Friday, June 27, 2008

DAY 246: Day off at Edith Falls

Thurs 26th June 2008
Sunny, 29 deg C
Elevation of /destination 142 m
Distance to date 14620 km (9137 miles)

It was much colder last night than lately, and I put socks on in the night and coccooned myself inside the sleeping bag to get warm, so I didn’t jump up at first light, but waited until it warmed up somewhat before getting breakfast. It has been a very peaceful night.
I set off on the 3km walk around the lake, which climbs steeply over a very rocky path onto the high ground which ends in the ‘cliff’ above the circular lake. All kinds of trees and plants are in evidence, not to mention a plethora of birds, many unseen but just heard, and some calls I didn’t recognise. Some of these questions were answered by a man who caught me up and stopped for a rest where I was sat admiring the view (there are seats at the top of all the slopes with lovely views). This guy was from Katherine, around my age I think, and he was walking and birdwatching. I quizzed him about some of the birds, but he was a mine of information about all fauna and flora, and also about Aboriginal culture. We had a lot in common and had a good hour identifying trees and shrubs; I only hope I can remember half of it! He is currently working on the mines at Mount Isa - 2 weeks on, 1 week off.
At the top of this walk there is a plunge pool and some people were determined to have a splash, such as the 2 goose-pimpled females in the pic. It did look very inviting, but I had plans to swim in the big lake this afternoon when the sun is high and it’s quicker to dry off and get warm. It’s not cold like UK-cold though - even an evening swim when the sun is low is quite tolerable.
It was brunch time on my return and the kiosk did a good ham and cheese salad sarnie for me, at very reasonable cost, with the inevitable Double-Shot Paul’s Iced Coffee and blueberry muffin to accompany. How I love my treats!
Afterwards I found somewhere shady and started typing today’s blog. This place is very relaxing, and I know I’ll be tempted to stay a third night, but I’ll review this later. I’m just about ‘on schedule’ but think I can gain plenty of days whilst crossing the wastelands of northern WA; less so if I decide to ride the 710km gravel Gibb River Road across the Kimberley, which will take at least 12 to 15 days at my expected pace. I’m definitely looking forward to getting away from the Stuart Highway and lorries; there shouldn’t be nearly as many once I turn west at Katherine in a few days time, and of course I should have the SE wind behind me again if things stay the same.
Well, the swim was good, and whilst drying off in the sunshine I got chatting to a couple from Tamworth, Qld, who are ‘on the road’ indefinitely, having sold their motel business. After this I did a few chores including mending last week’s puncture, and then repeated the edge walk going the other way around. The late afternoon colours made the scenery different from this morning, and this time I took the binoculars and did a bit of birding - I identified a few Honeyeaters that I hadn’t seen before, but also a small snake that someone reckoned to be a poisonous Western Brown. There were few people around as sunset approached and it was very tranquil sitting watching the wildlife and gazing across the tree-covered bush from my high vantage point.
When I got back to the tent 2 more cyclists had set up near me - brothers Tim and Will from Newcastle, NSW. They too are cycling around Oz and currently heading north to Darwin, then back, anticlockwise, the way I am going. As we chatted yet another cyclist rolled into the camp; he didn’t see us and I didn’t see where he went. You don’t see any for weeks, but all of a sudden there are hordes....
I broke off chatting to cook dinner before attending a ranger talk about the area at 1930, which turned out to be very interesting, and the couple from this morning brought me a beer, which was kind of them. I didn’t make a note of their names unfortunately, doh. By the end of the talk it was getting quite cold, and it was hot cuppa and sleeping bag for me while I type this up. Tomorrow I can hopefully upload at Katherine at last, which will be a relief.
My left knee is quite painful sometimes, mostly in the early morning rather than later, of whilst riding, and I may get a pressure bandage for it. It started all of a sudden a few weeks ago seemingly after pedalling hard whilst clipped into the pedals. However the saddle sores have disappeared and all I get is just a soreness around the seat bones, as would be expected with so many hours in the saddle. A fat arse would help as padding, rather than just my skin and bone lol.

1 comment:

Katie Polo said...

this is amazing! i hope you enjoy your stay in down under!