October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Friday, August 29, 2014

Port Augusta to Wilmington

 Port Augusta to Wilmington = 47km
Cummulative totals = 7446km and 27,447km
Wilmington Beautiful Valley Caravan Park = $20 unpowered

A lovely rest day at Port Augusta - when I went there 20 odd years ago I arrived on such a cold, wet miserable day that I didn't really get to see the town at all, so I was amazed that there was the Southern Flinders Ranges to the east of the town ... maybe that occured there over the past 20 years as I don't remember that mountain range at all!
At the campground we had a garden visitor next to the tent ... a bearded dragon
 unfortunately he didn't get angry and flare his beard!
At sunset the ranges are beautiful ... ode to be a train driver!!!
 Behind the supermarket they have done up the boardwalk and park lands ...

 and it has a small bike path.  It was lovely just to sit there and admire the view while Neil is shopping and he admired the view while I shopped!
Onto todays ride ... this morning we crossed over the harbour  and this is the view from the bridge ...
 we have to stay on the highway 1 - this is the road down to Adelaide and it is awful!  The shoulder is bumpy but due to such heavy traffic we had to stay in the shoulder - fortunately only for 22km and then we took the Peterborough B56 turnoff which means we have to go over the mountain!
 South Australia is quite smart when building roads that cross over mountains ... they choose the lowest mountain! Basically once you turn of the highway you begin a long gradual climb and then once at the base of the mountain the gradient gets worse!
 Now bear this in mind we haven't done a climb since going to Ravenshoe - in the Atherton Tablelands way back near Cairns - 3,500km ago!!!
The true climb is at about 5-6% so not bad and the legs were okay - the muscles just had to get use to it so we had no problems getting to the top at 14km from the highway turnoff (which 7km is with the 5-6%)
At the top is a memorial to John Horrocks who found this pass over this mountain range to some very nice pastoral land!

 here is the view looking back down the range ...
 the road we are on is a B road so there is less traffic and the bulk of the road winds its way up the hill so the speed of the traffic is very slow, there is a shoulder of which we went into when a car was overtaking.  Light traffic and they were sympathetic to us!  The day is warm so by the time we got to the top we were sweating.
Now Neil has Kouta for a while in the trailer and I have the lugguage trailer which is about 10km heavier than the Kouta trailer - but when I have Kouta I also have the food and junk panniers which is where the bulk of the weight that I carry is so by 1km from the top of the hill I could really feel the lugguage trailer and its heaviness!  And can you believe this - I was watching Kouta in the trailer and he hardly moves not like when I have him - he is constantly thrashing about wrestling with something!
Anyhow there is a little down hill to Wilmington and on our way down we got to see our first canola field .. and it has emus in it!
It is strange coming up and over this hill as we have gone from any arid outback view to a lush pastoral view just like that (snapping my fingers).  It happens in about a 20km range.
On the road again tomorrow ... with tailwinds!

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