Friday, October 19, 2007

DAY 13: Denmark to Albany

Above pics: railway crossing 12km W of Albany / ' Tourist' route road 30km W of Albany

53km @ 17 km/hr, cool, cloudy, tailwind

Comfortable night in the motel and after breakfasting on early-morning fresh Denmark Bakery pies, hit the road at around 0715. Met by a long hill before the legs warmed up, but after that the road was pretty flat and I had a tailwind again, so able to cruise at 18 km/hr without much effort. Stopped to admire the pelicans (pic on right) at a big river and some 30km from Albany took the tourist route off to the left. This road was much quiter and still flat, only downside were persistent flies that could only be shaken off at about 30 km/hr. I was entering Albany by noon when I got a rear flat. I didn’t expect that given the strong puncture-resistance reputation

of the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes plus the slime plastic strip I also added between the tube and tyre. I do recall running over something that crunched loudly not long before so maybe some glass? There is a lot of broken glass at the side of the road I’m afraid. The other doubt in my mind is how effective the plastic protective strip is - there was some evidence that a rough line had formed on the tube near to where the edge of the strip would have been.

I phoned Paula (tonight her and Danny will host me via Couchsurfing contact) and she said to just let myself into the basement flat - cool. I found the house OK after a killer 33% or so hill and unloaded my stuff, changed and walked down into the town. Completed 2 out of 3 outstanding tasks - buying a new (warmer) sleeping bag; ordering some business cards to promote the website and Wateraid, but failed to resolve my ‘phone problem’. This is about how to use e-mail on my phone without excessive cost. Rather than find and spend time in an internet cafe / Telecentre it’s nice to be able to e-mail blog text straight into the blog via the phone, but last time i did this it cost me around $9 (4 pounds). The alternative was switch from prepaid to monthly account and buy a much cheaper data package, but I counted without the administrative demands of Telstra; despite me emptying my pockets I was unable to produce enough security to open a monthly account - passport, debit card and UK driving licence were not enough, so I had to give up. I’ll rethink this and maybe just carry on using Telecentres etc. - I would still have to use these to upload images in any case.
Forgot to mention a few days ago, when cycling to Walpole, that I have officially ‘turned left’ at the bottom of Oz now and am heading east rather than south. A small achievement but mentally the next section of the ‘lap’.
I may stay a second night here if acceptable to Danny and Paula and recover a little, feeling a bit weary today.
Had a lovely roast dinner with Dan, Paula, Dave McCleary (from Glossop where I used to live and where my son Ashley still lives) daughter Sian and 2 other friends, a very interesting evening. One of the guests was a teacher at Albany primary School and tomorrow Dave and Dan will do their 'show' there and I'll be going along too - this is a mind-opening presentation for school children that teaches motivation and development using art as a vehicle. More about this in tomorrow's blog. All these people were very positive to be with and I'm glad I got to stay here.
Off to bed quite early in my new sleeping bag - seems a bit warmer than the last one which will have to be 'recycled' now.
Footnoe - I'm surprised to be a bit saddle-sore - despite many long distance rides in the past I haven't ever really suffered this way. Hope it gets no worse.

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