After yesterday's push I slept like a baby, very comfy in the tent again. It got cold enough to go as far as zipping up my sleeping bag for the first time on this trip!
Another long day is on the cards so I got riding by 6.30am, the first task being to complete the 90 mile straight...with the reward of a roadhouse at the end and a chance to get water. The wind was lighter only for the first hour so it was syill no easy ride. But oh so worth it, at Caigina I fed my face with this calorific breakfast:
At Caiguna the prices also went up; $6.20 for 1.5 litres of water?! Not good when you need a lot. Just looking at a roadhouse will empty your bank account, but on the bike you usually have little choice.
The weather went all crazy from here...gusty squalls and showers would pass in waves, each squall fronted by battering gusts that had me hanging on, especially when a road train came at the same time as the buffering in their wake was like getting slapped with a wet towel!
There were more huge horizons to see in between the squalls today, especially looking north, but it was far greener than I had anticipated, no doubt a different story entirely in mid summer. Anyway, after Caiguna the next objective was a 60km run to Cocklebiddy. All along this route on the WA side, there are markers every 10km with a 2 letter abbreviation for the next roadhouse, and in this case these were "CY". Everytime I saw one of these it reminded me of the epic Prog Rock song by Muse "Knights of Cydonia"...so tge sensible thing to do was to launch into song everyime I saw it. [Specifically: this version sung at the V festival in the UK with an incredible harmonica intro]:
So I rolled into Cocklebiddy having survived the squalls and terrified the wildlife. The roadhouse has this obligatory tourist shot:
It was about 1:30pm and I had 117km on the clock which was far from enough. Another big squall came through as I was sipping my coffee and trying to find both the energy and motivation to keep cycling. While sitting there pretty much everyone who pulled up at the roadhouse would come for a chat with The Freak On A Bicycle. Some of the questions were well intended but a bit inane, except for one couple who had an interest in the India Pacific Wheel Race [a very long race all the way across Aus and a thousand times harder than what I'm doing] which perhaps helped me snap out of my dream world of staying put at Cocklebiddy.
Around the back of the gas station here they have an Avery with 2 massive wedge tailed eagles...surely the ultimate accessory for all gas stations?
They are magnificent birds and I'm hoping too see one not in captivity one day.
Anyway, finally I was cycling East again, but just down the road some moron honked angrily as he passed...the first person in thousands of km of cycling to do so. I couldnt understand it as the road was empty and I was hugging the white line of the shoulder. How could I be in his way? I say 'his' as I pictured an obese angry white man behind the wheel, who knows whether this judgement is true or not, but either way these are the drivers to worry about the most.
There is a lot of wildlife in this area, a bit further east a group of Emu were trying to cross the road...it was nail biting to watch. At first: 4 were on one side and 1 on the other.. the single emu was scared alone and they kept gettin scattered by massive road trains roaring past.. thankfully thay ran parallel to the road while I watched. The stranded one then managed to cross back to the main bunch, and then they all tried to cross together, but one of them was taking its time and I could see another bloody big truck coming so decided to intervene, riding up dinging my little bike bell which surpised the straggler enough to get across in time.
Right at the end of the day the clouds started clearing and a beautiful rainbow appeared and a Roo was hopping off into the brush through the scene, it happened far to fast to capture with anything other than memory.
Once again I was feeling the burn from a long day cycling, but made my 160km target which was satisfying in the inclement weather. And camping is very easy in this spot, I should be very comfortable here tonight.
But after another long day I'm full of doubts as everything is sore. Can I do it again tomorrow if I get more headwind?
Total distance today: 161km
Trip Total: 1947km