A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Perth to Adelaide - Day 19 - Mundrabilla

Clocks go foward! When leaving Caiguna you add 45mins when travelling East as locals use a provisional timezone before the border. Cycling across a timezone always feels cool. I got moving before sunrise today, and was rewarded with some beautiful scenes on a cold misty ethereal morning that you would associate more with England than outback Aus?

Loads of Roos here, some of them were even alive! And for a short time there was no wind at all and the conditions were excellent. The first job today is to get to Madura Pass about 50km away. Given the name I was expecting a climb of some kind to the pass but there wasnt much, instead you reach the end of the plateau and the road drops steeply down to the roadhouse after some good views from the lookout.

I didn't want to linger at the roadhouse as the headwind seemed to be building, so just had a toasted sandwhich and got enough water. The road from here follows parallel to the base of a small ridgeline which looked like an ancient coastal shelf, this stetcheson as far as the horizon. And I saw a wedge tailed eagle, eying me very closely as I approached. And it was soon obvious why, by the roadside was a freshly killed Eagle...perhaps its pair? I'm not certain they stay together as pairs, but I'm pretty sure these two were a pair once. The surviving Eagle seemed to be waiting it's mate to get back up.

Apparently the Eagles main souce of food is now road kill so many of them must come a cropper this way. They feed off the many Roos  that you see and smell constantly on this stetch. It got me thinking about the integral part that the road now plays in the eco system here. There are no fences on the highway, so the roadkill count is extreme. In turn, predators  that eat meat thrive off the increased easy food source, although they do so at great risk, such as the fate of that poor Eagle. So what would happen if the highway was fenced?

These were random musings as I pushed East in pain. The wind kept building...the roads a series of ultra long straights with nowhere to hide. Maybe with fresher legs I would have been OK but I could not generate the power required to push through and instead was flailing in the low granny gears at 14km/h. Finally the Mundrabilla roadhouse was in sight and I crawled in after 8 hours 47 of ride time.

Distance Today: 162km
Total to date: 2110km

1 comment:

  1. No point fencing the highway because the roos would jump straight over it easy.

    You will have already found this out by now, but the old saying "what goes up must come down" applies in reverse for the Madura and Eucla passes.