IP Day 13 – Mundrabilla to Border Village

Saturday 2nd April, 2022
78.57km   +126m
Moving 3:22 Elapsed 5:21 Avg 23.3km/h Max 32.7km/h

It’s pretty confusing looking back trying to work out just exactly how stupid o’clock our departure was, between the official and unofficial time zones, and every app deciding to extract a different timestamp out of the Garmin data. Strava’s 4.02am is seemingly (somehow) ACWST, because both Google timeline and MAProgress show us leaving at 3:17am WA time. Irrelevant really when by the end of today’s ride we’d be in South Australia, but it was bloody early.

We did have a good run all the way to Eucla though.

First stop after an hour/30km. 10 degrees:

Another stop about an hour later, with the sunrise (I believe the previously mentioned lightweight shovel got used at this point 😀) and he decided to get all artistic with a ‘lean’. There’s a Facebook group called Straya – Look At My Bike Leaning Against Stuff and I had posted a couple of earlier tandem leans in it. Luke, aka Beetlejuice, had been posting prolifically with his Indipac leans.

You could see any vehicles coming for miles – and there were none – but that didn’t stop me ‘doin’ a panic’ about how long it took to get it balanced on the helmet, and then for him to fuss around taking half a dozen shots. I duly posted it in the group and some days later he was most chuffed to subsequently get ‘lean of the week’. Fun group.

Another hour and we were at the bottom of Eucla Pass. We stopped by the side of the road to strip off a layer and to grab a quick snack. Uh-oh. We had compan. And he/she was not friendly – circling us and growling.

Forget the snack. I picked up a rock, and we jumped on and started pedalling. It headed back into the scrub; Marc spotted another dingo/wild dog, and it looked like they would leave us alone. I ditched the rock. But then, a few hundred metres up the road, I saw in my mirror that it was back, and literally chasing us up the road. Fair to say we upped the pace somewhat! Thankfully a few road trains came down the pass, scaring it off.

A bit further up – and once we were confident that the dog had indeed racked off – we took the opportunity to stop and look back. Goodbye Roe Plains. You were actually pretty cool, with your escarpment really adding something to the scenery.

Eucla was a touch more upmarket compared to all the other roadhouses and motels. It felt like a little oasis amongst the trees. I was really disappointed we hadn’t been able to get accommodation there. (If I was ever to cross the Nullarbor again – and it would only be in a vehicle next time! – I would be aiming to stay there a couple of nights.)

We got cappuccino/tea and croissants from the cafe and chilled out in the back courtyard for a bit.

Another empty pool! But it was only 15 degrees, so we wouldn’t have been tempted anyway.

It was only another 13km – half an hour – to Border Village. The wind had picked up in the hour and a half we faffed around in Eucla, reaffirming that we had indeed made the right decision to leave at stupid o’clock. In that 65km to Eucla, we were passed by only two vehicles – so yet another good reason to get on the road early.

It’s a time zone change on the road, but – because of being so close to Eucla I guess – Border Village Roadhouse itself works on ACWST.

So, we’d ridden across Western Australia. Milestone. 1500km down, but don’t even think about how far still to Sydney. Heck, I didn’t even want to think about how far it still was to Adelaide. (I just checked – still another 1300km! We were only just over HALF WAY TO ADELAIDE. 😭)

One day at a time, right?

We managed to get into our room a bit early, and it was a very nice room, but geez, BV Roadhouse doesn’t miss you with their prices. They really milk the middle-of-nowhere justification for high pricing. I’ve never seen this anywhere else, but the base rate for a queen room was $150, yet they charge you an extra $15 for the second person!  They were also miserly with the ‘free wi fi’ – it’s only free for one device, but they don’t tell you this upfront. I was the one that had more mobile data, but I logged on first. Grrr. (Another good reason to skip BV and stay at Eucla if you can!)

We washed clothes and they had all afternoon to dry in the wind. There was a full pool, but with the temperature only around 20 degrees, plus the wind, we weren’t tempted. The rest of the day was spent resting and making sure we had enough food for the nearly 190km tomorrow. (At least the roadhouse was well stocked.) Hot tip though – Border Village Roadhouse cook is not amenable to something as outlandish as peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Egg and lettuce sandwiches for breakfast as well as lunch then. Admittedly it was a very busy roadhouse at dinner time.

Fingers crossed for a lull in the wind tomorrow. Early night. Early start.

2 thoughts on “IP Day 13 – Mundrabilla to Border Village

  1. Doug Watsabaugh

    Hey, I am Cheryl Cooper’s friend from the US. I just wanted to let you know I’m following your posts and your trip from Minneapolis, MN USA. I am enjoying your ride and find your pictures and your commentary interesting and compelling. I love your sense of humor and your direct and “no holds barred” descriptions of the challenges you’re confronting. Thank you for taking us along with you. Best of luck. Doug Watsabaugh

    Like

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