At the hotel here last night I ordered the most vegetable laden thing I could, as it's likely this is the last of them I will see for a while. Whilst it wasn't gourmet food it was actually damn good and a huge portion.
I didn't get time to write this in my last post but at breakfast in Norseman, 2 couples I was chatting too both gave cash donations to cure Cancer Aus. Once again I found myself humbled by the kindness of random strangers. I got a message out to my wife and she donated it on the site.
So I left Norseman well feed in both the physical and mental sense...and ready to take on the mighty Eyer Highway.
The first cyclist to complete the crossing on a bicycle was a gentleman called Arthur Richardson who took 31 days in December 1896. Why people attempt this in summer is beyond me...Arthur described the trip as "1000 degrees in the shade".
The bike was heavy with all the food and water, but did not feel as much of a shock as my test run down the Great Ocean Road way back. The road climbed out of town through thick forest, with a good shoulder and nice, safe cycling...best of all the skies were clear and little wind about so I had high expectations for decent distance today.
As the day wore on I got paranoid about water...did I have enough? What I carried had to last 197km and as that is likely beyond a day's cycling, the water had to also be enough to cook with and cover breakfast as well as whatever distance was left to cycle out of that 197km. Also it got quite hot and that's where the paranoia started...as I was guzzling big time.
At 80km it was lunchtime at a roadside picnic site before passing the only 'accommodation' option today which is camping available at the Fraser Range sheep station, 107km east of Norseman. Its a good option if riding shorter days, but I wanted more distance that that today so kept riding east.
An Easterly headwind appeared once I got clear of the forest, thankfully it was quite light.
So with 160km done and the sun getting low, my eyes were peeled for a place to camp, and stealth is key.
This spot was far better than my last attempt,a nice little clearing just large enough for my tent and currently only occupied by a large kangaroo footprint...sorry Skippy, this one is mine tonight!
Dinner was a freeze dry thai curry that supposedly feeds 2, but not 2 touring cyclists thats for sure...
After all my water guzzling during the day, and tonights cooking, I have 1.5 litres left to get me to the roadhouse tomorrow, which is cutting it way too fine. You need to be more careful than that out here so a lesson learnt.
Nice spot here though and a pretty sunset over the forest, with a century done on my first Nullarbor crossing day, I will sleep well.
Top 5 difficult things to do in 1 person Macpac Microlight tent (pg13):
1: Write a journal while laying on back
2: Get into sleeping bag without tearing something
4: In fact any movement at all is risky
5: Put on a pair of lycra cycling bib shorts!
Total Distance Today: 161km