- Start: Bush camp
- End: Mount Stuart Reserve rest area
- Day distance: 90.2km
- Total distance: 4049.91km
- Average speed: 20.1km/hr
- Pedalling time: 04:28
- Total time: 09:45
I had a great night sleep, despite the full moon being like a spotlight. I got up at 4am for a wee and I didn’t need any light because it was so bright. I felt a lot less bloated this morning and a lot more comfortable. We set off at 7:30am and for maybe the first and last time the boys were ready before me, and that was only because they didn’t have breakfast. It was only 10k to the roadhouse and we planned to eat breakfast there.
The guys had a full English and I got ripped off with a $10 beans on toast! We stayed there for a while, not really inclined to continue on. Motivation was low again, it seems to dip as the heat rises. On the way out of the roadhouse we stopped to look at the big man and the big woman.
In 50k we could stop again at Red Centre Farm to get our mango ice cream that we had been seeing signs for. On the way we saw another cycle tourist coming towards us. We all slowed down thinking he might stop and chat, but he barely managed a wave before cycling past. He had every inch of skin covered, including mask on his face. He had a huge box attached to the top of his back rack which was covered in symbols so we assumed he was Chinese or Japanese. It was super hot by the time we got to the farm and we got the ice cream straight away and sat in the shade under a tree. It was 12pm and looking at the map we only had 35km to do to reach our goal for the day, so we stayed there for a couple of hours! We all decided to try the mango sorbet as well as the ice cream, after all it’s not every day you pass the 4000km mark!
We sat under the tree, melting in the heat, really not wanting to move. This was an odd little place. It’s a mango farm and a little shop with a single petrol pump. There were a lot of Aboriginals coming and going, and I have been trying to put my finger on what I find strange about my encounters with them. They don’t acknowledge your existence at all. There is absolutely no recognition, no eye contact, no small nod, no greeting. Nor do they stare or wonder what we are doing. It is like we are invisible. I realise that the white man came along and buggered everything up for them, just like they did with most of the native or indigenous communities around the world, but it feels really weird.
Just as we were about to leave, the German family we first saw at the Stuarts Well roadhouse, then again at Uluru, popped up and we sat for a bit longer chatting to them. I know we are travelling in the same direction, but it is quite unusual to see the same people 3 time. The guy said there is a saying in Germany about good things coming in threes (I didn’t mention that we have the same saying in England, but it’s about bad things!).
We finally moved on and in 10k stopped at the Ti-Tree roadhouse. They filled up our water bottles for us, the water has a bit of a chlorine taste but otherwise it’s ok, and it’s the first roadhouse where we have been able to fill up for free. We sat in the park and had a bit of a late lunch, really we were just trying to escape the sun and the heat. There was a bit of a headwind today, but I was being sheltered by they boys and we were actually maintaining a decent pace.
We carried on and did the last 25k to the camp area. It has been such a long day, but we have peddled for less than half of the time we have been on the road today! The heat is so draining, I am constantly thirsty, but the warm water just doesn’t do anything to quench the thirst. When we to there, there were a whole bunch of Grey Nomads with a fire going. There were 5 couples and a few of them had passed us on the road, saying that we have made good time. We chatted with them for the rest of the night, we watched them eat their dinners of chicken and salads and fresh stuff. No one offered us anything, I listened to them taking about how much water they were carrying and how they had too much food to fit in the fridge! One of them offered us a cold tin of beans, thanks but no thanks.
There was an old guy there giving me (the Pom) grief for not stoking the fire, but I realised that he was looking for a rise, so I gave back as good as I got and we had a laugh. Just as we were going to bed someone offered us some blueberry muffins which was nice! I feel super bloated again, like I’ve been pumped up with my bicycle pump, the beans probably haven’t helped matters!
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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