October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wilmington to Gladstone

 Wilmington to Gladstone = 80km
Cummulative totals = 7526km and 27,527km
Gladstone caravan park = $20 unpowered

Todays ride felt like we have done nothing! well at least half of it was either downhill or we had a strong tailwind - woohoo Janet is happy! LOL
It was a warmer night than we anticipated but unfortunately a sleepless one ... this caravan park is very bush orientated and what lives in the bush here ... damn possums!  I tell you they are cute little things but they are a pain in the butt when it comes to bags, tents and trees!
Out they come when it is dark and off course they climb everywhere so Neil had to bring his bags in to the vestibule as first they pooped on it and then we were worried they might try to rip into the bags (they tore my seat apart when we were at Horsham on one tour) so the vestibule was very crowded - sometime during the night I hear Neil get up and apparently he threw his sandle at a possum, then another shoe and then he picked up another shoe and went up to the possum and tapped the possum on the head with the shoe!  The possum was shocked and took off.
All night you could hear them and when they were close to the tent you always worried that they were eating the gel seats!
So we began our day rather bleary eyed and yesterday we decided to make a run for home and leave Broken Hill for another cycle tour - ideally when we do the Nullabor!  The winds today were suppose to be northerlies so we mapped a way home and this included going straight south today to Gladstone.
This road we are on is the B82 and it is a very quiet road, not in a great condition but the traffic is very light so we could ride out in the road a bit.
Early on we passed this tree which you could walk through the center!
 The scenery is lovely ...
 There are many small towns along this road - Melrose is a little boutique town and is the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges that is popular with cycle trails and walkers - they have a campground at the showgrounds, in town they have a unique looking statue.
 After Melrose we pass through numerous canola fields and can see the range that run parallel with this road and we will cross it tomorrow ...
 We stop for a cuppa at Murray Town, this also has a camp spot at the sports ground - $5 unpowered and a $1 shower!  we will remember it for next time we come through!  I had to take a photo of our new coffee and tea bag.  We had a great little square one that use to take the tea, coffee, milk powder, bowls, cups and cutlery but the zip went on that one and I said I would get one at Port Augusta but Neil got to it before I could and he came out with this pink girls backpack that is a little bigger but quite good once I got over the embarrassment of it ...
 the cupcake part is a seperate compartment for the cutlery and lighter.  We cut off the straps at the back but I am thinking I might look for something else when I get home!
Just after Murray Town you go up one last little climb - we have been gently climbing since half way between Wilmington and Melrose, and then you have a long down hill and at this time (about 10.30am) the wind begins to pick up and true to form it is a northerly so we scooted along around 21-23km per hour.
We did consider going further today but there were no campgrounds between Gladstone and Gulnare (where we turn tomorrow) and bushcamping is not really as good as what it is out in the outback!
We stopped at Laura, which is a lovely town, bigger than what we thought it would be and it too has a lovely campground.  Just on our way out there was this statue of
C J Dennis - and Australian author (years and years ago!)
From Laura it is just another 11km to Gladstone.  The campground is alongside the main road and it is a council park and has excellent facilities, a great camp kitchen and a spotless amenities block.  These parks alongside this road are great and this is the perfect cycling road, south of here goes to Clare.
Tomorrow we go to Burra - 86km away and over one or two hills!

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