Coober Pedy

A zero day today. Nice to have a lazy start although my bike alarm chirped at 4am so the locals were out and about early ๐Ÿ™ I must look like an easy target at campgrounds as this is the third time my bike has been messed with and all in public campgrounds between 3am and 4am.

I’m clean and well fed, clothes have had a wash and food stocked up for the next push to Alice Springs of around 700km. Back to my full weight again with full water and food. Am figuring on 7 days but will be interesting to see how I go. I got quite a strong crosswind yesterday afternoon which was not pleasant at all. Today has a milky layer of high cloud which is great for the day off ๐Ÿ™‚

The town is totally geared to the tourists and opal mining. Didn’t do much for me but there are quite a few folk around.

Was great to catch up with friends and family online last night. Looking forward to a family group call tonight to see what everyone has been up to.

Great to have a huge space with wifi – out of the sun and flies to write this up, check up on the route ahead and scan the forecasts.

The traffic have been pretty considerate on the Stuart. The first stretch out to Pimba had a sealed shoulder that I could hop onto when any traffic arrived however things have got worse as I head north with loose shingle on the shoulder for much of it. I only head there if I have traffic passing me from both directions and this normally ends with me stopping and starting again once they are past. The bent is atrocious to steer in loose material especially once the water is on and mounted up high. Numerous folk slow down to see WTF they are passing and the occasional one stops for a chat to get a closer look. Cheery toots and waves are common. I have just had a look at the stats that the radar keeps for me and when I left Port Augusta I was passed by ~300 cars and this has dropped by about 50 cars per day. Yesterday was 124, will it continue to drop? My average moving speed has been pretty consistent at ~14kph since leaving Port Augusta with between 6 1/2hrs and 8hrs moving time these days. The road trains are pretty good but what shifts the most air are the big flat nosed trucks especially if they are upwind of me. How many trailers on doesn’t seem to matter except for me instinctively wanting to move back onto the lane after the first trailer has passed!!!

A look at a map of Australia and I reckon I am about 1/3 of the way between Melbourne and Darwin! A pleasant surprise as I wasn’t aware that I had rattled along that far.



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