Saturday, November 10, 2007

DAY 28: Rest Area 50km E of Baladonia to bush camp 45km E of Caiguna

Friday 2nd Nov 07
177 km @ 20.1 km/hr
tailwind on rt shoulder (S) for most of day, warm

Hugo came over for a chat before we set off this morning and I was quizzing him about the gold he’s found over the last 20 years or so. Although he found next to nothing this year (he works his plot
from Feb to Oct then returns to Sydney for the summer) 5 years ago he found a 10kg nugget worth ‘over a million’. He found it using metal detectors.
Anyway I was still away for 0710 with a decent tailwind that allowed me to easily cruise at 22km/hr. This kept up most of the day, but although it was bright and sunny first thing it clouded over and rained a little later on. It wasn’t that cold though, and I was just happy with the tailwind.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened halfway along the 90 mile straight though. I could see something black o the road ahead - at first I thought it was a kangaroo, but you don’t see many during the day. As i got closer i could see it looked like a dog - but 100km from the nearest habitation? When i came within spitting distance I saw that it was mostly black with fawn underparts - a little like a small lean Alsation dog but with more pointed ears - it was of course a dingo, and I now recall seeing some with similar markings at Austraia Zoo last December. It stopped and tensed as it watched me but didn’t run away, far from it it started to come towards me - only 10m away at this point! It was taking a rather unhealthy interest in me - why? I had been led to believe that they avoid humans, anyway there was tones of kangaroo roadkill aroung - fresh stuff too! I wanted to take a picture but took the cowards way and pedalled away as quickly as I could, but the thing followed me. I accelerated to 25 km/hr and it was still there, alternating between running on the road and sparse bush at my side. fter 2 km it was still there much to my surprise - it was only when I wound her up to 30 that it started to drop back, and even then after fully 10km it was still following me although had lost considerable ground and i started to relax. Why? what did it want? Was it a case of ‘dog’ chases cyclist or was their sometrhing mnore sinister? Any Oz friends reading this, what do you think?
After this ‘escape’ I completed the rest of the 90 mile straight by 1400 and shortly after rolled into Caiguna Roadhouse feeling a little tired; however I was very much revived an hour later following sausage, bacon and egg egg and 3 slices of raisin toast with butter and plum jam, not to mention 2 mugs of tea. The road bent a little more to the north after Caiguna and this meant the southerly wind had even more ‘tail’ in it and I could now cruise at 27 km/hr with ease. Forgot to mention Mick and Mo Newing (Globetrotters) from London, who are touring Oz in a motorhome, and who stopped to chat. They are seasoned and comitted travellers having sold their home to help fund their trips - they also toured South America last year. (
There was supposed to be a rest area about 20km east of Caiguna but if there was I didn’t see it, and I went another 45km without finding it. I finished up having to camp in the bush at around 1830 as it started to get dark. However this last stretch was scenically wonderful - the shadows were lengthening
highlighting the contrasting pastel colours - pink earth, very pale blue sky; fluffy white clouds and the straw coloured grass - with the land being completely flat the expanse of sky was huge - I hope the pics
do it some justice, because the vista was breathtaking. There’s something about last afternoon / early evening that enhances an already wild and beautiful landscape.
It was pretty breezy as I set the tent up but I managed it just before it went properly dark. I shan’t be cooking tonight as I has a decent meal at the Roadhouse, just a snack. I was pretty pleased with my long mileage today, I’ve ‘earned’ 3 spare days ahead of my schedule in the last 2 days alone!

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