Saturday, November 10, 2007

DAY 32: Eucla Motel to bush camp 60km E of WA/SA border

Tue 6th Nov 07
75 km @ 11.8 km/hr
gusty headwind all day approx 30-40 km/hr

Woke feeling a little tired still, and thought I might linger here and stay here again tonight, but after some thought decided to carry on, despite being aware that the wind would be the same as yesterday i.e. in my face. To be honest i don’t like the atmosphere here much - it’s more a resort than a roadhouse, and again the owners / managers whatever weren’t friendly. i had breakfast in the camp kitchen - the luxury of an electric kettle and toaster! and had a good natter with some other campers, including a teenage boy and his mother who very kindly gave me a loaf, and blow me a little later just before I set off the son came around with 4 little tins of my favourite tuna in sauce, wrapped in a copy of the Watchtower - clearly a gift from God! and very gratefully received - these items considerably improved the quality of my food reserves for the last 500km of the Nullabor.
The wind doesn’t pick up properly until between 9 and 10 it seems (mental note to get going earlier!!) so for the first hour I was somewhat liberated, however once the relentless SE-er kicked in it was back to jogging pace again - note average speed for day of only 11.8 km/hr - it didn’t ease all day. I plugged away regardless, receiving much sympathy from motorhomer contacts during the day, but to be honest I felt OK. I am never going hard on this tour, really just tootling along to try and conserve energy for the long haul (a year!).
After 13km i passed through the WA/SA border and i enetered my second state. There is a quarantine checkpoint for people entering WA - no fruit and veg allowed in, in case WA becomes victim to the fruit fly and otrher pests. I will get checked at Ceduna, 500km east, for the same goods entering the first centre of population of SA.
After the border the road deteriorates a little as there is no tarmac shoulder for cyclists if a road train is coming I have to jump off onto the pebbly (and unstable) gravel shoulder, however the tar surface is still OK. On the good side the road now runs very close to the sea, and there are several viewpoints to hop off and admire the view. the first one reveals a spectacular but desolate white sandy beach complete with ice-blue sea,,,hich stretches as far as the eye can see. The beach itself is about a km away so I didn’t go down, but it was perfect as it was. The next few viewpoints were just as spectacular in different ways - sheer cliffs; panoramic views and all. The tress have all but disappeared and there is little shelter from the relentless and gusty wind, which persisted until the end. The wind usually dies down at night however at 2000 it is still quite strong and knocking the tent about a bit; it’s also getting quite cold too because of the clear skies overhead.
on the faunal front, apart from the ubiquitous crows I havd counted a large lizard crossing the road (dangerous, as they are so slow; what I think was a (poisonous) Tiger snake that had just been hit I think and was still writhjing about; 2 dead camels side by side (long dead by the look of it). I have been looking out for whales in the Bight but we are coming to the end of their 'season’ of movement now. the crickets are getting louder as the evening wears on. I found a really secluded and hidden camp site about 200m from the road; there’s also an emergency phone on the road too just in case (these only seem to be every 50km apart or so).
Well, I’ve eaten and battened down the hatches, I’ll soon finish this, do some Sudoku and then have a read, and probably soon after 2100 I’ll be asleep - waking up between 5 and 6 as a rule.

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