Australia trip 2018, Part 7
Hello. It's been 8 weeks since I left Sydney. I am travelling to Darwin, and the weather is already getting too hot during the day. Just a few weeks ago, I used to sleep in cold weather, but now it is so hot that I do not even need a sleeping bag. Today I will write about what happened while travelling from Tennant Creek to Katherine.
I travelled from Darwin to Threeway by a country bus. I already had been to Threeway to go to Darwin and 965km is too far to ride again. Australia is huge. I saw the road that I rode with my bike through bus windows, and I was like ‘ wow did I really ride all this way by bicycle?’ I arrived at the station at 2am. There were just a roadhouse and a bench.
So I just slept on the bench this night. It was so cold that I felt like my toes were cutting out.
I met another bicycle traveller while I was riding to Queensland border. He was travelling from Brisbane to Darwin, and he had a tailwind. He was riding 25~30km per hour. I was just riding 12km per hour with full afford.
I camped here this evening. I was exhausted, and my thighs were in pain because I was riding in the headwind. Fortunately, my legs are beautiful now.
I have to ride 300km to 800km to go to the next town. So I carry a lot of food. Salami or pepperoni is one of them. It is too delicious when the weather is hot, and I have no energy to ride. Even the meat gets warmed in the bag, and the fat is melted in the flesh. It melts in the mouth. I want to eat again while writing for my blog.
Often grey nomads come and talk to me. And If I am lucky, they give me some food like this in the photo. This day, an old lady made me a wrap. I guess these small things make my trip more enjoyable.
I see the sunset almost, but I never got tired of watching it. The outback sunset shows an entirely different appeal than the sunset in the city. It is really spectacular to see the sunset passing over a full open flat without anything in front of my sight.
On this day I was fortunate to stop at the roadside stop, I got some water from the water tank there and had a shower. I lied down on the bench to dry my self.
I often can not have a shower, sometimes I can’t have a shower for a few days. Yesterday was the third day with no shower, and I dreamed of taking a shower while I was sleeping in my tent. It feels so much better to have a shower after a long trip no matter how cold the water is.
Finally, after a week of bike riding, I have arrived in Queensland. One day, I ran for 10 hours but still could not ride more than 100km. I wanted to have a short break but the wind was so, and there was no shade. I remember this one week was the hardest time in my entire trip. However, I was proud and happy when I passed the border.
In fact, I did not ride all the way to the border. On the 4th day, I was so tired and exhausted from the headwind. France couple stopped next to me and said ‘ Do you need help?’. I asked them for a lift, and they let me sit in their car. So I travelled remaining 140km in the car. They also invited me to come and see them in France. Hope I can see them again.
I arrived in a town called Mckinlay. Do you see the total population of 30 people? There is a lot of this small town in Australia. I decided to fill up my bottle with water and find a place to sleep here
You might have guessed from a car in the picture. This is a police station. There is only one police officer, and I stopped here to get some water. It doesn’t look like a police station at all. This day was a police officer’s retirement day.
There were two people to repair their car, and we started to have a conversation.
Of course, the story went on my bicycle trip, and the police officer, who enjoyed my story, invited me to have a barbecue. I think this is the most significant advantage of a bicycle trip. Many people are interested and approach me first, and I can share my story for a few hours. Occasionally I am invited for dinner too.
There was a place to the campfire in the yard in front of the police station. The big house in the picture is a police station and the house. He put a few woods in the campfire pit and made a fire quickly. Then he set a big plate on fire and cooked ribs and sausages.
It is typical Aussie Barbe, there is always a can of beer on the hand of a guy who makes barbeque.
As the meat was cooked, sunset started and a huge full moon popped up, and beautiful stars floated next to it.
There was no sauce but just salt, pepper and olive oil in the meat. However, the flavour of the meat was just fantastic. My mouth is watering again.
The significant advantage of bicycle travel is that you can enjoy little happiness that you can not see in a car. However, there are disadvantages too. Many times I can’t have a shower after long day ride in how weather and I feel hungry and so on, but I think bicycle tour covers all these problems.