How do you spell Canada...................?
May 19, 2012
|Kilometer count so far - 2,080 (Eucla)
Personal note: To Margaret & Ray Jefferies (we met at Salmon Gums campsite) - please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I would like to contact you and I seem to have the wrong mail address. Thanks.
I feel like I have been round the dark side of the moon, and now more than half way across the Nullarbor, I have communications back. The Nullarbor has lived up to my expectations and some. I have also learned that it is formed of the largest limestone deposit anywhere in the world and was once part of the ocean floor, as evidenced by seashells on the side of the road.
Cycling has been challenging. The heat is intense and water is in short supply (see photos), so I have always carried extra containers adding to the weight on the bike. I have also had the weirdest cycling day of my life when I cycled the 147 KM straight (and flat) road – longest in Australia and in the world, I believe. To cycle all day using only 2 gears and never see a turn or a rise or fall in the road is way out there. Too much of this and you would go a little crazy.
Biggest challenge so far is that it gets dark so early, so get in 120 – 140 KM is very hard. You cannot start cycling until 8:30 a.m. as before then it is too dangerous with the sun right in the eyes of the road train drivers (bug covered windshields etc.) and it gets dark at 5:00 p.m. As a result, I have been caught in the dark a couple of times.
I have seen 2 other cyclists so far, both far, far crazier than I am. The first was a guy from China who is circumnavigating Australia with a lot of gear, no cycling clothes and wearing plimsolls on his feet. The second guy is attempting to break the fastest ride around the world – we chatted for a while and he mentioned that so far he has done 16,000 KMS.........For anyone wishing to follow him, his name is Richard Dunnett and his website is: www.onebigpedal.co.uk. He was varying virtually no gear and travelling fast.
Encouragement from the travelling Australians continues to impress me, from free beer and lamb chops to waves and tooting horns on the road – it is all great stuff.
Things I have learned about Australia since the last blog:
• Most used Aussie phrase...............no prizes for this one. “No worries mate!
• When you catch a whiff of the pit toilet at a backwoods campground, it is fine if it means that there will be a tailwind on the road all day.
• The only live animals I have seen on the Nullarbor are an emu I nearly ran into and circling eagles, maybe waiting for a dead cyclist.
• I have never seen so much carnage on a road anywhere – early in the morning it looks like a scene from the Western Front after a full scale assault – dead bodies everywhere. I will never forget the smell of rotting kangaroo.
• The law of supply and demand works just fine on the Nullarbor – travellers are desperate (especially cyclists) and the roadhouses can charge whatever they like.
• When you have listened to every song on your MP3 player (twice) and you still have not seen any sign of civilization, you know it’s a long road.
• When you have eaten freeze dried food 8 days in a row, the fantasies for real food are compelling and can be satisfied at roadhouses (however, see note above).
• An old proverb is – “Make hay while the sun shines” – I have my own version (too much time on my hands – I know) – “Make miles while the wind blows”.
• OK, this is a first. I was asked how to spell Canada when checking in at one of the roadhouses. Not Elora or Ontario, but CANADA.
Aussie language test of the week – last week’s word was - SEMMITCH
And the answer is....................2 slices of bread with a filling in between e.g. M-semmitch, semmon semmitch, chee semmitch.
This week’s word – SEX
So, until next week, or the next time I have internet coverage, whichever is the latter.......