Worst riding experience on the trip so far

Due to the hot weather, I wanted to shorten the next leg into Adelaide. So rather than staying in Port Lincoln I decided to book an air conditioned cabin in Cowell Caravan Park. I should end up with a good night sleep, shorter distance to Adelaide, and be able to leave earlier in the morning.

Port Lincoln to Cowell is 160 kms up the Lincoln Hwy on the eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula. Due to the strong wind from Ceduna earlier in the day, this leg for me was 160 kms of hell. Buffeted by gusting 42 degree winds at 10 o’clock that had me leaning so far I reckon my left foot peg was on the ground the whole way. It was so physically demanding. Result: neck, back, & forearm strain.

Luckily the a/c was already on when I got to the cabin. Although, I grabbed some bottled water off the bike for a drink and I think it was bath temperature.

Ceduna to Port Lincoln

Quite an easy ride. Strong wind coming from about 7 o’clock, but gusting sometimes from 9 resulting in the occasional leaning zigzag to correct (just have to watch oncoming traffic).

Called into Streaky Bay for breaky. A guy from Sydney joined me. He passed Glen & me on the way to Ceduna who also stayed at the same Caravan Park.

Headed South and took a detour to the
Elliston Clifftop Drive. Given the purpose of this trip I really couldn’t pass it up could I?

View was pretty good. It’s like their own little private Great Australian Bight.

I probably would have paid more attention to the view but the road was really rough limestone with sharp rocks in it. I was a little worried about puncturing a tyre.

Finally arrived at Port Lincoln.

The ride was hot. Peaking again at 42 with an average of 41 for most of the 400 km trip. So, it was Wendy’s for lunch.

 

A quick swim

I quickly setup the tent, donned the swimmers, and headed to the beach.

Crap! Low tide and quite a rocky waterline. Never mind, I’ll just go down the boat ramp. When I picked myself up off the ground after I slipped on the very silty slope (buggered if I know how they launch boats the without dragging the car in too), I had a quick look around to see if anyone was watching. Good – I’d got away with it.

Out I went. 50 m later and it was still only knee deep. Enough to get refreshed and wash the day’s sweat away. And the blood streaming from my knee from my fall.

Back to shower, burger and beer at the pub, then off to bed after this post.

Roast Wombats

So far our daytime temps had been quite mild for the South West, but were reaching the low 30s since Balladonia. While taking photos of the Bight a lady warned us about the 37 temperature at Nullabor (32 at the Bight).

Sure enough the temp climbed as we arrived,  but only to 35. We filled up the bikes and headed for Ceduna.

About 10 KMs in I noticed a wind shift front the right to the left side of the bike. Then BAM! It was like stepping into an oven. Within minutes the temperature rose to 40 & kept climbing. We rode the next 150 KMs in 42 degrees and it showed 43  on my dash for about 1 minute at one point.

Knackered – Caiguna to Ceduna

We left Caiguna at 6:30 given the extra long day today… 850km me thinks (I’ll correct the entry when I have the energy to check the fuel log).

We started slowly and keeping the pace to about 90 then built up to the 110-ish speeds after an hour or so. The only reason for this was to minimise the chance of hitting any wildlife. I was warned a plenty before about roos, cattle, camels, and even wombats. However, there wasn’t much evidence of this in roadkill suggesting we were perhaps a little over-cautious. Nonetheless, we weren’t prepared to take the risk.

As before we tag-teamed the lead position. The one riding behind is certainly less stressed as you don’t have to watch for things that boing out in front of you or setting the right speed.

Scenery was as before, but different in its own way. Then we hit Eucla and Border Village.

From there it took on very much of a typical costal drive. Except most coasts don’t look like this! …

I can cross “see the Great Australian Bight” off my bucket list. Simply stunning.

We finally arrived at Ceduna (the Fowlers Bay road was gravel) and checked into the Caravan Park. Very weary and in need of a swim.

When climbing back on the bike to take it to the tent area, I managed to split my $250 Kevlar jeans. I think I’ll be checking the warranty on them when I get home!

Caiguna Roadhouse

I’d originally planned on tenting it. One quick test of the ground had me realising I wasn’t going to hammer an aluminum tent peg into concrete-hard gravel – without a hammer.

Glen had already booked himself into a room so I bunked in there with him. Comfy and clean but not exactly cheap at $120 for the pair of us. I won’t be doing more than buying food & fuel here on the way back.

Anyway, the meal was great and me not having to pack up the tent in the morning meant we could leave pretty early.

We have another long ride tomorrow. I was planning to stay at Fowlers Bay but Glen’s map is showing it as 25km of gravel. We’ll work out what we’ll do when we get there. It could be Ceduna instead.