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Around Australia 2003

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Journal for 8-Nov-2003 : Gladstone

Tough headwinds and seriously aggressive traffic leaving Port Augusta. I don't know why, it's not like the traffic was all that heavy, just really aggressive.

The climb up Horrocks Pass starts with 9km of apparently flat road to the base of the hills. The views over Spencer Gulf and scintillating Port Augusta (the cleanup hasn't helped PA from a distance) make it aparent how high this flat road has climbed. Slow going once we got onto the climb propper. It's only 6km but the grade has a bit of a kick.

Fun riding along the main north road through the various little towns. My favourite is Melrose, where we watch the South Australian's enjoy their favourite Saturday afternoon pastime: tennis. In this part of the world every town has a tennis court. In fact some towns have nothing but a tennis court.

We continued through rather pretty country. This countryside is rather like most people (not Australians) think when the term countryside is thrown about. A decorative patchwork of small paddocks of all different colours. The varying colours come from the varying maturity of the wheat crops, and the amount of weed infestation.

Another feature of this region is the stone ruins. Almost every paddock has the remains of a stone farmer's house. In some rare cases, there is a modern house built next to it.

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