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!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Time for a Rest! Ceduna to Streaky Bay

Another fine night and warm day. Off at 6.15am.
Fought a head wind most of the way, making cycling laborious.
Apart from a fruit salad and yogurt breakfast, we hadn't bought food for lunch or snacks as we expected to find food at Smoky Bay and Haslem, en route. Both settlements were well off the main road, so we decided to battle on and make do with a couple of bananas and sesame bars at our rest area stop overs.

Endless hectares of wheat and brown grazing grass along the way. No animals seen except for a few sheep.

Flies were soon as bad as ever and we donned our head nets.

Reached Streaky Bay by 3.00pm and decided to take a motel unit for a couple of days to relax. It's been 14 consecutive days of cycling and we were due for a rest day to recover. 

Did 109 kms today.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Civilisation at last! Penong to Ceduna

A hot night! I was plagued by cramps and didn't sleep very well.
Another sunny day. Got away at 6.30am. Hoped to avoid the heat of the afternoon.
A fabulous tail wind for most of the day.

Power lines, fences and extensive fields of wheat and coarse grazing grass have replaced the bush.
By 8.30am the flies had discovered us, so head nets were donned. Each time we stopped, we were immediately bombarded with by thick swarms of flies.

All traffic is required to stop at a quarantine checkpoint at the entrance to Ceduna. No fresh fruit, vegetables or plant material is allowed to be taken past the check point - a fruit fly control procedure.
A very casual, cheery greeting from the attendant and you're on your way. We'd expected a thorough trailer check!

Ceduna is an attractive little town by the sea. Lots of holiday makers and children (it's school holidays) - and more aborigines than we've seen to date.

Staying in a cabin in a lovely caravan park, right on the foreshore.
Bought stores at our first supermarket since Norseman. Prices much more reasonable.
Bought a bottle of Jacobs Creek for $10.99. The same bottle has cost us from $25 to $30 in the Nullarbor road houses!

From the Best Western Hotel/Motel internet cafe, we sent e-mails to the family. On the way out, we saw that the pokies room was full of aborigines trying their luck. Previously we'd seen many of them sitting on the pavement or hanging in groups on street corners.



After some sight seeing, we went back to our cabin, did some washing and planned the next stage of our trip.

Feeling very satisfied with our achievement so far.

Did 72 kms today

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nearing Plain's End! Nundroo to Penong

Got away by 6.30am - a fine morning and windless start.

Lots of recently deceased wombats on the road as well as pushmepullyou lizards and snakes.

The rolling terrain made going more difficult as a northerly wind developed. Very gusty in places.
More fenced areas, homesteads and signs of cultivation.

Now wearing our fly nets over our helmets for most of the day to combat the fly nuisance which is pretty constant. Fewer "horse" flies though, as the bush recedes.

Temperature forecast at 30 degrees C. We're drinking lots of water.

Arrived at Penong around 1.15pm, just missing the intense heat of the day.

Little here -  a school, general store, petrol station, caravan park - and a pub. Everything is very expensive! A gypsum mine is nearby.
Bought basic stores from the run down general store - run by a couple of ex-kiwis. 

Took a cabin (no linen supplied) at the caravan park and had microwaved Butter Chicken and Rice for dinner.

Cyclist tans developing nicely!

Heading for Ceduna tomorrow - the end of the Nullarbor Plain.

Did 78 kms today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Rude Awakening! Bush Camp to Nundroo

Another warm night and fine morning.
Were awakened at around 4.30am with cars revving and banging in the parking area. Concluded that it was probably local aborigines raiding the rubbish bins for plastic bottles. The lids offered 10 cents for each bottle returned for recycling. 
We were a little nervous and dressed promptly. Eventually both cars left and we discovered that rubbish had been taken out of the bins and strewn over the parking area.

We had a "Go Natural" bar and water for breakfast. we're now out of food. Water is ok, though.

Immediately on leaving the camp, we had a 2.5 kms hill to climb, which led on to a roller coaster of smaller hills. A bit nervous as we cycled past Yalata, but no problem.
After Yalata, the bush thinned out and there were signs of farms and cultivation.

As the sun came out, so did the flies, covering our backs and attaching themselves to every moist surface. Our fluoro shirts seem to attract them. We smothered ourselves with Bushman and wore our head nets which were immediately effective.

Saw wombats for the first time - all road kill - as we approached Nundroo. It's a wombat sanctuary, but it's a wonder that there are any left to protect.

Cycling was relatively easy today, but Del and I felt energy less and lack lustre.
Arrived at Nundroo around 1.30pm

Disappointed to find no stores to replenish our stock, but will improvise - cold sausage rolls and hard boiled eggs for breakfast, sandwiches (made tonight in the restaurant) for lunch, and Snickers bars for morning tea tomorrow. Meanwhile having Beef Schnitzel for dinner.

Took a budget room ($90), washed our clothes and had a fabulous shower!

Did 72 kms today.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pesky Flies! Nullarbor Road House to Rest Area near Yalata

Allowed ourselves a sleep in - a first!
Had delicious tinned peaches and toasted raisin bread with cappuccino for breakfast in the restaurant.
Ordered sandwiches  to take away for lunch and some plain rolls to go with our sardines for dinner.

Left around 9.30am. Weather was fine and the wind had lessened considerably.

We were attacked by "horse " flies (bush flies) most of the way. They drill through your clothes.
They seem to suddenly appear and make a beeline for us - especially Del - and happily travel with you, in spite of the wind, and aim for your legs or the seat of your cycle knicks. What a nuisance!

The area was flat and easy, with no trees or shrubs for 20 kms.

Then the hills began and, with them, the appearance of shrubs and small trees.

We'd been warned not to stop at Yalata because of a few dodgy characters there. 
Just 21kms west of Yalata, we came across a parking area with trees and shade, and decided to camp there for the night. Found a nice, concealed spot amongst the bushes.
Hoards of small flies swarmed around us as we set up camp. Couldn't get into the tent fast enough to get away from them! They disappeared as night fell and a family of magpies joined us for dinner.

Did 70 kms today.