Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 29 Adelaide River to Darwin 105 kms

Everyone up bright and early as this was our last day.
Some confusion re our morning tea break. I mentioned at the previous nights' briefing that morning tea would be at the Manton Dam rest area as there will only be one break today, then I continued to say that they could grab a sausage roll or a drink as they near Darwin. Apparently some of the riders were looking around for a sausage roll shop in the middle of the outback!!!  Just goes to prove that really no one takes much notice at the briefings!!! A couple of the riders also headed towards the actual Dam looking for us- rather than the rest area which was on the main highway. Just a great start to the final day.
More confusion when the riders were sent up Tony Brennan Drive (my mistake!!!!)- cyclists were not permitted. The Stuart Hwy was certainly a better alternative as cyclists were allowed. Anyway all is well that ends well. Everyone in safely at the Darwin Wharf.

Great food, fantastic weather and all looking forward to a few days off.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 28 Emerald Springs to Adelaide River 90 kms.

Everyone was up early as usual, no sleep ins on a Cycle Across Oz adventure. The plan today was for the group to head towards Hayes Creek Roadhouse grab a coffee or bite to eat. Then about 3 or 4 kms past Hayes Creek take a left hand turn onto the"Old Stuart Hwy" for the normal morning tea at approx 50k and then a gentle ride into Adelaide River. Not so gentle as there were lots of ups and downs, including a decent"Jump Up" which had a pretty severe gradient.
Kathy cycled today and here's her recollections: It was a lovely riding day and the girls decided to stay with me all the way even though I begged them not to hold back but cycle like the wind. It was very nice having the company and I think Melanie enjoyed the slower pace also. Annie kept disappearing, not in front of us but behind us- she was waiting to get a clear run down some of the steeper hills. I was pleased with my ability to climb all the hills today but I did pull up a little short of the 50 k mark as Collis caught us before then so I climbed in the truck. Anthony, our son, and his passengers caught us as we were putting the bike up on the trailer and I think they were just a little impressed with his old mum. I was worried about this 'jump up' but thankfully I didn't have to attempt it.

Temperatures were starting to climb and humidity was sticking around. Just last week Adelaide River received 100ml of rain and the locals were convinced that it was the last rain and were looking forward to the"Dry".
Everyone in camp around midday. Some of the group were planning a visit
Litchfield National Park.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 27 Katherine to Emerald Springs 127 kms

It was sad saying goodbye to our little cabin in our own little resort but it had to be done, otherwise these riders wouldn't get to Darwin as planned. Up early (still dark) and packed up the cabin before heading down to the campsite. Everyone was up and at it. The first riders headed off at 7.15 am and the last rider left at 7.30 am so not a huge gap today.
We left camp around 8 am to get to the morning tea stop around 9 am even though morning tea time had been arranged for 9.30 to 10.30 am. With the strong tail winds we decided they would get to morning tea and all breaks early today. We provided Safeway chocolate chip and Anzac cookies today.
Our son, his wife and his parents-in-law met us at morning tea on their way to Katherine Gorge. They will be joining us again at Emerald Springs tonight. It was lovely to see a familiar face or two.
Lunch was at Pine Creek in the local park. A couple of the riders got lost and had trouble finding us at first but all barr Woody arrived at the park. We think Woody must have decided to ride on through lunch as he often does.

All barr Peter in camp by 2.30 pm. Peter had told us that he wanted to spend some time at Pine Creek before riding the last 30 kms. The roadhouse is not the same as the territory manor but they have clean showers, green grass to camp on and a nice restaurant to eat at. What more could they ask for?? Well, Jacquei was giving free foot massages. They had a shoe tree and a great friendly restaurant with great food. We like Emerald Springs.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 26 Katherine Rest Day 0 kms

I could get used to these rest days. Slept later this morning with a cooked breakfast out on the balcony. It is so nice having an ensuite and not have to trudge across to the public facilities. It is amazing the little things in life that you appreciate so much more on journeys like this, like sleeping on a soft bed and being able to go to the toilet in the middle of the night and not have to expose everything to the world in the process
Lazy morning just sitting around looking at photos, catching up on emails and rushing across to camp to wish Woody a happy birthday. Woody had gone, as apparently Jan had shouted him a cooked breakfast at the Coffee Club and then he was going to go for a 71 mile ride.
We picked some riders up from town and went out to Edith Falls for a swim. Beautiful day and had a lovely lunch. We are having dinner on our own tonight. Everyone celebrated Woody's birthday and I bought him an ice cream cake because he LOVES ice cream.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 25 Mataranka to Katherine 110 kms

Usual start to the day although Woody was the first out of camp which is a very unusual occurrence. Not sure what was the matter with him as he had upgraded so he shouldn't have had the restless night most of us did due to the humidity. Although I'm not sure if his room had air conditioning or not so he may have had a bad night- didn't get the chance to ask him.
They all got a move on when they realized Woody had left and the group was not spread out as far as usual today. Morning tea was at the 55 km mark at a rest area and Jan reported that the toilets were sweet smelling for a change. Jacquei donated biscuits then Theo donated a fruit cake and then Bob donated more biscuits so we had an abundance of supplies today. Just as our riders were leaving, another rider going in the other direction was pulling in so we invited her to a cup of tea. She was from Germany and it was a bit unclear as to where she had been and where she was heading but she was 75 years old and traveling alone. She wanted us to carry her luggage across the Nullarbor but in the opposite direction as to where we were going and for free. We tried to explain to her this was not possible but she didn't seem to understand. She was a real talker and we had to excuse ourselves so we could catch up with our riders.
Not far down the road we came across two more riders who had left Darwin 4 days ago but due to the winds they were struggling to travel very far each day. They had started with 3 of them but one pulled out this morning as he was struggling to keep up with them. They are heading to Newcastle.
Made it to Katherine before midday and staying at a really lovely caravan park although a couple of the riders are complaining that it is too far out of town. It is 5 kms out of town and the grounds are superb with great facilities and peace & quiet. We did tell them that they can move themselves to a park in the middle of town and we would deliver their luggage to the park of their choice (this would have to be considered an upgrade and at their own expense). No-one took us up on the offer.
Went into town for a food shop as we needed morning tea supplies and we are having Jacquei, Melanie & Annie to our cabin for dinner tonight. We have given ourselves a little treat the next 2 nights so that we can have a break from the constant demands. The cabins are expensive but very nicely set out and worth the money.
We have had such a lovely night with some very good friends. I made a spaghetti bolognese and Jacquei made 2 great salads and then ice creams & tim tams for dessert. Lots of beer and chips to round off the night with a game of Ludo. Annie won and poor old Melanie and I came last.

Day 24 Mataranka Rest Day 0 kms

Another rest day today at a beautiful location. Everyone is in the go slow mood today but we are all excited about getting to the hot springs this morning. Most of us were down there at Bitter Springs and found the swim to be very refreshing. Georg bought some wine to enjoy in the pool.
Jacquei had brought along her Go-pro camera and more photos to follow.
The afternoon has been very lazy with a bit of barra feeding, swimming, laundry and sleeping. Tomorrow is another ride day.
We shouted the winners of the last leg's photographic competition and the literacy competition to their free meal tonight at the restaurant here at the park. Nice meals. Photographic winner for "Town Life" was Peter J and the winner for his poem "My mug" was John T. Well done to both of you and thank you for joining in with the fun and spirit of the journey.

Day 23 Daly Waters to Mataranka 168 kms

Usual morning. 55 kms to morning tea at a monument. We had some fudge donated by one of the caravaners which I had kept for morning tea as a change from the norm. The day looks as if it could end up pretty hot.

Lunch was at Larimah (the pink panther pub). Nice shady area for lunch and an opportunity for the riders to get some food (but not much choice) and COLD drinks. It is creeping up to the low 30's. A couple of the riders are struggling today after the 7 days riding and then one day off. We have started spraying them down to keep them cool but not much is working. The pub had a free zoo so some of us checked out the emus and the crocodiles.
Afternoon tea was at a rest area which was looking pretty tired and quite depressing. The toilets appeared fancy until you got inside and the smell was overpowering. I preferred to go behind a bush. No more spraying of riders- I have resorted to tipping the water containers over their heads. Two riders were seriously thinking about pulling out at afternoon tea but bucked up after a drink and a flush of water.
Everyone was in the Mataranka pub by early afternoon. The camp ground facilities here are great and all I can hear are positive comments from the riders. I'm going for a swim now. Believe it or not but the support crew also get hot and bothered out there on the road. We may not be pushing those pedals but it's hot work running around after them and trying to keep them all happy.