Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 31-Jul-2001 : Mataranka
Date: 31/07/2001 (Location=Mataranka, Dist=168km, Total=3823km)
Cold morning (again). Why did we send back our arm and leg warmers at Mt Isa?

Late start due to cold morning.

After 6km Met Japananse couple plus one: Sushitoyota, Miduri and five year old Akarni (who gets to ride on Dads bike with her toy box). They were all cycling Perth->Darwin->Adelaide->Sydney->New Zealand->South America. Akarni was rapidily picking up some vital english words for cycling in Australia, like "Roadtrain !!!".

After 30km met a barrel bodied cyclist riding barefoot (stubbie holders over the pedals) wearing a singlet and a straw sun hat trying to ride from Darwin to Alice. Its his first attempt at touring by bike, after getting sick of seeing Australia by bus where "they treat you like a parcel". I accused him of being a Canadian based on his terrible American accent (and his lilly white skin and lack of any warm sleeping equipment like tent or sleeping bag), but it turns out he is a Swiss living in New York.

We paid for our complacency today. No tailwind, and long periods of light NE then N headwinds. Those tailwinds are addictive,and easy to take for granted !!! Also got some hills (OK, slight rises - but certainly long periods of gradual climbing) to remind us that cycling isnt always as easy as over the past few days.

Major pigout on chips at Larrimah.

Totally wacked by Mataranka, at least I was when we arrived at 5:45pm. Took four attempts to do all the shopping.

Im tired now. I think Ill go to sle ... zzzzzz.

David F

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