Monday, 20 May 2013
Adelaide to Melbourne - Day 2
I was up early this morning and sat down by the lake eating my fruit and watching the sun come up over the water...just beautiful.
The tent was wet with dew and heavy, but got packed up nonetheless along with all my other gear and I was peddling out of town by 8.30. The wind was pretty much on my nose unfortunately, but as I got closer to the National Park, a brilliant thunderstorm welcomed me from a distance with a fork lightening display. I got the tail end of a shower behind it but no serious heavy rain thankfully.
Today's ride follows the edge of the Coorong National Park for the whole day. In terms of civilization there is NOTHING on this stretch...just 1 roadhouse at Salt Creek. Lovely views however of the estuary and sand dunes.
The area is notorious for being windswept so I should probably count myself lucky it was a mild headwind relatively speaking, but it still gradually wore me down more and more as the day progressed. Feeling dead on the peddles, I was grateful to wheel into Salt Creek.
This was a funny place...it looked pretty run down but the friendly services was awesome and a creamy coffee, toasted sandwich and a chat cheered me up a bit. Some local farm workers then poured in and it was amusing following their 'colourful' banter. One of them very much reminded me of a character from Game Of Thrones and he must have been a bit of a hard man to be a laborer and put up with all the stick his mates probably give him! He was strutting around like he owned the place. Maybe he did?
Getting back in the saddle, it was a case of just ploughing along as best as possible....my pace right down today. I'd debated a detour to check out 42 mile crossing and as I got there, it seemed crazy not to go have a look. The side road was unsealed - reasonably smooth but quite muddy and heads 3km into the park before turning into a 4wd track. I dismounted from here and walking along a beautiful footpath through the dunes...spotting a Wild Emu and Kangaroo on the way. The park was also teeming with birds but I have no idea what they were!
At the end of the track the path topped out over one last set of dunes, revealing a stunning panorama of the southern ocean, coming crashing into the beach. There was not a soul to be seen and the turquoise waters, golden sand a brilliant rainbow were a sight to behold. I don't think my Camera phone will do it justice but here we go anyway:
I looked at the time and reluctantly headed back to the bike, conscious I still had 65 km + to cover before dark.
The afternoon was a slog. I foolishly hadn't brought spare water at Salt Creek and was rationing the 2 bottles on my bike. I also hadn't eaten enough and just couldn't get any rhythm into that wind. Fearing falling short for the day, I tried to break the kms down into smaller targets. "Pedal to the next km marker, then you can have a swig of water. At 30km you can stop for a snack."
"At 10km out you can finish whatever's left of the water".... And so on. Its just a mind game but it got me there. I trundled into Kingston SE, pulled over at the first shop and downed a huge drink far too quickly.
Pulling into the campground there were a few friendly folks who welcomed me in. A couple of groups had passed me en-route and a couple were having bets about what time I'd pull in.
Pitched the tent, got my gadgets charging, then turned to Bianca. I'd heard a suspicious twang earlier in the afternoon but couldn't see anything wrong. First of all the mud had to come off and then I spotted the problem. The lower right rear rack mount was broken. This is not great news but I did bring spare screws for just this situation so I will attempt to fix it when it gets light again. The nearest bike shop is still 2 days ride away so even if I can do a temporary job it might be OK.
Desperate to lie down now...goodnight!
Distance: 156 km
Number of bottles of fluids consumed on arrival: 5