October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Wednesday, October 17, 2012



We had a very eventful day today … one to get the ‘dicky ticker’ going!  But first we had a very windy and wild night last night – the strong northerly wind from yesterday (which produced a temperature of around 34 degrees) died down early in the evening and then at some point during the night (not sure on the time) it blew like mad – the tent was rattling and a shaking like anything – I woke up, heard the wind and the rolled over and went back to sleep.  Neil said he got up at one point as he thought the wind had knocked the bikes over … I didn’t hear that!
So this morning we left around 8.30am and expecting a tough day with more headwinds.  We stopped of at the IGA in Cowell to pick up bread and while waiting there I thought this is a really nicely presented town center, very clean and the buildings are well kept.  I would imagine this would be a busy place in the holidays.
So we started out and knew we had to get over the range and basically you start climbing from the town center up until 18km later where you sort of reach the top.  It is a very gentle climb along the Lincoln highway and then we turned off at around 10km and onto the Birdseye highway and you climb more there – but it is okay climbing not like out of Port Wakefield over on the Yorke peninsula.  This Birdseye highway is very quiet – hardly any traffic so perfect for us … not sure if it would be busier on the weekends?  At 15km we took a break at the May Gibbs memorial.  At first I didn’t know who she was but once I read the plaque I recognised the name.  She wrot e the baby gumnut books – apparently she lived around here when she was born.

The view from here back on to the bay is not bad but there is nowhere along this hillside that gives a great view and even from the top – everything is blocked off by either a tree or a damn hill!
As you can see it is a gentle climb up through the hills in the range

Once over the bulk of the range you start to go down and you go into a valley of a mixture of fields and rock fields!  You also get a good view of Mt Millar wind farm and they are on your right as you come down … I love windmills they are far more scenic than damn power pylons!

Along the sort of valley you flatten out a bit but not before long that you start gently climbing
At this point I am so relieved that I put my fly net on just as we got onto the Birdseye highway and they were pretty thick … little pesky ones but at least there wasn’t much wind if anything it didn’t really pick up until midday and we were nearly at our destination by then … we are so lucky sometimes!
At about the 34km mark we were flying down a lovely 2.5km dead straight hill and we passed the 1000km mark and this was marked by a stumpy tail lizard on my left, a dead snake in the middle of the road and a blue tongue lizard on my right further down the hill!
The turn off for Yeldulknie Weir is about 5km before Cleve and is a 1.5km dirt road to the picnic area.  The first thing I thought of is that we must be careful of snakes around here as although it has  damn wall and there is only a little bit of water behind it it still will be a haven for snakes.
It is a lovely spot and there was one other travellar here when we got here just after lunchtime.  We had a cuppa and I went for a walk up the path to have a look at the damn to see if we could swim in it … along the way I saw something lying in the middle of the path … at first I thought it was a little skink or lizard but I couldn’t see any legs and upon a closer look it was a baby snake about 1m from me, so I waited debating whether or not to step over it or go back … but it decided for the 2 of us and moved on … feeling reluctant to go on but the need for a dip in the water was stronger so I continued on cautiously.  But I couldn’t see any path down to the water and I most definitely wasn’t going to walk in the grass.  So I turned around and came back and said to Neil I will have to wash in front of the tent.
So we set up tent in the shade of the trees – while we are doing this Kouta has found a lizard and is amused by it, mind you I was extremely amused by him watching it in the first photo and then try and get at it in the following 2 photos!


it is hot about late 20’s and we had just finished and I was about to set up to have a wash – Kouta was sleeping in the tent, I was standing outside the tent door faffing about and Neil was on the side of the tent and then all of a sudden Neil yells out snake, get out of the tent Janet and Kouta – so I immediately went to where he was and we both called Kouta who staggered out of the tent and came to us (he must have sensed the urgency in Neils voice) and I picked him up and said to Neil where is it and at that point I saw it pass the tent door heading away from the tent and it was a damn long thing!  I tell you it was endless, my jaw just dropped when I saw that it kept coming!
Meanwhile our neighbour came over and was watching it as well calling his dog back and he said that must be what his dog was growling for before as the snake came from his direction and slid by our tent (about 50cm from it) and continued on across the road, down the embankment and crossed the other road and then gone.  It was right up alongside the tent and past the front door of the tent ...

As you can see it was very long and the guy identified it as a Taipan (deadly!) and they both guessed around 5ft.  Probably the closest I have been to a snake that big – I tell you it was awesome to see as it just merrily went on its’ way determined to get somewhere but not near us.
What struck me as odd was how close it was and the fact that it chose a path that came so closeby the tent and near us but was not interested in us at all.  So now we are on the lookout!
Later on in the afternoon we saw a car come down the road and just out of view I heared it stop with a skid and I joked to Neil that they just stopped for a snake and funny enough when they set up tent and Neil went up to them to warn them that we had a snake earlier on and to be careful – they told him that they saw one cross the road and that was when the stopped!  LOL
Here is a closer look at the snake ... I love digital photographs!

Crikey I still cannot believe how close it was to the tent I can see it’s indentation in the dirt from where I am typing this as it came from the back of the tent and along the side … and I think whew lucky he didn’t decide to come by when I was having a wash otherwise I would have had to evacuate half dressed ha ha ha!

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