Day 117 24 days to go. Distance yesterday 170km today Rest Day total 10697km. It’s 8pm Thursday 1/11/2012 Port Augusta. Hi there from downtown Port Augusta. What a beautiful place to peddle into yesterday late afternoon. On the way from Kimba, Nick and Kerri who I had met in Munglinup, stopped us along the road, on their way back to Melborne. It was so lovely to see them again and immediately the spirits lifted as we shared giggles and Nullabor stories over a coffee. They were stopping at a free spot in Port Augusta and invited me to join them for a Laksa dinner. Talk about inspiration. With that thought hanging out in front like a carrot, Rube and I powered on through the kms. It was nutty windy but the angle of the road kept it to the side and even gave us a tailwind for about 20km which was awesome. About 30km out of Port A you could see the Flinder’s Ranges and their famous folds growing in clarity and color as we neared, just beautiful. I’m so looking forward to seeing them up close and personal next time round. The last 10km were straight into the south easterly but I didn’t care at that stage and we wobbled our way and found the guys camped by the river on the other side of town. They weren’t expecting to see us in the conditions so we were pretty chuffed and loved our evening of chats and laughs and stories. They are really gorgeous folk and I like them allot. They’re so down to earth and have grown up in Indigenous communities. Hence we also spoke allot about the racial challenges they’ve seen and experienced first hand. They both have a raw passion and pride for the Indigenous as their children have married into families and fostered Aboriginal children. I dined on the most yummiest toffu laksa and accepted their invitation to sleep in their van out of the wild weather night. It took me a little while to fall asleep but once there I passed out until 8am this morning yahaaaaaaa!!!! So the brain today was feeling half sane again. I had breaky with the folk and waved them off then headed back into town to find a campground to stay for our rest day. We found one that cost a million dollars for an unpowered site but who cares, I was able to upload my photos at the library and respond to en email from the local paper who’s going to do an article up to help with promoting our fundraising. With only a few weeks to white ribbon day on the 25/11, I’m going to make one last plea for your help to canvas donations and see how close we can get to the target. Mum and Dad have been amazing arranging an event on the Sandgate foreshore for a 10am arrival Sunday 25/11. It’ll be opposite Doug’s cafe on Flinder’s Parade and you are so welcome to join us to celebrate what’s been a huuuuuge team effort. Theaussiechallenge for me has surpassed all expectation of challenge, adventure and experience. Australia is one hell of a remarkable, beautiful, and wild ride. It’s a playground of unique people, places and native life and I am so proud that this is my home. We have so much to be thankful for and to look after so it can continue to show off it’s raw beauty. The Aboriginals did something right to sustain their Country and Civilization for 50 000 years and we can learn much from them.
I finally met the Mexican woman, Berta who is cycling around Australia promoting her home country. I ran into her yesterday when I first arrived and we squealed and chatted both hearing so much about the other from vanners over the last months. We swopped a zillion stories from the Nullabor and I think it was a debrief of sorts for both of us pushed to moments of craziness. It was awesome to share this stuff still so raw with someone who could only nod with the same exclamation. We’ve exchanged details and I know will be in tough again in the future. All the best my sister cyclist, be safe and travel well to Sydney, not long now!!!!! By the way Berta looooved Rube!!!!! I’ve given the girl a reoil today and done a small top up shop before we get back on the road to Horesham via the Western highway tomorrow. That’s the route we’ve decided with the help of Dad, Nick and Kerri. I hope to see Phyllis and Peter again in Horesham if it works and will send them a text tonight letting them know we’re heading that way. It’s got late o’clock already and time to think about dinner and bed. It’s been wonderful to tough base with family and friends over email and phone and the spirits are high for the last leg. Talk soon x
Ps I was only able o upload about a quarter of the photos as the Internet was pretty slow but it’s a taste at least of the last few weeks. I just gotta reply call from Phyliss and Peter and they’re so excited we’re coming through their way. It was really super awesome to hear from them and I can’t wait to see them again yay. By the way I forgot to tell you that we disturbed another emu yesterday by the roadside and he ran alongside us again. I was checking out his beautiful running style and am going to think ‘high emu leg action’ when I get ack into running. What a beautiful role model Pom Pom and all xxxxxx
Pps I got an email from my sister Janet who shared some reallly interesting info about the first couple of lads who crossed the Nullabor by car….
had to share this after stumbling on the article in the latest Australian Geo (110). Can you believe the ever first crossing of the Nullarbor was by two guys, Francis Birtles and Syd Gerguson, in 1912….there was of course no road or even a track, only sandhills, mulga scrub and soft dried up lake beds ahead of them! It took them 28 days to travel the 4180 kms from Freemantle to Sydney in an open-top Brush Runabout! Their success spurred the construction of the Eyre highway 30 years later! And the insane thing, Birtle had already cycled around Australia twice in 1905!!! Get your head around that one!!! I’m sure he told lots of emu race stories too Ree….I can aways hear the Roadrunner song when I think of you and the your emu in WA! Go girls, you’re both amazing, even with that horror of a head wind be gracious there’s a road to ride on !!! Love and wishes for a strong westerly wind as you continue east. Kisses from the Tandls. XXx”