- Start: Kingston SE
- End: Salt Creek
- Day distance: 83.72km
- Total distance: 2025.38km
- Average speed: 16.9km/hr
- Pedalling time: 04:53
- Total time: 05:30
I was woken up at 6:30am by the rain pouring down outside. Great! I needed to keep going, I couldn’t take another day off, so I resigned myself to a wet day, before going back to sleep for a bit and accepting a later start.
I have a whole loaf of bread, so bread is having to feature in every meal. Toast for breakfast, pb&j sandwiches for lunch and hopefully something nice for dinner! We had a similar distance to yesterday and it looked like it was going to be pretty flat so as we were able to wait for the weather to clear up a bit and got going at 9:30am.
Warning: things are pretty negative from here!
I started the day with a headache and it never went away. Several things made it worse. The sun, it was low in the sky and in my face all day. In the first hour of cycling I got caught in a couple of rain showers, getting wet wasn’t too bad, but the sun reflecting off the wet roads was doing me no favours. The lumpy parts of the road felt like they were rattling my brain around. The temperature changes with the sun going in and out of the clouds were also affecting my head.
The road was straight, flat and long. There were trees on either side and there was nothing to distract the mind. I got into a bit of a negative mood, definitely not helped by the headache. I felt a lot like giving up today. I wasn’t really sure why I was doing this. Was I doing it for the physical challenge or was I doing it as a way to see Australia? I didn’t feel like I was doing either thing. I was going so slowly it didn’t feel like a physical challenge and there was noting to see, I could have been in England.
Priscilla felt uncomfortable all day, at times she felt too big and I felt like I was on a comedy bike where everything was oversized, and at other times I felt like I was on a bike that was far too small and my knees were round my ears and the handlebars felt like they were only a few inches wide. I began to question my decisions on buying a entry level bike, and not having front panniers and a handlebar bag and not having built my own bike and researched everything to within an inch of its life like I usually do. It’s not possible to do it the way I have done it. I should have smaller wheels and lower gears and more equipment and different shoes and different clothes.
And yet here I am. I’ve just passed the 2000km milestone. It is totally possible. I’ve just done it. And I’ve haven’t really had any problems at all, not big ones. Yet I still couldn’t get the negativity out of my head.
I’m also tired of fielding everyone else’s fears and tired of people projecting their fears onto me. The fear of the distance, the fear of the outback, the fear of the desert. Lots of people have done it before me so there is no reason that I can’t do it too!
I tried to listen to podcasts to alleviate some of the boredom but I couldn’t concentrate on any of them. I tried to listen to music but ended up skipping through most of the tracks, unable to settle on a song. My mind was all over the place and it without distraction it was going into areas that it shouldn’t, it was letting in people and places and things that should be left in the fuckitbucket. These days happen and they are the worst.
There was a rest area up ahead and I decide to stop there to eat my sandwich, I could see the boys just heading off, they must have stopped there to have their lunch. I was disappointed to find there was no picnic table as suggested on the sign, but there were a couple of grey nomads there who told me I was too late and they had just given my German friends coffee and doughnuts. They were trying to talk to me about my trip, but I was struggling to concentrate on anything they were saying. Eventually they left and I stood on the side of the road and ate my sandwiches. (Later on I would find out that they didn’t give the boys coffee or doughnuts, they didn’t give them anything, that was a lie, or their idea of a joke I guess). I got my sunglasses out which helped my head a little.
Another thing that made me want to give up is the traffic. It was a relatively quiet road and most people moved right over to pass. There was a bit of a shoulder, but it was a boneshaker which made my headache worse with every rattle, so it was easier to cycle on the edge of the road. But in the last 10k of the day I had 3 unpleasant encounters. One white van, on a completely clear road came within a few centimetres of my bike, so did a big truck. This really pissed me off and I stopped and yelled and yelled at them, shouting all sorts of stuff that they couldn’t hear, which also made my head hurt but made me feel slightly better for letting the rage out. And then, further proof of the fact I was feeling really under the weather today, I cried. I was fed up of these stupid people. Here I am trying to live the best a life I can, to try and improve the lives of others, to help make the world a slightly better place in the small way I am able to. I am living minimally, using only what I need and creating as little waste as I can – I’ve worn only 2 pairs of knickers for a whole year! – and then you get these people who are complete twats, like the people who drove by and yelled really loudly out the car window right at the moment they passed me.
As I approach Adelaide and more populated areas I imagine it will get worse as there will be a greater volume of people to deal with. I made it to The Heart of the Coorong Roadhouse at around 3pm where the boys were waiting. Just to top off my day, the place was a dump. It smelt like oil in fryers that hadn’t been changed for months, and the guy in there offered us a cabin for $30 each, even though he said he had ‘no idea what state they are in’. Or we could have camped for $18 each. We had a little conference outside and decided to take our chances with the cabin because the ground was so wet and we didn’t want to sit in the Roadhouse because of the smell.
Well, compared to what we have been staying in, the cabin was definitely not worth $90. It was old and grotty, but we had no other choice, there was nothing around for miles. At least it was inside and we got hot showers. My funk I’ve been in today is totally down to the headache and just feeling generally under the weather. I’m hoping that my mood and the weather will lift tomorrow. I’m bored of the rain now!!
Dinner was not as exciting as I had hoped it would be. The prices of groceries in the roadhouse were about 3 times that of a supermarket, and I didn’t want to eat any of their cooked food because the smell put me off. So I ate noodles and a cheese toasty. Gross.
I continue to raise money for Just A Drop – they bring sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities around the world.
663 million people across the globe are living without access to clean, safe water. That’s 1 in 10 people. A child dies every 90 seconds from a water related disease. One third of the worlds population – 2.4 billion people – don’t have access to adequate sanitation.
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