Theaussiechallenge Post # 57 Fortescue

Day 66 76 days to go. Distance today 100 total 5311km. It’s 6.30pm Tuesday 11/9/12 Fortescue Roadhouse. Or should I say an oasis 101. That’s at least how it felt pulling in after 4pm this arv. Tough tough day. Ive been so spoilt with tailwinds I forgot what a slog it is when battling a headwind. I hadn’t figured on it at all and took my leisurely time this morning not getting under way ’til after 8pm. Oppsy. Pretty soon we were against head and side gusts like I hadn’t encountered since that windy hill in Vietnam. And much like then it was an inglorious day with tears at a particularly pointy time this arv. With the creepy hills and steeper inclines plus the roadtrain traffic adding their own gusts ontop from both directions, was a well earnt 100kms when we pulled up soooo happy that was over. More of the same tomorrow but talking to some lads here in the campgrounds they say it turns up after 11am. So the alarm is set for very early o’clock to be on the road with daylight and get in what ks we can before it blows up. It’s a longer day tomorrow at 165km so we’ll need all that time to chip away if its anything like today. We even met a whirly wind head on that threw us across the road to the other shoulder. No cars around thank goodness so Rube and I thanked mother nature for her timing x Rube struggled as well feeling the strain in her gears like a steep incline with no relief poor darling she clanged and winged and we both wiped each others tears and got back into it with a deep breath for the last 10kms. We averaged 13km per hour for 8 hours eeeek. That time has seen us cover more 160-170km so it was a real eye opener and character building experience for both us chicks. There were a bunch of positives but. The landscape is rocky hills, raw and tough covered in green grassy clumps with red red soil and wildflowers galore. It’s beautifully barren and that’s our focus tomorrow to enjoy the scenery. We stopped at the roadhouse this morning to top up our water bottles and spent some time talking to a couple and a truckee who donated $5 each. They were both keen to check out our set up and full of questions how we’re managing water and camping and of course the road trains which is everyones first question. Later on in the day a couple Travelling from Perth stopped to see if we needed more water and we grabbed another litre from them working harder than what I had counted on. We drank 5 litres in total so the extra litre was really appreciated. I enjoyed the road side break and chat to give the frown factor a rest. They were telling me about another female cyclist from mexico they met a couple of months back. She was cycling around Australia to promote her home country as the tourist mecca it is and not just a drug lord haven. She was 55 years old and will be home most likely now and I hope she succeeded in sharing her clear love for her country. Cool stuff. The campgrounds here is very much an oasis amongst the barren countryside. There’s a grassy patch that’s thick and lush for campers and I have pitched the grasshopper on the lushiest patch I could find. A bit of a contrast from last night’s rocky red dirt. We’re all cleaned up and the cycle gear washed. It was sooo disgustingly dirty streaked with salt sweat marks and red dirt. We looked pretty scary arriving this arv. The poor fella at the roadhouse must of got an awful fright when we walked in this arv no wonder he let us camp for free. Thankyou Dave your facilities are awesome and it’s a special camp amongst camps for us tonight yay. The difference a wash makes when I’m feeling mentally and physically crapola is amazing and we feel ready to tackle tomorrow now with a better prepared mindset. There’s another 2 lads in tents nerby and I was talking to them when we first arrived. They have the coolest off road motor bikes and traveling Australia doing all the tracks off highway one. They also loved the Bungles and checked it out by air as well as the walks and said it’s been their highlight too so far. They’re pretty big berly lads indulging in home brew ginger beer and full of good natured cheek and color and jokes about the greynomads all in good jest. They’ve also shared some wonderful times with caravanners they have met along the way and we exchanged stories about drinks and dinners they’ve been treated to. They have the muchies now and have headed over to the roadhouse for a steak burger and hot chips. That’s got my starvs happening so it’s time for dinner for this weary wee cyclist and an early night for an early start. $1589.35 Cash donations. Talk soon x

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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