Friday, October 12, 2012

We Made It! Port Wakefield to Adelaide

Weather was overcast today but we're excited about the day ahead.
Began the journey on a wide cycle lane that petered out after 30 kms.
Then we were midst heavy traffic, all shapes and sizes, heading for Adelaide.

As we approached the city, we had to make several nerve wracking negotiations of intersections - sometimes walking (sometimes racing) our bikes and trailers over islands etc to get into the right lane.

As we cycled into the city, cars tooted, passengers waived and called out their congratulations, and cyclists joined in.

Once in the city, Del was determined to get to the "i" Centre to get a city map and directions to our hotel.
After advice from several folk, we walked our bikes to Rundle Mall and the "i"  Centre.

While Del was inside, I minded the bikes and trailers.
A young student and an older man stopped and quizzed me about the trip, full of awe and genuine interest.

Map in hand, Del led me as we cycled through the city centre to the Chifley Motel in South terrace, arriving there at 4.00pm.

We'd done it! Challenge accomplished! Feeling on top of the world!

A summary of the trip:
*3072 kms from Perth to Adelaide
*43 days start to finish
*37 cycling days
*Average daily mileage - 83kms
*11 days of 100+kms
*Longest distance in one day 138kms (Bush camp 45kms east of Border Village to Nullarbor Road House)

For further cycle tours in Australia, check out my blogs:
*Adelaide to Gold Coast :
*Adelaide to Darwin :

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nearly There! Wallaroo to Port Wakefield

Poured during the night.
Weather was calm, but grey, overcast and chilly when we set off at 7.15am.
Didn't take long for the wind to come up - a blustery, strong head wind.

Stopped for breakfast at Kardina - a delicious, freshly made vegetable quiche and a muffin.
Kardina is surprisingly big, with light industrial areas and homes sprawled around an attractive, compact shopping area.

Began to rain soon after leaving Kardina, We were quickly soaked - from rain and gritty, road spray thrown up by passing traffic.
Traffic was busy, with heavy trucks passing in both directions.

The chill factor from the biting head wind gave us numb fingers and toes. Gear changes became difficult. Water thrown up by Del's trailer wheel filled my shoes!

Stopped at a small store/cafe in an old stone church, to buy hot coffee and thaw out.

Cycled long, low hills - but the head wind slowed progress.
Even the down hill ride to Port Wakefield, with a strong wind persistently in our faces, was slow and laborious. Even had to pedal strongly in low gear to progress DOWN HILL!!

Finally arrived at Port Wakefield and took a unit at the Port Wakefield Motel.
Grabbed a sandwich lunch at the bakery next door and microwave dinners from the General Store nearby.

Just heard on TV that the Adelaide Hills got a dusting of snow!
Hoping the wind changes direction by tomorrow, so that we can have an enjoyable run  to Adelaide.

Did 62 hard earned kms today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stormy Crossing! Cleve to Lucky Bay to Wallaroo

Another fine night and chilly morning. Left later than usual as we'd planned a short ride to Cowell today.
We'd been warned that the road to Cowell was hilly, but, with a slight tail wind most of the way, the hills were gentle and we were rewarded with an amazing 12kms downhill run into Cowell township.

Cowell is an attractive town with a busy main street.
Had an early lunch and decided that it was worth continuing on to Lucky Bay  in time to catch the ferry at 4.00pm. I rang ahead and booked the tickets.

No sooner had we'd set off for Lucky Bay, but the weather began to rapidly deteriorate, with greying skies and a gusty side wind.
Arrived at the terminal 3.5 hrs early, only to hear that the ferry might be cancelled because of the rough sea and high winds on the Spencer Gulf.
We waited nervously in the small ticket office and eventually heard that the sailing would go ahead.

Loaded the bikes on to the ferry and tied them down well.
The 2+hr trip was rough! 

Arrived at Wallaroo at 6.30pm - in the dark - cold and hungry.
Must have seen us coming! Insisted that all that there was available was a $120 a night cabin! Turned out to be a family unit! And the park turned out to be half empty!

I raced into the village to get food , while Del settled in. 
Fish and Chips tonight - and a hot shower!

Did 55 kms today - plus a rough sea crossing!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wheat Heaven! Lock to Cleve

A fine night but very chilly start on the bike this morning - numb fingers and toes!
The road was described as hilly in parts, but very do-able.

Turned off Todd Highway on to Birdseye Highway - very quiet traffic wise.
Big wheat growing area.

Saw several dead foxes and a couple of very live kangaroos bounded across the road in front of us.

Arrived at Cleve mid afternoon - quite a big town in comparison to others, but still very quiet, with a pub, IGA and usual basic stores.

Stayed at the motel at the rear of the pub - $90!! - small but adequate.

Collected stores from the IGA - salad and meat for dinner - strawberries and yogurt for breakfast - and a bottle of red from the Bottle-O! Feel very spoilt!

Did 74 kms today.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Another Flat! Minnepa to Lock

 A warm night and overcast morning. left soon after 6.00am.
Gently undulating road and a slight tail wind made for good speed.

Typical of this wheat growing area, each town or village is heralded by large, white grain silos, The railway line runs parallel to the road, and each village is just off the main road, the other side of the railway line.

Del noticed that his trailer tyre was looking a little flat. Quickly changed the inner tube and will patch the punctured one when we stop for the night.

Stopped at Wudinna for a coffee and cake and discovered that we were an hour behind, timewise! They'd had daylight saving two days earlier. We're now 2.5 hrs behind NZ!

At Kyancutta, we left the Eyre Highway and took the quieter Todd Highway to Lock.
Another quiet little town - a hotel/motel, IGA, gas station and caravan park.

Took a cheap motel room at the back of the hotel - very tiny and barely enough room to swing a cat!
No cooking facilities, table or chairs, so will have dinner at the pub tonight

Did 105 kms today.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Closed on Sunday! Streaky Bay to Minnipa

On our way by 6.30am and into a head wind for most of the way to Poochera.
Had planned to stay the night there, but it was virtually a ghost town - nothing was open and not a soul anywhere. Poochera's claim to fame is the discovery of a giant, primeval ant there!

Decided to plough on to Minnipa, a further 33kms away.
By afternoon, the wind had subsided and cycling became much easier.
A large pipeline followed, parallel to the road, from Poochera to Minnipa - guessed it was probably carried water. 
We're in The Gawler Ranges region. There are many rock formations, granite "mountains", listed as attractions. Hope we don't have to cycle up any of them!
From Poochera, our route took us back on to the Eyre Highway. Good road surface, more traffic and more road trains!
The region is wheat growing, with vast hectares of it, big sprinklers with wide stretched arms and the 
occasional giant combine harvester.


Reached Minnipa by 2.00pm, but, as with Poochera, we found the town deserted and everything closed - including the hotel. The owner was, we were told, away on a picnic with his family. A local let us into one of the hotel's motel units. We could pay the hotelier when he returned!

No food available anywhere. Looks like we'll be eating our emergency rations tonight - cold baked beans and tinned salmon!
But - we have a comfortable bed, a shower - and a TV! Luxury!

Did 96 kms today.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Relaxing Day in Streaky Bay

Slept in - though still waking at 5.00am! Old habits die hard!
Lazy day today - breakfast out. No cafes open, so had eggs on toast at the petrol station next door.
Streaky Bay is a popular seaside town with a long, jetty and attractive sandy bay - albeit a little rocky in parts. Well named as there are definite dark and light blue streaks in the water.

Has a well stocked IGA and Foodland supermarket.
Bought our stores and walked to the bowling club to watch the action on the first day of pennants.


Used the internet cafe at the local hotel and enjoyed a brandy and ginger on the deck.
Relaxed and enjoyed a movie in our lovely unit, had quiche and salad for tea - and early bed.  
Seen in a shop window. Love the sentiment!