Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 20-Jul-2001 : Cloncurry
Date: 20/07/2001 (Location=Cloncurry, Dist=185km, Total=2501km)
Woken early AM by rowdy neighbours and wildlife trying to eat our food. Camping area blues? No, the rats and other inmates of the Blue Heeler Hotel.

Early start, and pretty good tailwinds all day after the first hour.

Pretty mean breakaways near Kynuna, and the scenery a bit better than yesterday too. Scenery after that a big improvement over yesterday, but still pretty dull. A few trees make all the difference.

Sat on veranda of Walkabout Creek Hotel sipping drinks and basking in the morning sun. Very nice and peaceful. Then the tourist bus arrived. "You're doing it the hard way, the easy way, the brave way the 'you see more than us' way, the 'rather you than me' way" etc ... An hour later we got underway again.

Nice scenery after McKinlay, now lots of trees, red earth, spinifex and termite mounds. Hills and ranges off to the west, which we need to climb tomorrow.

Met our first other cycle tourist today. This guy (we never got his name, mostly because he didn't stop talking) who looked in his late fifties riding a heavy steel MTB with a granny basket, two old backpacks for panniers and a swag roll. It turns out he was 72, and has cycled most of Australia at least twice. He passed on buying my block of land at Halls Creek.

One of the creek crossings approaching Cloncurry had nice trees, lots of red earth banks and even some water !!!
Ore road trains, 55m+ with 8 tippers !!! The longest was a 2 x B-tripple combination (7 points of articulation & nearly 200 wheels). Serious equipment that makes those piddly little 3 trailer (only 5 points of articulation and 80 wheels) look small.

Serious sunburn again today. At the tropics we stopped wearing arm and leg warmers, and now we're roasting like the English.

At the main road junction from Mt Isa to Townsville we met our Yama, a Japanase cyclist who's been riding from Perth on his way to Townsville. He's been on the road since March, and had headwinds *every* day - poor bugger.

David F

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