Theaussiechallenge Post # 97 Westbrook Park

Day 120 21 days to go. Distance today 135km total 11 112km. It’s 8.30pm Sunday 4/11/2012 Westbrook 5km NW Tallem Bend. Rube and I have landed on our feet and tyres tonight scoring a free camp at Westbrook Park which is right on the river and a stunning spot. I’m sitting now looking out over the twilight reflections with a storm on the horizon giving us an awesome lightning show. It’s still a far way off so we can enjoy the spectacular over a post, dinner and be tucked in Buddy if it decides to visit us later. I’ve just had beautiful phone chats with my Mum, Dad and Nephew Ryan which is always the perfect way to end what’s been a hard but very cool day. We cycled the last 40km into Adelaide. It’s been ages since I’ve been to the SA capital and don’t remember much so I loved riding through the city which was pretty Sunday quiet allowing us to check out the sights without the traffic. A car pulled up ahead of us into town with a huge friendly beep as it passed and I was trying to figure out who it was when Tish and Gary jumped out all smiles and waves. OMG how great was it to see them again. We missed catching up with them further down the Nullabor as hoped so we had sooo much to catch up on from the last few weeks. Great to see you guys and we’ll be in touch soon. Actually the storms coming across allot quicker than I first thought so I’ll speed up the post for tonight. I followed a cycle path out of Adelaide called Eagle’s Nest, that took us up over the Mt Range with awesome views back over town. It was a decent slog but worth the sweat with spectacular views. We then found ourselves on the M1 out of the city heading to towards Murray Bridge. M1’s are a no no for bicycles and pretty soon we got a huge police siren blast from behind and was stopped by a very friendly traffic police woman who escorted us to the next exit to the Old Princess Highway to Murray Bridge. This route was stunning through the old towns and rolling hills for the 65kms. Hard work but forced sight seeing away from the motor way which was a much prettier than highway bashing indeedy. We then met up with the A1 again and did another 20km before seeing the sign to this Park. I was spent for the day and it was 6pm and time to stop so we’ve done awesomely doing the kms we did in the hills and temps which hung around 37 degrees. It’s perfect timing to have a wash and recharge the kit so I’m feeling pretty chuffed tonight and ready for tomorrow. The crickets and frogs by the water’s edge are singing us company tonight which is beautiful. It’s otherwise very still and a bit eerie with the storm heading this way across the evening sky. Time to fit in some dinner I’m thinking before it rumbles too much closer. The airs changing as I type with a breeze starting to pick up across the river. Such a beautiful place to be yay. Talk soon x

PS I ended up dining high and dry in the buddy boy with the wind and lighshow and a handful of heavy drops having a grizzle outside. The storms now finished its say as quick as it showed up and has gone elsewhere to tell its tale. Crazy stuff !!!! So now the crickets and frogs have the centre stage again and it’s life as usual by the river at Westbrook Park. Just another night of paradise for the local folk. 10.15pm and time for zzzzzzz’s.

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Theaussiechallenge Post # 97 Westbrook

Day 120 21 days to go. Distance today 135km total 11 112km. It’s 8.30pm Sunday 4/11/2012 Westbrook 5km NW Tallem Bend. Rube and I have landed on our feet and tyres tonight scoring a free camp at Westbrook Park which is right on the river and a stunning spot. I’m sitting now looking out over the twilight reflections with a storm on the horizon giving us an awesome lightning show. It’s still a fair way off so we can enjoy the spectacular over a post, dinner and be tucked in Buddy if it decides to visit later. I’ve just had beautiful phone chats with my Mum, Dad and Nephew Ryan which is the perfect way to end what’s been a hard but cool day. We cycled the last 40km into Adelaide. It’s been ages since I’ve been to the SA capital and don’t remember much, so I loved riding through the city which was pretty Sunday quiet allowing us to check out the sights without the traffic. A car pulled up ahead of us just before town with a huge friendly beep as it passed. I was trying to figure out who it was when Tish and Gary jumped out all smiles and waves. OMG how great was it to see them again. We missed catching up with them further down the Nullabor as hoped, so we had heaps to catch up on from the last few weeks. Great to see you guys and we’ll be in touch soon. Actually the storms coming across allot quicker than I first thought so I’ll speed up the post for tonight. I followed a cycle path out of Adelaide called Eagle’s Nest, that took us up over the Mt Range with awesome views back over town. It was a decent slog but worth the sweat with spectacular views. We then found ourselves on the M1 out of the city heading to towards Murray Bridge. M1’s are a no no for bicycles and pretty soon we got a huge police siren blast from behind and was stopped by a very friendly traffic police woman who escorted us to the next exit to the Old Princess Highway. This route was stunning through the old towns and rolling hills for the 75km. Hard work but forced sight seeing away from the motor way which was a much prettier than highway bashing indeedy. We then met up with the A1 again and did another 20km before seeing the sign to this Park. I was spent for the day and it was 6pm and time to stop. We’ve done awesomely doing the kms we did in the hills and temps which hung around 37 degrees. It’s perfect timing to have a wash and recharge the kit so I’m feeling pretty chuffed tonight and ready for tomorrow. The crickets and frogs by the water’s edge are singing us company tonight which is beautiful. It’s otherwise very still and a bit eerie with the storm heading this way across the evening sky. Time to fit in some dinner I’m thinking before it rumbles too much closer. The airs changing as I type with a breeze starting to ripple the water. Such a beautiful place to be yay. Talk soon x

PS I ended up dining high and dry in the buddy boy with the wind and lighshow and a handful of heavy drops having a grizzle outside. The storms now finished its say as quick as it showed up and has gone on elsewhere. Crazy stuff !!!! So now the crickets and frogs have the centre stage again and it’s night life as usual by the river at Westbrook Park. Just another night of paradise for the local folk. 10.30pm and time for zzzzzzz’s.

Theaussiechallenge Post # 96 Two Wells

Day 119 22 days to go. Distance today 140km total 10977km. It’s 7.45pm Saturday 3/11/2012 Two Wells. I kept thinking today about the scene from the ‘Long Way Round’ series when Ewan McGregor says ‘Ahhhhhhhh tarmac.’ I must have said it in my best pirate voice a dozen times during choice moments when the hard granite road rolled as smooth as a babies butt butt Nice!!!!!!! The highway is awesome with two lanes both ways and a decent shoulder to move over when I hear my big buddies coming. It makes such a difference to have a good roll and I enjoy this peddling bigtime big. Rube and I have even scored some decent tailwind and descents so there’s been big smiles and squeals from the terribly terrific twosome today 🙂 We left this morning with my two socks hanging off the trailer to dry off. I had one of those very inglorious moments last night when I had a wee moment all over my shoe Not Nice!!!! I was too focused on dinner and condiments so started the day with some washing out to sort out the eeeeeek. We watered up at the loos and Allan came up to wave us off with a bag full of treaties from their corner store. We scored a handful of bars, two huge bags of dried fruit and two bags of Jelly beans ’cause ‘we need on-the-road snacks to keep the good work going!!!’ What a darling man thankyou Allan it was a delish way to start the day. There was a massive storm looming this morning and the dark sky color looked amazing over the wheat fields and hills. It rumbled something fierce for ages but didn’t have much in it rain wise which is the perfect storm to enjoy its roar without the wet. I had the gear all ready just in case but besides a drizzle our toes stayed dry and we just enjoyed the ambience peddling through the stunning countryside. We did 9 hours with lots of breaks and the day passed really quickly. I was keen to ride to adelaide today and we were on track to do the remaining 40km but I was mindful of where we were going to stay. I wasn’t keen to pay a million dollars again like Port A so we’ve stopped at the last small dot town just off the highway. It’s called Two Wells and its so pretty and kept picture perfect by the locals. It’s bigger than Redhill but with the same sandstone buildings and old late 1800s charm. I road into town to see if we could score a free place †o camp and spotted the local policeman. I checked with him and he’s popped us in the offleash doggy area where ‘noone will bother you there.’ It’s a perfect spot and we’re tucked away up in one corner so noone would even know we’re here. In town I met this huge big bear of a man called derek. He is from Adelaide and out for a ride on his Harley which was the most beautiful big boy toy and Rube loved him. We ooo’d and ahhhhed over his beloved baby and chatted about travels in Australia. Derek used to be a truckee and driver for Greyhound and has travelled Australia for over30 years. He looooves being ‘on-the-road’ but nowadays moreso with his bike rather than as a truckee. He was so impressed with what we’re up to and couldn’t be more encouraging. ‘Well done girls and stay safe to Brisbane!!!!’ Will do Derek, loved our chats in Two Wells. After setting up camp I checked the kms to Horesham and should be there Tues or latest Wednesday with Monday forecast a few showers. I’ve texted Peter and Phyliss who live there and who we met in our travels near the Kimberleys and again in Broome. I can’t wait to see them again and it’s so cool to have a destination with cool folk, to aim for in the next days yay. Time for dinner and a much more focused wee break. Talk soon x

PS my new Ipod screen savor is a logo my sister Janet has done up with me and Rube on an Aussie map outline. It looks soooo cool and must be turned into a tshirt when we’re home yay.
PPS I got an email from my big sister Katie and wanted to share the giggles to finish up with…..

“I also LOVE!!!!!!! the fly net photo – classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I can think of is how flies must have looked at the time of the giant ants J (imagine THEM at a picnic!!!!)”

Theaussiechallenge Post # 95 Redhill

Day 118 23 days to go. Distance today 140km total 10837km. It’s 6.30km Friday 2/11/2012 Redhill. How funny’s this…. After setting up camp I wondered into town to have a wash at the public toilets and grab a diet coke at the pub for a bit of company. This fella came up and said…’How’s that fencing going?’ Apparently I got a double working out at one of the farms doing some fencing work.’ His name is Allan and he’s the husband of the woman I met when I first arrived and went to the local store to find out if there was somewhere I could camp locally for the night. She was soooo lovely…’Yes of course love….just head up the road a bit following the river and find a spot anywhere along the bank after the bridge, and use the public toilets to clean and water up….’ I love small country towns and folk. Talking to Allan I found out that the population of Redhill is 200 including the neighboring farms. It’s such a tiny dot town but with beautiful heritage homes made of sandstone and so well loved. There’s grapevines growing out over each of the business verandahs in the main square and I grabbed so cool photos when I fist arrived. I only stopped ’cause the kms worked for today and it’s turned our to be a real precious find just a km off the A1. Allan was showing me photos hung in the pub of the ol’ farming larakins who have long passed away but still part of the town’s heritage. Their first names are written about the old frames and they were all smile lines and weathered with slouch hats. Very cool!! The community is nowadays mostly wheat farmers with the pub and his store the only real shops still operating in ‘town.’ A handful of farming folk were coming in now for their Friday night social bash at the pub and they were setting up the raffle wheel for their ritual fundraising. The money tonight goes to their Melbourne Cup day next Tuesday. Allan was saying that the towns are about 8 miles apart as they were originally stops for the bullock coaches that needed to be watered every 8kms during their journey’s from Port A to Adelaide. Him and his wife have been here for about 30 years and he laughed saying they’re only now being seen as true ‘locals.’

It been an overcast day with not too much wind and beautiful conditions for riding. The road is awesome and I’ve had a good quality shoulder to ride on for the most part. The scenery’s been stunning firstly with the Flinder’s ranges folding across to the North. The road has also hugged the coast passing port towns. The fields in between the ranges and coastlineline are mostly yellow wheat fields and harvesting has started with huge machinery busy at work. It obviously gets really windy in the area as there’s been a line of wind turbines on top the small range that has hugged the coastline. So I think we’ve been pretty lucky today to have a quiet day in that regards and pretty nice conditions to enjoy the scenery in this stretch. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get to Adelaide another 160km away. I’m pretty hungry so it’s time to feed the starvs and tuck myself into bed for an early night. It was so windy again last night in Port Augusta or ‘Port Allgusty’ as Rube called it when we waved it bye byes this morning. Allan donated $20 before we headed so thankyou mate it was really cool and interesting talking and meeting a true Redhill local at our pub stop. It was good to have a social fix over a diet coke yay. Cash donations $2530. Talk soon x

Theaussiechallenge Post # 94 Port Augusta

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….

“Hi girls,
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”

Theaussiechallenge Post # 93 Gallery Post Perth to Port Augusta

Theaussiechallenge Gallery Post Perth to Port Augusta

Theaussiechallenge Post # 92 Kimba

Day 115 26 days to go. Distance today 90km total 10527km. It’s 5pm Tuesday 30/10/2012 Kimba. I just woke up from an hour power kip after what’s been a hellish day indeed. I was swimming in a lather of sweat but feel half sane again. Rube disappeared to the local pool or pub or both. It’s only 90kms from Kyancutta to Kimba but it took us 8 hrs leaving 7am and arriving 3pm way too hot and both big frowny bigtime mmmm not pretty. We found the corner store and bought the biggest diet coke and sat outside contemplating the appropriateness of nakedness. The wind didn’t play nice today and was a hot NE heady. With the road seemingly going up all morning and a zillion flies freeloading a ride on the face of my head net, I was mentally and physically fried and frazzled pulling into Kimba. This local ol’ fella, Barry came up to me and started chatting what a sweatie. I think he could tell I was a coiled snake and was making jokes and light of the crappy day. He then suggested I pull up stumps and camp at the local Apex Park across the road….. ‘Can I?’ ‘Of course you can!!!’ ‘Cooooooool!!!’ I could have given him the biggest stinky kiss but instead shook his hand and told him he made my day, thanks Barry x I had a wash up in the local loos, pitched buddy and passed out horizontal. Apparently there’s a change in the weather tomorrow, overcast and cooler with the chance of early rain but most importantly a SW is suppose to blow the change in. Here’s hoping!!!! It’s 156km to Port Augusta and I’d like to get there or close to it tomorrow if we can. We’ll give ourselves every chance with an early start again and see if Mother Nature plays nice for Halloween. The skies pretty heavy southwards so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s a wee rumble storm later. It looks pretty impressive. Barry donated $5 before wishing us well keeping the cash donations ticking over $2510 yay. I checked for access when I woke up and no Telstra but we have Optus for the broadband, so I can check emails and upload the last few posts. I just checked the pickies from the day. I took a photo of the first morning light which is at 6am. The rest area at Kyancutta was tucked in behind the Apex Park. There was a house nearby with penned baby lambs who bleated us off this morning sooooo cute. We had a coffee stop along a wheat field where there was a windmill blowing up a storm that sounded awesome across the plateau. The area seems to be a series of plateaus perfect for farming. I just had a visit from Ian who’s from Portland and traveling with Molly his Jack Russell. Shes the sweetest little thing loves her daddy and clearly loving their holiday. He gave me two cans of SPC fruit before heading off to stay at Iron Knob another 58km east. Nice bloke. Talk soon x

Theaussiechallenge Post # 91 Kyancutta

Day 114 27 days to go. Distance today 125km total 10437km. It’s 7.50pm Monday 29/10/2012 Kyancutta. It’s on dusk now and super bug o’clock with the flies easing to an abundance of mozzies, moths and other winged insects. It’s the other side of bush camping and definitely not the preferred time of day for anyone a bit sensitive to the creepy crawlers of the outback scrub. Whilst I’ve been a bit desensitized by this stage of our travels, it’s still has an eeeeeeek factor for the chick in me, so the coils are blazing a smoke haze to hide behind. Being dusk time, my thoughts go out to what I read today about the ‘dinosaur ant’ where there was a model out front of the Poochera roadhouse. I got a photo in front of the ‘little critter’ to share with you the size and a bit of trivia….. “Ants first evolved when solitary wasp ancestors began to live in groups about 100 million years ago in the age of the dinosaurs. Remains of the first ant was found in the scrub at Poochera in 1977. The dinosaur ant resembles the standard ant in looks but was approximately 2 metres in body length and 4 metres including legs. Oh my deary!!!!!! Colonies lived deep in the soil. A nest contained one single queen and up to 100 workers all daughters of the queen. Each night on dusk the workers would leave the nest to forage for food. It’s on dusk now so a ‘thank goodness’ thought for the ‘extinction’ element in this instance!!! It what would otherwise be a tricky time of night for Rube and I !!!!!!!! Rube just butted in and reminded me that I’d be most likely the tasty roast on the dinosaur ant dinner table 🙂 It’s been a really great day ride enjoying the sights and smells of the wheat fields. This section of the Eyre Highway is called the wheat belt with all the towns dotted along built around huge silos. We woke this morning and watched the workers loading the road trains with grain. Cool to see in action. It was 40km to Poochera where we had our first break. Just outside of town a fella we met in Ceduna, Greg, had seen us on the road and pulled up to shout me a coffee at the roadhouse. We spent a couple of hours chatting about travels, routes and life in general. He’s from Shepperton, Victoria and also a special Virgo-ian celebrating his 60th birthday on the 6/9. Greg was easy good company and I hope all goes ok with your family business mate. Thanks for the coffee and company and I may hear from you soon x Margaret who ran the roadhouse, was an endearing woman very interested in our challenge and familiar with White Ribbon. She asked for a photo with Rube and I and donated $20 before waving us off. She’s keen to get online and follow our adventure. Our next stop was at Wudinna where I met Ian, also cycling from Sydney to Perth. He shouted me a diet coke and we sat for an hour exchanging cycling tips and stories. Ian was very interested to know my background and connection with White Ribbon. He was so encouraging and supportive and I wish him all the best in his own adventure westwards. Keep safe mate and savor all those unplanned surprises the next weeks have installed for you. We watered up at the local bakery there where the lady happily filled our bottles. Thankyou!!! It was only another 13km to here and we arrived just before sunset in time to set up camp and settle in for the evening. It’s already 8.30pm and I’m taking a bit to get used to the extended daylight time. I’m usually not far off crawling into buddy at this time so I’ll end it up there, clean myself up with a wet wipe or 10, and find something yummy for dinner before zzzz’s. We haven’t scored a cash donation since day 107 so thankyou Margaret for yours. It’s nice to keep that tally ticking over. Cash donations $2505. Talk soon x

Theaussiechallenge Post # 90 Wirrula

Day 113 28 days to go. Distance today 95km total 10312km. It’s 7pm Sunday 28/10/2012 Wirrula. Ceduna was such a great break for us even though it wasn’t a rest day, Rube and I slept in this morning waking up with a relaxed morning coffee, stretch and scratch, as opposed to full throttle on at dawn. The difference to turn off for one morning is huge and I told the folk so before leaving. The managers, Caroline and Kirk are really interesting people. They are from Zimbabwe and immigrated to Australia 12 years ago settling in Buderim Qld. They actually wanted to live in Maleny our home town, but it was too hard to manage the logistics with school and the kids. We certainly know that when my Nephew Christopher stayed with us for a gap year hey Mate?xx They bought into the Big4 caravan park and do a one month on/off with shared business partners I’m assuming. On their month off they travel back to Buderim which they call their other home. They love this corner of the country, the small country town feel but still with services and beaches. It also is their gateway to the Nullabor and other attractions as they are drawn to deserts and the country’s wilder places. Kirk is a challenge nut like myself and has walked with his son from Perth to Adelaide. He has also ran the Sahara marathon which I have read about and it is hard core hard. Now that’s a serious extremist I love it!!!!!!!!! We were talking about the special parts of the mind, body and soul that get a good character shake up and learning curve when put to a pointy test. It was really cool for me to share this stuff with lots of nodding and wry smiles. I was telling them that right now I feel like a kid’s favorite cuddle comforter, like a teddy bear with the stuffing pulled out in places, an eye missing, sewn patches all over and pulled out of shape, but still wearing ‘that’ smile and loved to the max. 🙂 I have invited Caroline and Kirk to keep in touch and given them my details so I hope to hear from you dam fine folk down the track. Meanwhile I hope you continue to follow our adventure and know what a difference you made to our spirits when the Nullabor spat us out in Ceduna xx It was midday when we finally got on the road for our Sunday afternoon ride. And it was delish. Still tricky with lots of inland side winds but the temp was comfy and the road had an awesome roll to keep the momentum going. This makes such a difference being able to spin the hills, extra windy bits, and truck gusts. It felt good to give the legs a good turnover and we knocked out the kms to Wirrula by 5pm. There are a few rest area options further down the road but this tiny dot town has a grassed area and parking bay they invite vanners to stay at a donation to use the hot showers. I checked with the local store if we could pitch our tent without upsetting anyone. They couldn’t care less and said go for it so that’s us for the night with access to the park’s toilets and rain water tank awesome. With daylight saving, the sun’s only just thinking about setting now at 7.30pm. Weird for a Queenslander but I like it allot. It also means we can have some later finishes if needed over the next 28 days or at least before Qld. Daylight saving’s an odd thing. It’s not as if mother nature changes crossing the border but our clocks do. At least on the walls, my body clock is a little slower but that sums me up, a bit slow on the uptake but once I get it I’m good!!!! Rube’s laughing !!!! That’s enough from you my coolest partner in crime. She looked great today against the landscape when I stopped at a particularly delish part to get some pickies. The scenery was spectacular, blue huge skies with cloud streaked high and white with the odd tuffs to add a different line. Nature’s one beautiful perfect design isn’t it!!! Then there were continuous fields of yellow wheat with flowering heads waving us by in the wind. The road was sealed in a redish tarmac so the contrasts were stunning. As we neared Wirrula two huuuge white wheat silos appeared on the horizon and were a growing feature coming closer to town. Ironically that’s where we’re camped next to. I snuck out for some pickies just before at sunset which is at 7.45pm for interest sake. I’ve just checked the pickies for the last days and there’s some real awesome ones amongst the selection. I’m not sure when I’ll get the opportunity to upload another gallery but we’ll see!!! I’m thinking about dinner soon and beddy byes for an early start again in the morn. I’m actually looking forward to it and got a bit of a zing back into the peddling after today’s ride which is a nice feeling indeed. I was able to check emails in Ceduna and particularly loved this one from my big sister Kittie. It was also my nephew Evan’s birthday recently and Janet sent the best birthday party photos thank you love. Evan reckoned it was a ’10 1/2 out of 10 birthday.’ I can so see Janet and Marcus smiling satisfied awesome big tick super parents!!!! Talk soon x

“Dear Maree, I`m in awe reading about your last couple of weeks – breathtaking in all senses of the word 🙂 You`ve achieved so much, really pushing yourself to the max. I don`t know how you do it but your blogs are soooooooo upbeat it`s an absolute treat sharing your day!!!!! I`ve so been missing your blogs – you`re back online – Yeahhhhh!!!!! Have just finished blog 88- just had to touch base before continuing. Katie x”

Theaussiechallenge Post # 89 Ceduna

Day 112 29 days to go. Distance today 125km total 10217km. It’s 9pm Saturday 27/10/2012 Ceduna. It’s so late o’clock arriving 6pm, washing me and the gear, setting up camp and chatting to the folks. It’s such a huge relief to arrive finally to what’s the official end of the Nullabor. The road popped out on the coastline overlooking Ceduna and Rube and I shed tears together I think out of sheer relief with a good dose of exhaustion. It took us 10hours to cycle the 125km but were totally fixed and focused on getting here and it needed all of that and then some with a full on heady wind and hills all day. I listened to the the 3 Twighlight soundtracks very cool tunes and great distraction. We took some milestone pickies on our way into town then found a foodstore to do a top up shop which was great. The first caravan park didn’t want to know us but then we found another which is one of the ‘Big4’ chains and the folk couldn’t be more welcoming and supportive. Their facilities are just awesome much like where we stayed at Albany. It’s otherwise $30 for an unpowered site so their generous offer for us to camp as a freebie was totally appreciated thankyou thankyou Caroline what an awesome way to end what’s been an amazing but tricky bunch of days eastwards. We won’t arrive in Port Augusta until the 31/10 but I feel like I can look forward now with a huge sense of achievement and momentum to touch the Melbourne coast then Hume it to Sydney and home. It’s unfortunately another quicky post tonight as the camp kitchen closes at 9.30pm and I want to use the facilities to feed the starvs toast and butter yuuuuuuuuuummmmmmyyyyyy!!!! Latest craving when I can get access to a toaster. We have Telstra and Optus access in Ceduna as it’s a decent size dot town so I’ll get this and the other posts uploaded tonight very cool indeedy. Our treat for getting through this stage is to sleep in without the alarm being set in the morning huuuge treat. I don’t have to be out until 10am so that still gives us heaps of time to get underway and do a chunk of kms off the distance to Port A. I must say fine fine folk from me and Rube, it’s pretty dam fine special fabuloso to arrive here safe and sound with a whole bunch of sweat and tears and smiles. Its been the most significant, interesting and challenging experience doing this stretch of the country. I can say that now with the Nullabor behind us without the other choice words we’ve used to describe it at times 🙂 Talk soon x