Monday, August 04, 2008

DAY 276: Bush camp to bush camp 109km N of Auski Roadhouse

Sat 26th July 2008
98km @ 14.6 km/hr
Sunny, 27 deg C
Elevation of /destination 217m
Distance to date 16999 km (10624 miles)

Slept Ok despite a lot of noise from traffic overnight; must seek out somewhere away from the road if possible in future. The site here is nice though; course red sand that is very clean and unlike the fine stuff doesn’t stick everywhere.
Away by 0840 with SE/E wind on my left side; no advantage, and later it was in front slighty. It was draggy going, 14 km/hr with tree cover and (mostly) 12 without. I felt more comfortable with the seat cover though; despite the dragginess I wasn’t dwelling on the sores because they weren’t hurting nearly as much as before. The pressure points have been relieved and have moved somewhere else.
The traffic was quite heavy with 50% road trains, and I had to get onto the gravel shoulder a few times when 2 abreast, and initially the scenery was very samey; but there were increasing numbers of wid fowers of all hues, some with nice odours too.
I stopped after 37km for lunch, and spent a good hour, hoping for that switch in wind from E to N, but it didn’t come, so off I went again at the same slow speed. After 60km the scenery improved dramatically as dark and vivid red rocky outcrops and weathered bouders littered the landscape, and the road climbed gently but continuously for the next 25km. It was very pleasant riding, unhampered by sadde sore discomfort. During this long ‘climb’ a small lorry stopped and the driver asked did I want a lift! When I said no he was a bit put out; he couldn’t understand why I wanted to ride! He’ll probably never know. I did thank him and I appreciated his motives.
I topped the climb around 300m ASL and it was fairly flat on top, as I looked for a campsite. I found one with little difficulty down a long drainage channel, and just had to clear a few rocks to get a level base.
I was getting ready to cook but disaster struck when the stove would not pressurise the fuel; the pump was doing nothing, and when I stripped it down I saw that the rubber sea had fallen off, but whenever I put it back on again it just came off again, so it looks fairly terminal without spare parts, which aren’t available anywhere near here! That’s a blow....
I therefore abandoned my desire for anonimity and lit a fire it was very cold anyway, but I could at least boil some water for a cuppa. I made sandwiches for dinner though, and had a mug of the White Shiraz, which is actually Rose of course; - I'd forgotten that and had thought it was white! Very nice too. I may have to seek out campsites where I can make a fire for a while if I want to do any more cooking. Maybe I’ll be abe to buy a new stove in Tom Price, the next small town.

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