Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DAY 39: Smoky Bay to Streaky Bay

75km @ 17.8 km/hr
very little wind at all
very warm, mostly overcast

I awoke to the Galahs circling and screeching overhead, and having left off the outer shell of the tent I could lie in my sleeping bag and watch them for a while. It was just light at 0605 and I was quickly up and breakfasting on muffins spread with crunchy peanut butter and raspberry jam and coffee.
Last night I tried to see how the new dictaphone worked but it didn't - dead as a Dodo with new batteries. It will have to go back to Ceduna grrrr! Denise and Graham Wood, fellow campers that I met last night at dinner were I knew heading back west via Ceduna, and when asked they very kindly offered to pop it back into the shop for me, save me having to risk posting it. I will ring the shop later on this aft to explain. Not happyt at all about this - mental note to get the assistant to check that something is actually working before I buy it. They are a very nice couple - the ones I was chatting to about Ned Kelly, and I received an invite to ring them up and stay when I get back around the northern WA, where they live, next July ? August whenever. I have a few of these invitations now - everyone is so friendly here.

I rang the electrical shop and as it happened they had a sister shop here in Streaky Bay! Too late now, it will be dropped off by Denise and Graham on Friday.

The tent site I have here is right on the beach just 20m above the strand line. Hopefully there won’t be an extra high tide tonight (!) but I’m sure I will hear the waves crashing onto the beach. The bay itself is well enclosed and the water within is very calm. The afternoon turned out to be very hot (30+) and sunny - very pleasant. the flies are still a pest though, and mither you if you stay still for more than a few seconds. i cooked myself sausages for dinner and wanted to get out of the hot campers kitchen to eat on the cooler patio, but the flies put an end to that unfortunately.

I’m typing this sat in my Thermarest chair and it is almost dark (2030) and the flies have gone to bed at last. It’s the turn of the starlings now apparently - a gang of them come to life around this times, wheeling around the trees rapid style; however they are considered to be a bit dodgy because of a disease contained in their excretions - what this is I don’t know - but enough for the Park to have a bird scaring system to try and deter them

Nullabor statistics for the nerdish

The following stats were gathered in relation to my crossing of the Nullabor (Norseman to Ceduna)

Direct distance:1210 km
My distance with a few sidetrips:1332 km
Total days ridden: 11 (2 tailwind, 4 sidewind, 5 headwind approx)
Total hours ridden: 78.3
Average day: 7hrs 8mins
Longest day: 9 hrs 2mins
Average speed 15.7 km/hr (*just under 10 mph!)

DAY 38: Ceduna to Smoky Bay

(Right) road from Ceduna to Smoky Bay

Mon 12th Nov 07
43 km @ 13.2 km/hr
Headwind from SE

Had a lie in until 0800 - woohoo! I wanted to get to the shops to get a few bits and bobs. Had leisurely breakfast with Walther, listening to details of some of their travels, then said au revoir and hello to the shops. I got some stuff for my heels which are hard and split - seems to be a common problem here judging by all the treatments stocked by the chemist; a new pair or reading glasses, and a dictaphone. I’m always thinking of things to write down or remember whilst riding along, so this should help.
I got off down the road at around 1030 and straight into a SE headwind yet again, and it was uphill too for a while so slow progress. The road was fairly featureless too, and th flies were the worst I can remember to date, so much so that I had to wear my headnet for the first time.
after e hours riding I arrived at Smoky Bay. This is a quiet little village of about 100 neat little bungalows, a well-stocked general store and a caravan park. The park is right next to the beach and within half an hour I was down there with trunks on dipping my toe into the Southern Ocean. It was a little cool, but i was soon fully immersed regardless, and it felt great.
That was me agenda for most of the afternoon then - quick dip, dry out, bake in the sun a little, back in the sea to cool off etc. etc. I also popped into the store to see if I can get a bottle of wine, and happily they did have a bottle store, and even more happily I found 2 litre boxes of wine. I had thought that wine boxes were e or 4 litre maximum, too big to carry on the bike, and as i don’t want to carry bottles as baggage I’ve largely done without wine so far. So I was very pleased with my box of Banrock Station Cabernet Merlot and quite cheap at $13. 50 too (£5.50).
I was a bit naughty for not putting sun block on for most of the afternooon and was a little indulgent in this respect, but I was just luxuriating in the feel of the sun on my skin, especially the white bits.
Back for a shower at 1800 then over to the well-equipped campers kitchen for pasta / tuna in spicy tomato sauce, and glass or two of red. have good blather with some Australians over dinner, including a lady who’s great-grandmother knew the (Ned) Kelly famly, whom I am reading about at the moment. She agreed with what I have gleaned from the book I’m currently reading, that the family were very badly treated by the police, and Ned was not a born renegade.
After dinner I made coffee and took it and block of Cadbury’s Rum and Raisin over to beach to watch the sun go down. Lyn, you would have loved it - gentle warm breeze, sandy beach warm to the touch, lovely orange sunset, beautiful surroundings - end of a most enjoyable day.
As it’s so mild and seemingly no chance of rain I’m going to sleep without the tent outer cover on - just the inner mesh, or ‘bug dome’ as they are termed over here.
(Right) Smoky Bay jetty 1800 hrs