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Journal for 27-Oct-2003 : Eucla

Today was something of a dream. In fact it started with a dreaming I was reporting for the ABC program "foreign correspondent", sharing a chai and chatting away to my interviewee, a certain Mr O BinLarden. We managed to find a single point of coming ground. Something about an appropriate treatment for wayward caravan drivers, but I don't think Mr B was quite that discriminating.

It was another really windy night. At 4 in the morning the wind was still howling from the South East, and as we packed up our gear we heard the spots of light rain. The wind dispersed 30min before dawn.

On the road the riding was fun again. Still air had me pumping the pedals with excitement and fun, and we covered 25ks in the first hour. I was starting to think we might make Madura with only one rest break. Even after two hours of riding there was no wind, and we made the Madura roadhouse (55ks) without so much as needing to pee.

Lots of wildlife this morning too. Emus, roos and lots of little birds enjoying the unusually still conditions. The country here is quite pretty, with quite a few trees and greenish ground cover. It actually looks like grazing land, an illusion a few stock grids in the road enhanced. A bit of light mist completed the picture. Didn't see any stock though.

Madura roadhouse is at the base of a 1km descent (something a surprise to Nullarbor newbies) onto the Roe plain. I had fish and chips for my (second) breakfast.

The Roe Plains are very flat, and very exposed with only occasional patches of trees. So here, the tailwind that came up was heaven sent!!

In fact it was absolutely send-bloody-sational!!! From 9kph yesterday, to 39kph today. I rode for nearly half an hour straight in my top gear (normally reserved for steep downhills). We were going so fast we might even make Mundrabilla (120ks from Madura)!

In just a few short blissful hours we'd crossed half the Roe plains. Linda was close to collapse though. Fortunately we Dennis and Helen (travelling with caravan) who offered us coffee (gratefully received), cake (gratefully received), oranges (gratefully received) and a delicious vegetable stir fry meal (gratefully received). It's a mistake to offer cyclist food !!! Thanks very much to Dennis and Helen. They were real life savers here!

We'd only ridden 180ks (twice yesterdays distance in less time in the saddle) so we decided why not use the good weather and push on to Eucla. It was pretty easy going, except for the last 1km, which is steeply uphill. The 237th K (a new Personal Best) was the hardest of all!.

Eucla a spectacular site, perched high atop the escarpment looking down on the ocean and white limestoney sand dunes.

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