Thursday, July 17, 2008

DAY 263: Fitzroy Crossing to bush camp 121 km W

121 km @ 18.8 km/hr
Sun 13th July 2008
Sunny, 30 deg C
Elevation of /destination 72 m
Distance to date 15884 km (9927 miles)

After a somewhat sluggish start I left FC at 0810 for more remote Outback kms. The thin woodlands predominated all day, other than some completely cleared land in the first 20km. After this the scenery changeth not - one km looks exactly like the next, and the one before it, and there was nothing to break up this predominance other than a rest area after 87km. As usual there are no buildings; it’s just nothingness apart from odd grazing cattle.
The road has deteriorated to lumpy surface and no shoulder, though there’s not enough traffic to make that a problem. The wind was pretty vague in the morning, SE and light and on my left side or just behind, but after about 10km the road climbed very steadily for another 10km, although you couldn’t tell by looking at it - it looked dead flat to the vanishing point 5km away, which makes for very unrewarding and tiresome riding. Consequently I went through quite a bad patch for a while, until things improved later on.
From 40km I was searching for a stopping (brewing up) place, but it was fully 50km before I found one and took a break sat on my helmet, as there was nothing else.
I was very glad to pull into the rest area at 87km, and enjoyed a chat with a caravanner guy whist boiling the billy. I stayed a full hour and felt much better for it. This guy was telling me about another cyclist he met near Ayers Rock a few years ago who was pulling 3 trailers behind his bike, full of junk such as a brush, rake, mop, home-made sink etc., the total weight of which was 600kg!! What an eccentric lot we are eh? This cyclist was apparently still able to make 50km a day!
After the rest area the road bends to the north west a little so the SE-er was fully behind me, and speed picked up considerably. I had no trouble finding a camp site, although once settled in a jeep with 4 or 5 aboriginal guys stopped nearby, and I though they saw me, which I hate - oh well, too late now!
I saw a few new birds today, including a gorgeous Crimson Finch this morning, and what I think is a Grey Honeyeater this evening. There are still few animals around judging by the lack of roadkill, other than millions of cattle, who stare in disbelief as I pass.
The saddle sores were excrutiating for a while this morning, but settled down in the afternoon. My left knee is stiff and sore in the mornings but doesn’t hurt while I’m pedalling. Health report complete..oh, apart from repetitive doses of the trots....

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