Saturday, November 10, 2007

DAY 36: Rest area 25km E of Penong to Ceduna

Sat 10th Nov 07
47 km @ 17.5 km/hr
Headwind for first 15km then tailwind to Ceduna

Fickle wind again - just when I thought it would be a hard (albeit short) slog it was a breeze for most of the morning - I was contentedly sat in favourite pose outside Ceduna cafe with capuccino, pastie and apricot slice by 1030. Heaven after the hardships and shortages of the bush / Nullabor / roadhouses. I was like a kid in a sweet shop for the first time (again).
The ride itself was without drama; but the previous night was not pleasant. I didn’t feel at all comfortable with pitching so close to the road in full view of everyone passing - it must have been clear that I was alone - and I had trouble getting to sleep as a result. I could hear the roadtrains miles before they passed me so my bnrain was tuned into this. And what a noise they made as they passed some 50m away. Anyhow I must have dropped off and I woke at 0600 as usual, and hurriedly packed and got going asap.
I didn’t bother with breakfast apart from a banana and a few Ritz crackers because I knew I could top up at Ceduna, and was savouring that event! My water was a bit salty and very warm, but that’s not unusual these past couple of weeks. Water is a necessity despite it’s palatability although I do sometimes add a little Gatorade recovery drink powder to liven it up a bit.
There was a bit of tree shelter along the way, but where the grain fields were open all the way to the road my speed dropped quite a lot. Once again the cereal fields were half the size of Wales, and lonely combine harvesters raised large dust clouds as the precious soil disappeared into the air and occasionally down my throat and in my eyes.
After brunch at the bakery I checked in at the caravan park on the sea front and very close to all the shops; very nice site and not too expensive at $17. Unfortunately all the shops closed at noon so some of the items I was after will have to wait. The TIC was open though, with good internet at $8/hr, and in 2 hours I uploaded all the nightly-prepared files onto the website, as well as answeriong a string of e-mails. A colleague of my son Ashley generously donated £100 to WaterAid - excellent.
I had thought I might buy a nice steak to cook on the barbie grill at the campers kitchen but the fish and chip place looked good so it was double snapper, chips and salad for $13.50 (£5.50) - very nice it was too, washed down by a litre bottle of nice beer.
Chatting to other campers at the CK is always interesting, and one of the topics was a lot of noise last night by Aboriginals in the streets around here. As I understand it there is a lot of drunkenness around and anyone found ‘over the top’ is taken to a centre where they are fed and helped to sober up. There is very little interaction between white and black as far as I can see; not that one sees many indigenous people at all.
I plan to spend a second night here and go over the bike and clean up some of the gear, as well as explore a bit. The fishing seems to be very good here judging by what people are cooking that they caught themselves today.

Had trouble sleeping again as the site is quite full and people were coming back from the hotel next door.

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