Grey Nomads” (retired Aussies in their campers and caravans) are very friendly – even offering us water along the road. On the way into town we also posed for a self-photo at the unremarkable "highest point" on the Stuart Highway between Darwin and Adelaide. Now we’ve already spent a couple of nights at a camp site in Alice which is close to town – we’ve been cycling in to the supermarkets and bike shop in order to get what we need. What we also need is to start moving South tomorrow morning, before we grow roots. Daily distances cycled since my last report have been:- Barrow Creek 94 km; Ti-Tree 93 km; Aileron 63 km; Tropic of Capricorn 105 km; and Alice Springs 36 km. Total distance cycled in Australia so far is 1 580 km, and total since leaving Cape Town at the start of this journey is 62 087 km.