After a restless sleep due to the constant noise of road trains roaring through the night, this site, and although I'm as far from the road as possible, is on a fairly straight piece of roadway.
Sunrise certainly makes up for it. The camera doesn't do the view any justice. I can't just sit and watch the sunrise, there's gear to be packed and a fair distance to cycle ahead. I'm hoping to make Mundrabilla roadhouse for tonight's stopover.
I reached Madura Pass around 8am.....looking at the crows on the sign, they might have been sizing me up for their breakfast 😀
The lookout is always worth stopping at, even if it's just an opportunity to get out of the Jaffa and stretch the legs.
There'll be quite a few km's to cycle down there on the flats, about 114km to Mundrabilla....but first Coffee at Madura roadhouse 😋
😯😯😯 shock! horror! The coffee machine is not serviceable! What the?!!
How is a cyclist to function without coffee! 😕
Oh well, the "next best thing", coffee flavoured milk, and a chicken and cheese toastie... which was actually pretty good.....when beggars can't be choosers....make do and carry on.
Why do people always want to chat, just as I'm preparing to cycle away?
Must be a Rotovelo thing 🤔....
25min later, and I finally got mobile again..
50km on from Madura, Moodini Bluff rest area, after a reasonably comfortable climb is a call for a "comfort stop" and a chance to do a small cleat adjustment on the left shoe...my pedalling action is changing and my left heel is tapping the edge of the foothole. Fixed it, and on we go.
A further 40km and it's time for a lunch break... I'm still in the thick of the famed "March Fly Zone", where any stopping immediately makes you a meal for the prevailing march flies! The blasted things will try and bite any exposed skin... not to mention the small black ants that'll race to climb your legs.... gotta love Australia! It's eat AND be eaten 😵💫 a quick bite to eat, and get moving in a hurry 🙃
I've had a prevailing South-West/East wind for most of today's ride. Constantly blowing into my right side as I'm pedalling East. It's nice air-conditioning, it's a coolish day, about 26°C, and the crosswind off the Southern Ocean makes it feel like 20°C in the Jaffa. 👍👍
Average speed was around 23.6kph all day, any time I had a direct headwind I wasn't slowed at all...the only thing lowering my speed is all the small 0.02% gradients ...supposedly the whole day was 0% gradient...I beg to differ
Absolutely any sort of gradient is felt immediately in the quads and knees as more pressure is added to the pedals in order to maintain the current speed. ......
after 141km, Mundrabilla roadhouse was a welcome sight.
Which way to the Bar?
The plan today is just to do the 65km to Eucla and spend the day getting things clean and giving the legs a bit of a rest.
I managed to be packed up just as the Mundrabilla roadhouse was opening for trade at 6am.
1st breakfast of chicken toastie, hot Milo...and 3 litres of water to top up my supply... and a leisurely start on the road by 7.15am.
35km and 2nd breakfast again. Coffee and Scotch Finger biscuits with Nutella...a couple of handfuls of trail mix for good measure.
Overcast skies and a mild south east headwind kept the temperature to a comfortable 19°C in the Jaffa, whilst it's 24°C out in the open.
The telstra repeater tower could be seen in the distance..... soon enough it's time to put the nose to the grindstone and start the 3km climb up Eucla Pass.... at a 7% gradient, it certainly gave me a workout after having been cruising along the Roe Plain for the last couple of days.
Lowest gear, spin the pedals....breathe a bit harder and it's just slow going....around 5kph (my walking pace is 6kph....but it's more comfortable to ride, than try and push the loaded Jaffa uphill)
By 11.30am, the tent is set and washing is on.
Not a bad view either...
Time for some R and R.