Tennant creek to Katherine

Friday.  The wind got up overnight and I  considered staying another night at the motor camp but after looking at wikicamps and seeing possible camping spots 30km away I decided to start riding and seeing how it went. The first 1/2 hr was terrible with the strong crosswinds and getting buffeted by road train wakes. The rd then turned a bit to give me a quartering tailwind and some of the sting went out of the strength to make riding pleasant. Another easy 180km which I certainly wasn’t expecting today.

I met a French cyclist who was heading south late in the day who had come through the Pamir which gives me hope for my journey.  Myanmar sounds like it will be a no go unfortunately.

The nights are getting warmer and there is water in some of the creeks now.

Saturday.  MPPT bother ๐Ÿ™‚ Didn’t get much sleep as the wind got up overnight so waited until just before 8am before getting on the road. Similar to yesterday the worst of the crosswind abated late morning and I was scooting along very happily until I reached Elliott where lunch beckoned and time to align the panels to shoot juice into the batteries for the afternoon run. I was impressed after setting it up that I was getting a bit over 400w of solar. Made my lunch and idly glanced at the console expecting to see the batteries approaching full but they were less than 1/2 and the solar input had gone from 400w to -2w!!!

It seems that I have cooked both the MPPT controllers and it is going to be a long slow pedal to Katherine where I’ll hopefully find an autosparky who can get me operational again.

Sunday. 96 of the hardest won km so far. So frustrating pedaling hard under a blue sky with a light tailwind that would make today an easy 200km day if those MPPT step up controllers hadn’t died on me. For those who are confused by the tech (as I am) – the solar panels are ~30V and my batteries are nominally 36V (between 33V and 41V) so these little boxes bump the voltage up to keep everyone happy. I should be glad they gave up here rather than in one of the more remote parts I’ve been through in the last weeks. Only another 240km to Katherine…

Monday. 85km and done in. Two more days to Katherine. As luck would have it there was an electrician camped near me last night. He had a look at my setup and agreed that it all made sense and he would not have wired it any differently which was a relief. Each 200w panel had its own MPPT controller with a max 400w input so plenty of buffer there. It failed when both panels were at max output of 200w each. 3500km of trouble free running then phhhttt ๐Ÿ™

It is getting noticeably warmer as I head north now. Found a nice place to camp a little further from the main rd tonight so will be quieter although sleep feels like it will come easily whatever is around me.

Just south of Larrimah

Tuesday. Another 90km day with one more of these in front of me to make Katherine… tomorrow.

Wednesday. Katherine at last!!!!! They know how to build cycle paths