Saturday, November 10, 2007

DAY 30 Madura Motel to Mundrabilla Roadhouse

Sun 4th Nov 07
115 km @ 14.3 km/hr
headwind all day approx 20-30 km/hr

Started the day with a phone call to Lyn; there’s 10.25 hrs difference between UK and this part of WA - I was just up and she was about to go to bed. The cafe wasn’t open so I’ll have to breakfast on the go. As i was fastening my panniers up a large spider appeared and walked off across the floor, so I thought I’d better tell the cleaner who was working next door. she thought it was harmless but sprayed it anyway just in case. I would have left it alone given a choice.
Weather was same as usual - cloudy and cool, in fact I hardly saw the sun all day. I felt the wind though - a strength-sapping SSW that with the road heading E / SE it was going to be a hard day. There was very little shelter either - very few trees apparent now apart from the 1m high mallee and slightly taller saltbush, so there was little respite from the wind. I planned to do about 80km and call it a day, but once this was attained I thought I’d carry on ‘just a little bit farther’ and of course went all the way to the next roadhouse at Mundrabilla. Needless to say there was nothing in between origin and destination - just pancake-flat and mostly dead straight road. The escarpment that started at Madura continued as a low range of hills running parallel to the road to the north; quite signifdicant feature in such a flat landscape.
The road trains were just as numerous as on weekdays with one every minute or so - you really can’t relax. Again most drivers were courteous and gave me plenty of room, however 2 road trains came (I beleive) deliberately and dangerously close - one of these actually had wheels in the cinder verge and was only a few feet from me, even though there was nothing else approaching and a dead straight road.
after nearly 8 hrs in the saddle I was delighted to reach Mundrabilla, and having paid my $10 had the tent up in a jiffy and w as awaiting my spaghetti Bolognese. There was a very wide choice of food here and my choice went down a treat, as did a huge chunk of chocolate cake, as a rather talkative man waffled away about all the places I should go and see. I was too involved with the delicious food to be honest, though it was nice to have some company. The people that run Madura were not too talkative last night; I felt they could have made a bit more effort to engage paying customers.
A shorter run to Eucla tomorrow will givew me a little respite from a few hard days, and by all accounts there is something akin to a shop there where I hope to replenish my dwindling food stocks for the second half of the Nullabor (yes I’m halfway across!).
The Nullabor is not quite as stunning when the sun isn’t shining, the true colours don’t come out - let’s hope this changes soon.

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