Monday, June 16, 2008

DAY 235: Day 6 off in Darwin

15th June 2008

20 km @ 14.0 km/hr

Sunny, 31 deg C

Elevation of destination 37 m

Distance to date 14229 km (8893 miles)

Up as usual at around 0830 and after breakfast decided to change the oil in the Rohloff gearbox and turn the tyres around to get more even wear. No snags with the oil change - and unlike last time I changed the oil (in Melbourne) there was some old oil left in the hub - almost nothing came out last time, due to the oil leaking out at the start of this trip. Well, the gearbox doesn’t seem to have suffered as a consequence, it’s still changing smoothly and not slipping out of gear or anything at all. I swopped the rear and front tyres over and gave them a good examination for embedded objects - and duly found a small steel splinter well stuck into the front tyre but clearly it hadn’t gone all the way though, so I carefully removed it. Whilst I was at it I checked the trueness of the wheels, and it’s testament to Thorn’s wheel-building expertise that they are still running very true after over 15000 km, mostly with heavy load. The chain is in a sorry state, and very dirty, but no point in cleaning it when I am (hopefully!) so close to fitting a new one, once I get the new chainring.

Around noon I ambled into town and straight into Monty’s on the Mall for another delicious sandwich - ingredients as fresh and tasty as the first two, and after a long stay rode over to the Esplanade to type this stuff up on a shady seat overlooking the blue sea. Although there are lots of tourists in Darwin it doesn’t feel overcrowded ever - there are plenty of open spaces to accomodate all. I wandered off for my regular afternoon B&R Ice cream sundae but came back to read some more and watch a friendly game of 7-a-side rugby on the green. Lazy days, a far cry from pedalling 120km under load....

I hung around for sunset over the bay then headed back to camp for dinner.

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