Tuesday, May 27, 2008

DAY 211: Banka Banka Station to Elliott

Thurs 22nd May 2008
149 km @ 18.6 km/hr
Sunny, 24 deg C
Elevation of destination 215 m
Distance to date 12862 km (8039 miles)

Another cold start to the day that kept me wrapped up longer than intended, added to which once up and about I had a few ‘callers’ asking about the ride, so it was 9 before I got away. There were a few tame calves wandering about the park, and I had to laugh at their antics in chasing off a collie that kept trying to herd them up.
Nothing much to report about the road - just the same as it’s been for several days - completely uninhabited except for Renner Springs where there’s a roadhouse but nothing else. I stopped here for lunch after 62km, preparing for another 90km if I go all the way to Elliott. There’s a hilly stretch after about 50km which slowed me down a little, but nothing over 4 or 5%, although a few km long. The weather is good for cycling - nice 25 deg C; sunny, and a decent tailwind - it’s just the scenery that's a bit monotonous! Mind you if you look closely the vegetation changes constantly either in type of tree / shrub, or density etc., and if I knew more about these things it would add more interest.
The tailwind veered to my right side sometimes but was fairly constant SE, and usually assisted me. I rolled into Elliott around 1730 after considering bush camping, and when I saw the caravan park wished I had - there was absolutely no grass, only red dust that would get everywhere. The brochure says there’s “shady, grassed, sites”; well, it’s a lie! Too late now though, and to add insult to injury as I was trying to get some pegs in the rock-hard ground a few hundred mozzies came to help, so it was a case of drop everything and apply the repellant. I got cooking as soon as I could to avoid them after dark when they’re at their worst, but the repellant and a burning mosquito coil kept them away as it happened.
A young Irish guy parked his 4x4 next to me, and we sat out for an hour shooting the breeze and comparing notes, which was nice. I had thought I might spend a second night here since there’s some wetlands near here to have a look at, but there’s no way I’m staying at this CP again, and there’s no other unless I camp in the bush, so I may give the birdies a miss here and move on. There'll be plenty more in the north I'm sure. The Irish guy went to kakadu and told me that the mozzies are pretty thick there - I'll need to make sure that I have plenty of repellant.

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