Friday, November 16, 2007

DAY 42: Venus Bay to Elliston

Fri 16th Nov 07
76 km @ 18.4 km/hr
Modest tailwind

Peaceful night and relaxed start to the day since Elliston is only 64km away. Away around 0800 on a warm and sunny morning; headwind during the first 6km back to the main road then a decent tailwind thereafter. Just as well since there are more hills starting to appear now, some quite steep and others long and draggy. I should have been able to take advantage of the tailwind but I can’t engage thye highest 2 gears, which means I’m struggling to pedal faster than 30 km/hr - frustrating!
There is a little tree cover but the land either side of the road is sheep territory and pretty open. The sand dunes of the coast are never far from view.
Around 12km from Elliston is Colton, but all one can see from the road is just one house, probably the only house visible to me all day, however this house actually has a bakery. There’s a small outbuilding which contains a glass cupboard containing hand-made fresh bread, along with an honesty box and price list. you make your choice and just leave the money in the box. All the produce looked delicious (baked in a Scottish oven whatever that means) and I selected a pack of 4 sticky fruit buns - I devoured 2 on the spot, and they were really fresh and tasty.
My progress boosted by this find I was soon entering Elliston, and once again first impressions were that this is a very pretty little town. It boasts a supermarket, pub, 2 Caravan Parks, a council ‘telecentre’ and general admin centre etc. Oh and a bakery - which was my first port of call of course, for pastie, a delicious apricot and chocolate danish pastry, and capuccino. The staff and customers sat with me in the shady street tables and were sooo friendly - asking about my trip and advising me where to camp tomorrow night - this is typical of these small Australian towns; everyone is so keen to help and to be friendly in general.
I spent an hour on the (very slow dial-up) internet (and gave up trying to upload pics as a bad job). After a cruise around the coastal tracks on the bike I got my swimming gear out and spent a while in the sea and sunbathing. I had a 1km-long idyllic sandy beach, in 32 deg sunshine, all to myself.
Had a nice chat with Lyn then had another crack at the gear loss problem in the Rohloff hub. And actually managed to sort it out - yay! I can now get all 14 gears normally, so if there’s another tailwind tomorrow I’ll be able to make better use of it. Andy from Thorn Cycles had kindly got straight back to me about the problem, which helped.
I phoned the shop in Ceduna where I bought the voice recorder that wasn’t working, and was told that they had indeed received it today but that it was working OK - I can’t understand why it didn’t work for me though, I definitely put the batteries in the right way and followed all the instructions correctly. I’ll be glad to get it and put it to use to record my thoughts and observations while riding (with a view to writing the blog etc.)
Everyone at the Caravan park is very chatty and everyone wants to know the same things - when I started, where I’m going etc.
I’ve started to put the Sony SW radio to better use lately and took the trouble to find all the stations of interest, especially BBC world Service (broadcasting from China but with all UK / world news.
2145 now and goodnight.

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