Cycle Oz Day 59 – Alice Springs

  • Start: Stuarts Well Roadhouse
  • End: Alice Springs
  • Day distance: 94.3km
  • Total distance: 3834.9km
  • Average speed: 22.1km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 04:17
  • Total time: 05:00

It was a pretty terrible night, it was so hot and so windy. I managed a couple of hours sleep before the wind really picked up and woke me up. It was making the tent flap about all over the place and the left side was lifting off the ground. I ended up reading for about an hour and then I drifted in and out of sleep as twigs and green seed things fell from the tree onto the tent. The air was so so dry my mouth felt like Ghandi’s flip-flop and there was dust everywhere from the  wind. When it was time to get up I felt like I had hardly any sleep at all.

As we were packing up we got to meet the other cyclists. The person we thought was an Asian man turned out to be a German woman – Seigrid – and she is going the same way as us, having started in Alice Springs (where she bought her bike) and toured around Uluru and Kings Canyon, and is now heading up to Darwin. She is travelling slower than we are so we may meet up with her again.

The other person was a Canadian who hiked the PCT northbound in 2016 so there is a high possibility that we have literally crossed paths before. I never found out his real name but his trail name is Cowboy Jim. We found out that we had mutual friends which was cool. I knew he had hiked the pct before I spoke to him. He had Darn Tough socks, an Osprey bag and a Big Agnes tent, and he was eating instant oats straight out of the packet. He is heading south and after sharing some tips for the road ahead of each of us we went our separate ways.

Before we left the lady that had given us oranges last night came out with a huge bucket full of oranges and grapefruits, all from her tree, for us to share. There were also emus at this roadhouse, in fact it was a bit of a menagerie, with a Cockatoo and camels and snakes. We set off and within the first few minutes Pricilla needed some attention. Everything had shifted a little overnight and the tyre was rubbing against the frame again. Dominik adjusted it again and we were soon on our way. I love the way he says ‘come on Priscilla’ in his German accent.

We were blessed with a tail wind today and we were flying along. We came to a rest area that advertised having cell service so we stopped to see if I had a reply from a potential host so we knew where we were going. There was only reception if you put your phone on this red pole under a dish. We were sceptical but it worked! We ate our fruit and made friends with a cute little Kookaburra.

We then powered along. There were some uphills where I was starting to get a little behind, my legs were just too tired to keep up, but they waited for me to catch up, and then we all flew down the downhills, getting up to 40kph in places. Before 1pm we had made it 80km to the outskirts of Alice Springs.

The road heading into town got a little busier but it wasn’t too bad and we arrived at Clare’s house, grateful to have made it there at a reasonable time. I was put in touch with Clare by my friend Paul and she kindly agreed to take all three of us in. She made us tea and sandwiches and we were shown around by the cutest, most confident 4 year old, Shay.

We then set about all the tasks we had to do. I had to get Priscilla fixed which we wanted todo straight away incase there were parts that needed to be ordered. Alice Springs is in the middle of nowhere but it does have 3 bike shops! Luckily the first one we went in to were super helpful and said it would be no problem. So I left her with them because our next task was to go to the tourist information centre and ask about hiring a car.

While we are here we want to see Uluru, the Olgas, Kings Canyon and the MacDonnell ranges. With only Uluru being a 500km side trip we don’t have time with our visas to go by bike, so with three of us its economically viable to hire a car. If I had been on my own I would have probably gone with a tour group (which is what Cowboy Jim did), but this way is much better as we get so much more freedom.

Everything was remarkably simple to sort out and we headed to the supermarket to pick up some supplies then back to our host where we showered, washed our clothes, ate dinner and chatted in to the evening. Shay left me his owl because it would help me sleep.

Tomorrow we pick up the car and head off for a 4 day side trip / break from cycling. I cannot even begin to describe how much my bum is looking forward to this break!

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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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7 thoughts on “Cycle Oz Day 59 – Alice Springs

  1. Congratulations Alex
    Have read your blog every morning it is there.
    You have done so well and what a great self achievement. 🎉
    So lucky to have companions to ride with.
    Enjoy your 4 days of comfortable seats as you head out to the rock. My favourite is king canyon… hopefully it’s open for the walk up top.
    Cheers
    Yvonne

    Liked by 1 person

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