Monday, August 11, 2008

DAY 289: Bush camp to bush camp 40km SW of Nanutarra

Fri 8th August 2008
127km @ 18.5 km/hr
Sunny, 28 deg C
Elevation of /destination 100m
Distance to date 17731 km (11082 miles)

My alarm went off at 0620 as usual, but this morning I actually took notice and roused myself. It helped that it wasn’t quite as cold as it has been, and I was packed up and away for 0750.
From a windless start the SE-er gradually gained strength until it was blowing me along nicely. This was the first time for a while I’ve had a consistent tailwind and it was to last all 82km to the junction with the Coastal Highway. The road undulates gently with long straights, picturesque with continuous mountain backdrop and lots of wildflowers along the roadside. The flowers and flowering shrubs gave a pleasant perfume that kept changing in character as different species dominated. By far the commonest is Mulla Mulla with it’s erect violet flowers similar to a truncated lupin and bell-shaped. The road is extremely quiet too, which adds to the enjoyment.
The Dutch lady who had been asking about my trip when in Tom Price passed, slowed down, and shouted “Hi David” through the window which was nice - she offered water but I was OK, and anyway only 30km from Nanutarra Roadhouse and an iced coffee or two.
I was at the roadhouse by 1315 and drinking my first one, and the lady at the counter said without me asking that cyclists can have free filtered water - she said the unfiltered stuff shouldn’t be drunk without boiling - and moreover said I could have a free shower too. But when I went to get the key from the manageress she said it would be $5 for a shower; so I declined, I don’t need one that bad. Then when I went to get my water the filter wasn’t working properly and I could only get about 3 litres of filtered instead of the 8 I wanted! I had to get the balance in untreated water, which is OK, because I can use this for boiling and cooking, or filter it myself with the Katadyn if desperate.
I washed a couple of items in the toilets (well, the sink in fact!) and hung them to dry on the rear rack, and also washed my Assos top and put it back on (nice ‘n cool!), then phoned Lyn since the opportunity time-difference wise does not arise very often, but unfortunately got her out of bed on the very morning she’d planned a lie-in, having had a late night working. She was very gracious about it though as usual, and seemed pleased that I'd rang.
I had a nice long break of 90 minutes or so, then hit the road again for another 40km, although the wind was now right on my left side, or slightly in front, so speed diminished. There was a fence both sides of the road now, this being more fertile cattle country, so it took a while to find a suitable site, but I finally found a drainage channel that led into a well-hidden bit where there just happened to be a flat piece of ground the right size for the tent. Just a few hundred ants to boss around and claim my territory - thankfully they disappeared back to their lair when it went dark and I had the place to myself again.
After a big dinner of rice and tuna I made some ‘iced’ coffee - powdered full-cream milk, strong shot of instant espresso and 2 sugars, poured into my spare drinks bottle to cool overnight if I can wait that long (in fact I drank this half an hour later as soon as it was cold, and then had trouble sleeping!!).
I see I got the dates wrong in the blog, so I’ll try and remember to correct that next time I upload.

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