Monday, November 19, 2007

DAY 43: Elliston to bush camp 25km S of Mount Hope

Sat 17th Nov 07
97 km @ 12.4km/hr
strong headwind for first 55km

I had intended to sleep under the inner tent only last night as it definitely didn’t look like rain, as a nice old guy in a nearby caravan had confirmed. No sooner had I settled into the tent it started raining, and as I was fitting the outer the guy came around with a flashlight to apologise for his poor weather predictions and to help me if I needed it. That’s typical of how folk will help you out here. It actually rained very little but the wind got up strongly in the night. Seemed to me in half-awake state that it was the good ol’ southeaster again; I am heading south-east today!
After breakfast I said my goodbyes to my neighbours and headed off into the said wind. It was hard on the nose and pretty strong, so initially I trundled along disconsolately at 12 km/hr. Perhaps it will die down later? it wasn’t just the strong wind - this needn’t be a huge problem if there is tree cover alongside the road but at the moment there was no such cover - the fields were given to sheep farming and not a hedgerow had been retained. This lack of cover continued for some 55 km and the wind actually became much stronger, gusting to force 6 or 7 I reckon - I was down to 9 km/hr for lengthy periods. Did I lose heart? Yes i did! I was totally p***** off as it happens. Even on downhills I had to pedal hard to achieve even a small increase in speed. After 50 km i was ready to quit for the day in the hope things would be better tomorrow, but there was nowhere to pitch the tent.
After 55km there was some respite as the road bent away from the wind and there was the odd clump of trees - my speed increased by a third as I drew level to any tree cover. This kept me motivated and before long the road was back in good old bush again - trees either side and ‘normal’ speed of 18 km/hr or so again. whoopidoo.........
I only took 2 pics all day - one with and one without trees.
After nearly 100km i was still 50km away from Coffin Bay so called it a day and found a secluded site in the bush off the road. The majority of Australia’s fly population were there to greet me - how friendly of them! I decided against going out of the tent to cook (it’s not safe to cook inside the tent) and made do with muffins, peanut butter, fruit loaf, cab merlot etc.
As it was a little overcast this morning I didn’t get around to applying sun block today, and as it was quite sunny this afternoon I’m a little pink in parts.
Dickhead of the day was a roadtrain driver who hooted and hooted and refused to move over to the right to overtake me and forced me into rough gravel where I had to stop completely - he could see the road for a good way ahead and there was no obstacle to him pulling to the right. Grrrr when I was battling a huge wind at the time.
Just seen a massive ant walking over the tent inner (outside thank goodness) - must be 20mm long. As a rule nothing gets through the fine mesh of the inner apart from the smallest ant, and they’re no big deal. Lots of birds in the bush this aft, especially currawongs, Galah parrots (many of these dead on the road) and ’28’ parrots are everywhere too.
3 to 4 hour run into Coffin Bay tomorrow and I should be able to upload to the blog. Ooops - but it’s Sunday of course so maybe not.....

No comments: