- Start: Adelaide
- End: Port Wakefield
- Day distance: 95.6km
- Total distance: 23877.31km
- Average speed: 21.9km/hr
- Pedalling time: 04:20
- Total time: 05:00
After a lot of thought and a few phone calls last night, my first mission was to go back to the Apple Store one last time before leaving. As much as I love the iPad, I couldn’t do what I needed to do on it (which I didn’t realise at the time I got it), so really it was just a giant iPhone. Apple have been absolutely fantastic and after explaining my situation they said they would exchange it. Their return policy is 14 days, and I had the iPad for 3 weeks, I really wasn’t hopeful when I called them, I thought once you had bought and used something like that then that was it!
Nicolle lives about 16km north of the city centre which meant if I cycled into town I would add 32km onto my 86km day which I wasn’t keen on, so she was awesome and drove me and Priscilla into town. In the Apple Store they were just as helpful as they where on the phone. Having had conversations with lots of the staff in there over the last few days they all knew my story anyway and the iPad was exchanged for a MacBook with absolutely no quibbles or questions. I didn’t even have any of the packaging. I was seriously impressed with the level of customer care.
So, thanks to some help from my very supportive, very generous parents (love you!), I left armed with my new MacBook (I chose a MacBook over a MacBook Pro mostly because of the weight, and because most of my work will be web based so the pro with the same storage capacity would have been overkill and probably not worth the extra cash). On the way out of town several buses came a bit too close for comfort, which was fairly unsurprising, and I cycled up to Nicolle’s work, where I loaded up my luggage (it’s heavy!) and said farewell.
It was now 10:45am and I was getting a bit worried about my big day ahead, I still had over 90km to go and Priscilla was probably the heaviest she has ever been, but I decided just to go for it. It took a while to get used to having a bit of weight on the handlebars, everything felt very wobbly but after a little while it settled down and I felt in control again. The weather looked promising first thing this morning, but there were a few black clouds moving in and a few spots of rain. Come on! Stop raining!! I was back on the A1, the Princes Highway, for the whole day. For the first 15 or so kilometres it was good, there was a nice big cycle lane with pictures of bikes and I was making really good progress.
One of the best things I had done in Adelaide was to have Sam service Priscilla. She is running like a dream! I was rolling along happily in the middle gear at around 26kph. I’ve not done that on the whole trip! No squeaking, no funny rattle sound, it just felt so good! Priscilla was starting to be a bit hard work but I think I’m falling in love with her again.
I came up to the turning for the freeway where there was a big sign saying no bikes, I wasn’t going that way, but most of the traffic was which was good for me as the road became considerably quieter after that turning. The only downside being that the shoulder completely disappeared. It was a fast (110kph) two lane highway, and I was lucky that 99% of traffic completely moved over to the other lane to pass me. I think it definitely helps that I am in a bright orange coat and my panniers are bright yellow, I must be quite easy to see. The big lorries were great, and I even saw some of my first road trains. I knew they were road trains because they had massive signs on the back saying ‘ROAD TRAIN’. A sign of things to come. Another new addition to the day was my little mirror. It’s brilliant! I wish I had got one sooner. Annoyingly mine now has 2 massive scratches on it because I stupidly put it in my pocket with some keys, but it still works. It’s nice to be able to see when the lorries have moved over and you can give them a cheery wave just before they pass you, and it’s nice to see when you’ve got some idiot coming right up behind you.
There were some cool sculptures on the other side of the road, but I didn’t fancy crossing 4 lanes of traffic to get there. There was a giant cockroach, a ufo and a tin man amongst a few other things.
The road was so flat, there was hardly any undulation at all. I could only tell when there was a slight change because on the ups I went down to 18kph and on the downs I sped up to 28kph. I was going along happily when I had to slam on the breaks. I thought I just saw a sign saying ‘Welcome to Dublin’!
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I was hopeful for a tail wind today but it was much more a side wind and a couple of times I got blown off course but it really wasn’t that bad. I have head from my German friends, who are a couple of days ahead of me, that they rode in 45kph head winds in this section and they had a really tough time! I got rained on for about 2 minutes, so when I saw a service station I quickly headed for cover. I used that time to quickly stuff down a sandwich, have a quick drink and a wee and by then the rain had stopped and I carried on. Today was the first day I cycled without any padding on my bum, I ditched the shorts and just cycled in my leggings, and I was totally comfortable. To be honest the shorts are really uncomfortable, they sit in a funny place on my hips and I wish I had tried on a few different pairs before buying them, but they were the only pair they had in Omafiets.
In the last 20km I started to get some stabbing pains in my gut, the type of pain you get when you are about to shit yourself. Maybe it was just wind? I was very brave and let out a couple of little farts, something that could have gone horribly wrong. On that note, its really hard to pass wind on a bike. Anyway. With about 5km to go I was feeling really tired. I had hardly stopped all day, and I had eaten very little. Not a morsel of chocolate or candy had passed my lips. I just didn’t feel like eating. With only about 2km to go it started to rain. The plan was to camp tonight so that was not at all what I needed. Luckily it was only a small shower and by the time I got to Port Wakefield, at about 3:45pm, it had stopped.
Nicolle had tried to get me a place to stay and told me to call into a pub to ask for Tony, which I did, but it seems that Tony is quite elusive and neither of us could get hold of him. The bar lady offered me a room for $100 which was a bit out of my price range! So I made my way to the campground. It was $20 to camp, which I think is a lot to pitch a tent, considering I’ve had hostel rooms for $25, but it was the only option so that’s what I paid.
Feeling a bit ropey I went straight to the toilet and got rid of everything very quickly. It was as I had feared. I had the shits. Better to be in a flushing toilet rather than on the side of the road though! About 30 seconds afterwards I was ravenously hungry. After a longer-than-I-should-have-had shower I made my way over to the other side of the campground to the communal area. Although I was really hungry I was only craving plain rice. Of course I didn’t have any plain rice so I ate the Chinese rice I was carrying (which was actually pretty flavourless anyway), and a banana. I was still hungry but there wasn’t anything else I wanted to eat, and no shops in this town.
I got out my new toy and had a play around, as much as I could with no wifi. I love it and I feel like I will able to do a lot more with it (like geek out on fancy spreadsheets) so fingers crossed it will make my life a lot easier. I love typing on it, but there are some things that will take a bit of getting used to – I have attempted to touch the screen about 20 times!
Despite feeling a bit rough I was really pleased with my performance today. Although still not particularly impressive by cyclist standards, I managed my highest average speed of the whole trip. Happy with that.
I think it’s a good think I’m camping tonight. I have spend so many nights happily in my tent over the last year but I was starting to develop a bit of a phobia of it. I would do anything I could to avoid camping. But now I’m back in the tent everything is good with the world again. It’s really mild tonight but I’m wrapped up in my hat and puffy. I feel hot on the outside but really cold on the inside. Hopefully I’ll feel ok in the morning.
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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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