Cycle Oz Day 72 – on the strugglebus

  • Start: Banka Banka
  • End: Bush Camp
  • Day distance: 108km
  • Total Distance: 4551km
  • Average Speed: 19.8km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 05:25
  • Total Time: 09:00

After being so warm it turned into a surprisingly cool night and we woke to everything being a bit damp. We set off into the heat and travelled the next 60k of hilly road to the next roadhouse. The only point of interest is that we had to stop at some lights because of some roadworks!

I was really struggling today, especially on the hills where the boys totally left me behind. I haven’t needed to drop into the easiest of the 3 chain rings for days and days now, but there were some first gear hills today. And it was pretty windy, and of course it was a headwind so the whole morning felt like such a struggle. I was just feeling a bit rough, it was hard to breathe, my legs felt fatigued and I had a dull headache for all of the day. Thankfully they slowed down and let me catch up when they got to the top.

When we got to the roadhouse we ordered burgers and sat there for a couple of hours. I got a 1.25l bottle of sprite because it was only 50 cents more than the 500ml bottle. I didn’t think I would be able able to drink it all, but I did. And I didn’t really feel like I had drunk anything afterwards. 

We did the next 30km and then Simon had a problem with his bike. The chain was stuck. So they fixed it on the side of the road while I sat in the only patch of shade I could find which was right behind my back wheel in the shade of the panniers. Sweat was rolling down my back while I was sat there doing nothing. The air is so so dry and it is impossible to maintain any level of moisture in your mouth which is really uncomfortable, and I could taste that burger all day long. 

With 10k left to go we stopped and sat under the shade of a tree for a little break which turned into an hour break. As we lay down I was hopeful that someone would stop and offer us something cold but we were out of luck today. Every time we stopped I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. 

Disaster then struck as we set off again. My headphones stopped working. Not good at all. This road is long and it requires distraction to get through the days, I don’t want my mind wondering off to any old memory. Wiggling the cord meant it worked for a few moments at a time, and holding it in one position helped, but it wasn’t practical when it came to changing gears. Eventually I settled for it crackling in one ear. 

We found the rest area which is just a patch of dirt. There was a little dirt road leading off to the side to we followed that and it took us away from the road a bit to an area where it’s clear people have camped before. Old fire pits and lots of toilet paper. People are gross. 

I was absolutely done in. I got my ground sheet and lay down on it under a tree, unable to do anything else. I had no energy and no desire and I was feeling a little nauseous. I sweated my way through pitching the tent and cooking dinner and eating dinner. As the sun went down the flies made way for the mosquitos and there were a lot of them. The boys gave me some tape that you heat up to try and fix my earphones but I think I just ended up buggering them completely which is annoying as I also use them to block out sounds at night, like snoring and cars and things. Well, there is nothing I can do about it and I am just going to hope that there might be some cheap ones at the next roadhouse.

I’ve killed all the mozzies that made it into my tent and I am sat without the fly on, in my underwear, trying to keep cool. 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please consider donating a few…pounds / dollars / euros / yen… and together we can change lives.

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