Saturday, December 01, 2007

DAY 54: Gawler to Adelaide / around the city

Weds 28th Nov 07
68 km @ 20.6 km/hr
Sunny, hot, 30+C
good tailwind

Had a good sound sleep last night. Had a good natter to a retired NZ fire chief over the barbie and learnt some interesting things about fires. Some of his men were seconded over here during the intense spate of fires a couple of years ago, and were amazed at the difficulty in stopping fires in Australia - apparently eucalyptus (gum trees) that are so prevalent in Oz can spread great distances through the air due to the gases given off by the trees forming a combustible zone in mid-air. Scary stuff.

No chance of a lie in this morning due to traffic noise (on the edge of a big city) and the heat produced in the tent by the sun soon after 7.

The traffic was heavy for the 47km into Adelaide; with hindsight it was damn dangerous and I should have found an alternative route. I had fully expected a cycle lane / verge but no go. SA roads have been disappointing in that respect, whilst there are plenty of cycle routes for commuters in the city, there are none outside the city. For some 25km I was dicing with death on a 100 km/hr dual carriageway with drivers hurrying to work. Most were courteous; a few were not, and got the gesticulatory result of my anger regarding how trivial a cyclists life appears to be to them. I regretted the temper afterwards, because I know it doesn’t help in the long run. There were brief sections of cycle lane which I was grateful for, but anyone thinking of using this road beware - don’t unless it’s improved.

Happily the experience was limited timewise due to a good tail wind - not often I can average over 20 km/hr fully laden. I had good instructions about how to get to GN’s house (my host) and I found it fairly easily. I think I had arrived a little early but Grace welcomed me warmly and he soon had the kettle on. I was rightly repremanded by him for not seeking advice about safe routes into Adelaide. I’m going to camp in the garden and very nice it is too - quiet and shady. The house is only 4 or 5 km from the city centre but it’s a very charming suburban area of older houses with mature tree-lined streets.

Grace and I headed off on the bikes into the city and he showed me a few landmarks to help me find my way around. I sat in a pavement cafe with latte and muffin for a while and watched the world go by - very busy centre of course. I had a quick look around, but didn’t like leaving the bike on it’s own with the rather feeble lock I have, and had already decided to return on the bus tomorrow and spend the whole day here.

Grace had showed me where the library (for internet) is just near his house so I called in on the way back, but had no luck at all. I managed to get an e-mail off to Lyn but the IE browser steadfastly refused to allow me to log on to Blogger; either the library computers or Blogger clearly had a problem, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Health update (not for the squeamish) - saddle sores still there and they refuse to heal up. No surprise really i suppose since I’m cycling nearly every day. They are open sores and although I put nothing on at night (trying to encourage them to dry up) and apply antiseptic in the morning, then a load of Vaseline just before setting off, no improvement. I suppose being so hot and sweaty doesn’t help either. I’ll persevere with this treatment unless I hear of something better. Still feeling pretty tired with the heat - very hot out there now (over 30) but I’m in a nice shady area of the garden. Still getting a few mozzie bites every day - at least one seems to find its way into my tent every night and feast on me for supper, and I resolve to buy an insect spray to spray inside the tent once I’m settled for the night. No other problems to stop me riding, and in general feeling pretty fit.
Grace just arrived back and the kettle is on and I have a huge apricot bun thing for us all to have a go at. It’s a hard life.

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